North State Building Industry Association
Customer Success Story
Headquartered in the larger Sacramento area of Central California, the North State Building Industry Association (BIA) has served the needs of the region’s building industry for over 60 years. Employing a dedicated and knowledgeable staff of 15 people, the association consists of more than 900 member companies. These include small residential construction operations and large commercial and residential building companies, as well as businesses in affiliated industries. The BIA provides key leadership on important development issues and takes an active approach in its community outreach and government affairs efforts.
Prior to the introduction of BuilderFusion, North State BIA struggled with a lack of coordination across its several internal databases and software applications. Most departments operated in isolation, using their own systems—from member relations to government affairs to accounting, to name just a few—much to the detriment of overall BIA operations.
Angela Conley, membership director for North State BIA, commented: “Historically, what we had were a lot of separate databases doing different things, with no connectivity between them. In my role, I was very limited in what I could do, especially when it came to communicating with our membership. I had to pull data from one database and then enter it into another, which was a tedious process. I also had a relatively small contact list to target, because our system typically contained outdated or inaccurate information.” As a result of these difficulties, member attendance at important BIA meetings and councils often lagged, falling well short of expectations.
As Angela further noted: “All in all, I’d say inefficiency and a lack of coordination characterized our use of technology.
Given its troublesome data management challenge, North State BIA began soliciting competitive bids from various outside technology companies, looking for a better answer. BuilderFusion, Inc. responded with a customized software solution built exclusively for builders associations. Offering a more complete set of features than any other product, and an easy-to-learn/easy-to-use interface, BuilderFusion was the clear choice as North State BIA's new association management solution.
By creating a single, accurate and up-to-date database for all member records, BuilderFusion eliminated the need to manage member data in a half-dozen different places. Equally important, BuilderFusion provided an integrated messaging engine, which greatly improved the lines of communication between the association and its membership.
Following the implementation of BuilderFusion, Angela was able to greatly expand the reach and impact of her communications efforts with members. Messages were easily composed and recipients designated, with the system automatically sending information via email or fax, or printing postage labels for hard copy mailers. In addition, because she was now able to track detailed information on a company-by-company basis, including all dependent employees, Angela’s contact list grew from 900 individuals to over 3,000.
In Angela’s words: “By touching more people in our member companies more quickly via email, the true value of what our association provides comes across much more clearly, and encourages more participation in the association. Members see a return on their investment, the idea of the association as a networking, informational and educational vehicle. They are involved, and thus they are happier.” She partly attributes the BIA’s annual retention rate of 85 percent to its ability to interact with members more frequently. And the association has saved a lot of time and money by using email as a primary means of communication with its membership rather than letters in the mail.
Attendance at New Member Orientation meetings also doubled following BuilderFusion’s introduction. In fact, an additional orientation had to be scheduled because so many members were interested in attending—again, the direct result of BIA communications reaching more people.
In similar fashion, the Insurance Committee and the Community Outreach Council increased their member attendance due to the extended outreach. With the powerful communications capabilities of BuilderFusion in place, including a meeting auto-reminder function, “we now have 15 to 20 people typically attend these committee and council meetings,” making them more productive, Angela noted.
Today North State BIA is no longer a group of departments operating in isolation. With an integrated membership management solution that touches everything from member records to communication to events, the association is more efficient and more effective in serving its members than ever before.