I also advised that the Board’s 2019 programme would centre around the key issues that were important to the Association. We’d lost some large manufacturing members - mostly due to business acquisition and consolidation. This concerned us, as although there was good ongoing recruitment, it’s vitally important that BVAA represents a strong, balanced constituency of companies yet maintain the gravitas the bigger members provide.
Since then, Rob, the HQ team and I have been focusing on meeting senior representatives of members past and present, to ensure that our messages are getting through. This included a meeting in the Houses of Parliament to create an environment where we could engage senior representatives with influencers in Government.
Several significant manufacturing companies have since joined BVAA, ready to support the Industry, the Association and our objectives – adding weight to our discussions with Government bodies like DIT, BEIS and the standardisation bodies. Overall, our efforts to re-engage and strengthen that value of the Association have been worthwhile.
I also said that we would ensure our position was understood regarding the impacts of Brexit on our members.
As I write, the final arrangements remain opaque, but the BVAA has actively sought to ensure that NGOs and Government Bodies understand us and are acting to support our industry.
Overall, BVAA continues in good health. We completed 2018/19 with a modest surplus, having increased our income from strong subscriptions, desktop exhibitions and training, allowing a robust paydown of our HQ mortgage.
Our investment in the future continues with our Future Leaders programme, which is going from strength to strength, and we are solidifying the future of the Association and our industry.
A Key Pillar of the BVAA offer is Technical Authority. ‘Technical’ is our largest interest group, showing the importance of technical standards across our membership.
We need to continue our participation in all aspects of ISO, BSI, CEN etc, and now other bodies too like API and IOGP. We have established a succession plan, that brings Peter Dix into the Association as a Technical Consultant, adding additional weight to the work that Martin Greenhalgh has been doing for many years.
The BVAA Board itself is changing. With the retirement of some long-term members, Rob and I have ensured that we have a strong balance between experience and youth, and between manufacturers and smaller but very active suppliers, distributors etc. I feel that we have the balance right.
We have also co-opted for the first time a member of our Future Leaders alumni, to get the perspective of the up-coming leadership in the industry.
Currently, it’s is clear the markets have improved and that overall, there is more confidence in the industry. That said, it’s a complex world with the difficulties of trade and tariff wars between the US and China, plus the instability of the Middle East and the issues arising from Brexit. We will try to ensure you are informed and represented wherever necessary.
The BVAA and the British Valve Industry remains robust and able to tackle the issues to enable our members to grow wherever they seek to market.