"One of the biggest benefits of being a member of PMPA is the opportunity to network with other companies to understand or avoid problems that another member may have had, or is having," says Dave Knuepfer, PMPA's outgoing president.
"You can take that a step further," Mr. Knuepfer adds. "You can benchmark your own company against other companies in the association. For example, I can go into another company and see some of the things they're doing that I think are important and then come back and institute these best practices and procedures within my own company. That's a good reason to remain active with this association—the idea of sharing. That same sense of free sharing of ideas and information isn't offered anywhere else."
Incoming president, Pete Rosenkrands, agrees. "There's not another association like it, and people in other associations comment about it. For instance, when one of our members heard that another was building a new facility, he suggested to him, ‘Why don't you send some of your guys up here to see mine. We just built ours and we can tell you what we did—what worked well and what didn't work so well.' It's really amazing the degree of sharing that takes place."
The information sharing that occurs within the PMPA membership is something that both Mr. Knuepfer and Mr. Rosenkrands believe non-members are missing. Mr. Knuepfer adds, "Unfortunately, until you experience it, you just don't understand the benefit of the networking aspect."
"Take our listserve," Mr. Rosenkrands says. "A member can get on his computer and describe a problem he's having. Within minutes, he will get several responses about the best material to use, how to grind it or cut it, the best tool to use or whatever. Our members share their knowledge and information."
According to Mr. Knuepfer, the listserve is "one of the greatest strengths of our organization." Mr. Knuepfer and Mr. Rosenkrands are not alone in believing networking is one of the greatest attributes for members of PMPA. According to results from the Members Future Needs Study released this past summer, more than seven of every ten members who responded believed networking within the PMPA was one of the best benefits they get from their membership.