I have been involved with LonMark since its inception, traveling the world as a representative of the organization for many years. I have been asked one question more than any other regarding the organization; “Why should I join LonMark International?” Since being elected as its Chairman, the number of times I have been asked this question has increased to almost a weekly rate. As much as I would like to have one standard, universally appealing answer, the truth is “it depends!”
Let me clarify; it depends on your company’s business, and your role and position in the Open Systems market. However, one thing I can safely say to everyone is “the value of membership is proportionate to how your participation.” While this may sound like effort to some, to others it is a clear path to return on investment. Being a member to these individuals or companies is an easy decision. For those with a little less understanding and knowledge of the organization, let me try to explain.
LonMark International is clearly a driving force in the marketplace. The momentum for the organization and LonWorks® technology is growing stronger than ever before. Many new specifications have been released recently by major end-users who have chosen the LonMark standard over all other technologies. Progress within LonMark International continues at a rapid pace with many local Affiliate Organizations ready to take control of their regional activities. Combine this with an economy on a slow but steady rebound and the result is business for LonMark companies is up, sometimes way up! In fact, every LonMark member company I have spoken to recently has reported a significant improvement over last year’s revenues!
If this is not enough, let me give you some of my personal reasons why membership is important to me and my company. First, it’s about awareness and involvement for both our customers and for us. LonMark has provided my company with a vehicle to generate both awareness and credibility to our customers as well as to receive knowledge and understanding about the marketplace. It has served as a conduit to the market and an invaluable source of market intelligence and education. And now with the local Affiliates taking shape, the benefits of membership get even better since management, direction, and results will now be controlled at a more local level.
Over the years I have come to realize the voices of many are stronger than the voice of one. LonMark — with more than 500 members worldwide — brings a truly international acceptance and perspective together into one cohesive voice all supporting the technology in which we have invested. This group represents the views of an entire global marketplace with many vertical markets. It’s not the voice of a single company with a singular view; rather, it’s a microcosm of the global economy and the Open Systems market worldwide.
For me the decision to be an active member comes down to something I learned early in my business experience; companies almost always have a choice between two basic strategies, one long-term and proactive and one short-term and reactive. Do I choose to be a “farmer” and take control of my future by growing my business through investment and hard work? Or, will I be a “picker” and go where the work is today, chasing the latest technology fad and leave the long-term investment and consequently the control to others? I choose to be the farmer.
If you are ready to take control of your future and not leave it in someone else’s hands, PARTICIPATE! If you are already a member, find ways to get more involved. Especially now since the creation of LonMark International and the restructuring of the organization has pushed control, and therefore the benefits, down to you at the local level. If you are not a member, please contact LonMark to learn more about the organization and how to join.