Tire Industry Association Case StudyTraining and Certification Programs Drive Worldwide Membership Growth

Background

The Tire Industry Association (TIA) is an international non-profit trade association with nearly 7,000 members from across the US and around the world, representing all segments of the tire industry. In addition to hosting major industry events, including the Global Tire Expo, and serving as the leading authority for advocacy, TIA is the tire industry’s premier provider of training and certification programs. Its mission is for every person on the planet who touches a tire to be trained by TIA.

Challenge

In 1998, TIA identified a need among its members for employee training that would help enhance safety, service quality, and consumer confidence among other benefits. Starting out with several hundred participants, by 2005, TIA was providing eight training and certification programs to over 10,000 people.
While TIA had no problem attracting participants to its training and certification programs, its back-office operations were another story altogether. TIA was operating a financially successful organization with a rapidly growing training program using 37 spreadsheets and Peachtree accounting software. Beyond inhibiting the growth of its training programs, TIA’s manual operating procedures made it very difficult to reconcile member payments for dues and training, provide accurate and timely reporting and control operating costs.

Recognizing it had a significant need for more efficient and effective operations, Christine Hoogenboom, Director of Training at TIA, launched a search for an association management platform with the enhanced capabilities TIA needed for automating – and growing — its training and certification programs.

Solution

In 2005 when TIA began evaluating association management systems, it quickly found there was a significant gap in the availability of software that would meet its needs for training and certification program management. After meeting with some of the best-known vendors, TIA found ACGI Software and Association Anywhere. Unlike other AMS platforms, Association Anywhere featured a certification and training module that could be configured to meet TIA’s needs.

Results

The education and credentialing solution ACGI developed for TIA back in 2005 has served the organization well (many of these innovations have found their way into the latest generation of the Association Anywhere education and certification modules). In fact, since implementing Association Anywhere, TIA has grown participation in its training and certification programs 10-fold to over 100,000
tire professionals in 2014. And, interest in these programs is still growing rapidly, attracting participants from around the
world.

Beyond growing training program participation and revenues, Association Anywhere has helped transform the way TIA staff
work. As they shed paper-based manual processes, staff had more time for higher-value work and developing new programs. This directly led to the development of TIA’s online university, which is built on a third party LMS platform and fully integrated with the Association Anywhere training and certification modules.

Offering convenient on-demand courses and online testing, TIA’s online university enables self-directed learning and certifications for tire technicians, who can proceed through the training at their own pace. Tire store managers and
administrators can easily add new personnel into the system and monitor technicians’ progress through pre-built reports automatically generated by Association Anywhere. Overall, the online university gives TIA an efficient mechanism for growing membership and revenues, while greatly enhancing the knowledge of tire professionals around the world. Commenting on the success of the online University, Christine Hoogenboom, TIA’s Director of Training, said, “Since implementing our online university two years ago, the results have exceeded expectations. And we couldn’t have done it without Association Anywhere.”

Lessons Learned

While events and affinity programs are important, at the end of the day, training and certification programs bring in the members and their dues. Taking steps to improve the operation of these programs, while making them more compelling and affordable, can be accomplished with the right technology partners. According to Christine Hoogenboom, “You need to choose wisely. Working with ACGI, TIA has a partner we can trust. This relationship has been critical to our success.”