HomeCFA CommentCFA industry survey: we asked, you told us, we act!

CFA industry survey: we asked, you told us, we act!

Richard Catt elaborates on the widest survey on members’ (and non-members’) views of the CFA in recent history, and is happy to say the results were overwhelmingly positive.

Like many businesses, during the pandemic we soon realised the key to success was to find out more things we could do, rather than focus on the things we couldn’t do. That isn’t to say we haven’t hugely missed seeing members (face-to-face) at events and in person meetings, but I was amazed at how effectively we were able to fill that space with Zoom and Teams … to some extent. But the additional feedback and intelligence you
gain from face-to-face contact was missed.

On a very positive note, as I write this article in November, we very firmly plan to reintroduce events in 2022 and beyond. So, if you’re a member, look out for updates on business-driven and socially driven events, such as our headline Autumn Ball in October.

But in the period when speaking to members has been more difficult, we’ve increased the emphasis in other channels, including the widest survey on members’ (and non-members’) views of the CFA in recent history.

I’m very happy to share the results and delighted to say it was overwhelmingly positive. I’d add that the reason for carrying out this research has been to understand what made members join the CFA in the first place, and to establish whether we are focussing on the most appropriate areas of support. Which benefits do members value the most and are we missing any that we could, or should, be offering? We claim to be the ‘voice’ of the industry and we asked contributors to comment on this. This is just some of the bigger picture and we pushed into a few more areas of details too.

So, what did we learn? Here are a few headlines:

  • CFA members really value the CFA logo and many join for this. But they also really value being part of a key trade body
  • Many members also value their listing in the CFA directories
  • Some members don’t measure where their business comes from. However, 60% of members surveyed recognise that they gain business through CFA membership
  • Members feel business support helplines, free documents and templates, the networking and industry representation and monthly information updates are all important benefits we offer and value them pretty much equally
  • Overwhelmingly (82%) CFA members feel CFA membership is good value for money. Currently £654.00 plus VAT per year for a contractor
  • 90% of members feel we represent the industry well and recognise us as the voice of the industry
  • A very high proportion of CFA members rely on us as their only trade body
  • There was nothing consistently raised as benefits that CFA could or should offer
  • 90% of non-members surveyed were aware of the CFA and so our visibility is strong.

So what are the areas we need to work on and lessons we need to learn?
Uptake of training at FITA among members is lower than we might hope.

We already knew this to some extent (through FITA stats), but our recent survey highlighted it again. A possible explanation is that the otherwise popular basic and intermediate courses are less attractive to members as established businesses.

As an industry we recognise that we need to bring more new people into the sector and so that provision of basic training courses for CFA members (with a 15% discount) may start to increase as we collectively address the skills and labour shortages.

Members consistently asked for FITA to start apprenticeship delivery, and this began in March 2021. Engagement through members has been strong and demonstrates how CFA is actively responding to feedback on training and delivery at FITA.

Feedback suggested we should consider increasing membership criteria and include factors such as a minimum percentage of employed labour.

We asked members (and others) what their key concerns are at the moment, and the list looked like this:

  • Cashflow
  • Getting paid
  • Finding quality labour
  • Material supply and shortages
  • Other (price increases, logistics and deliveries).

There’s always a danger of survey fatigue, and as such we generally only carry out one short survey a year. Balancing that as a trade body it’s vitally important to ask questions and be prepared for some hard answers. As well as hopefully some positive messages.

The council and I were generally really encouraged with the results of this survey, but are drilling down and looking at areas to work on in more detail. In fact, I’m due to present an updated business plan and supporting budget to the council in February.

As you might imagine, it’ll reflect much of the above, focussing on continuing to do good work in areas where we currently have success, but improving where we can and shifting more emphasis into areas such as skills and labour.

To benefit from this work directly and the competitive advantage it brings, as well as making your working life easier, you of course have to be a CFA member.

The CFA is a leading trade association representing the Flooring Industry. If you would like an application pack or further information on the benefits of membership, please contact the CFA offices. 
0115 9411126

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