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The importance of being a member of trade bodies

My life has been a bit of a rollercoaster since I took over D-Drill in 2008, when I bought the business from my father.

The recession hit, we lost 40 per cent of turnover in the blink of an eye just as I was about to start a process of modernising the business with a view to growing it!

But creating a 21st century environment for D-Drill did not mean throwing out all of the traditions the company has developed over more than 45 years in business.

One of the many aspects of business I took from my father was his commitment to trade bodies and associations. Some believe that associations of this kind are a thing of the past, but I believe they are as important now as they ever were.

“I believe trade associations are as important now as they ever were”

Since I became MD of D-Drill, I have put a great deal of time and effort into being part of our trade bodies.

I sit on the UK board of the Drilling and Sawing Association – which was set up by my father 30 years ago and I was delighted to be recently elected as vice-president of the International Association of Concrete Drillers and Sawers.

I was elected to the post during a meeting in Germany a few weeks ago and I am the first woman to take up the role, which promotes best practice and shares information with members on the latest technology and developments within the industry.

The association was established in 1995, meaning the organisations 20th anniversary celebrations fall during my presidency.

Share to gain

It’s a role I am very much looking forward to, as I am a big believer in the industry working together for the good of each other.

Of course, business is competitive but if our industry is to continue to break new ground we must share what we do well, advances in technology and look at how we bring through new blood.

Being part of the association helps to drive up standards in the industry and, by being attached to the IACDS, it is a benchmark of quality.

Major companies and organisations should look for those businesses who are part of their trade body when they are contracting out for work – it is a sign that you meet high standards and have already been through a rigorous process of proving you have first-class policies and procedures in place.

It also offers a wide variety of information, technical support and help with documentation. The DSA even provides a group purchasing facility to help member companies keep costs down.

So while it is vital that we modernise and push ourselves forward in business, I believe that goes hand-in-hand with being part of a trade body and all the benefits that brings, rather than being at odds with it.

Julie White is managing director of D-Drill

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