The Value of an Industry Association
I have been guilty of using a flat head screwdriver to loosen a Phillips head screw. Sure, it takes a little longer because the tip doesn’t quite fit, and I run the risk of ruining the screw head because the screwdriver slips, but I still get the job done.
Just as there are screws and screwdrivers of different shapes, sizes and heads, there are industry associations of different shapes, sizes and objectives. This does not necessarily mean these associations are competitors; rather, each organisation serves a different purpose or cause.
The Defence Teaming Centre was formed in 1996 and the objectives of the founding businesses were truly visionary for two reasons.
Firstly, the organisation’s principal objects remain largely unchanged from the original constitution:
The principal purpose of DTC is to promote and develop Australian businesses with an interest in the defence industry, predominantly those businesses with industrial, manufacturing, engineering and professional resources, with key objects to:
- promote collaborative activities between the defence industry participants;
- act as a facilitator for collaborative bidding by defence industry participants in targeted defence projects;
- facilitate and contribute to the growth of the defence industry in Australia;
- assist and support defence industry participants in their interactions;
- advocate on behalf of defence industry participants in defence policy formulation process; and
- educate businesses to assist them to participate in the defence industry.
Secondly, from its very inception, the organisation never restricted its activities to South Australian industry alone. The language used by the founding members in the first constitution was entirely focused on Australian industry, demonstrating a desire to think holistically about Australian industry.
The defence industry sector is rapidly evolving. Recent media attention around the need to develop Australian industry to guarantee jobs and opportunities for Australian businesses is something the DTC have focused on for over 20 years.
The Defence Teaming Centre has been delivering industry leadership programs for over 10 years; recently adding a Professional Certificate in Defence Industry Leadership to our suite of services through our partnership with the University of Adelaide. Over the past 18 months we have been collaborating with defence primes to design supply chain development programs that will help industry to meet the needs of defence supply chains. We are embracing technology to deliver development services to interstate members and industry located in New Zealand, and we will continue to develop and grow these services as resources permit.
So, what does this all mean?
Industry associations stand for different objectives. They have different resource structures and different business models. Industry should be encouraged to join the association that meets their need and their organisation’s purpose. So long as these differences exist, it is unreasonable to suggest the organisations are competing.
It must also be kept in mind that just because an organisation’s head office is located in a particular State or Territory, this does not necessarily mean their services are isolated to that region. After all, if banks can deliver services to customers located in towns where there are no physical branches, there is no reason for the DTC’s services to be pigeonholed to South Australia alone.
The DTC encourages businesses from all over Australia to contact us to assess whether or not our wide array of services align with the needs and objectives of your own business. The DTC is a valuable partner for the right fit.