The CSDA Convention in Maui was a huge success

Published 17/4, 2018 at 11:05

Firstly, I’ll talk about the numbers which were very impressive indeed. CSDA had the highest number of attendees in a decade – up 68 per cent from the 2017 meeting. Did holding it in Hawaii have anything to do with that? I wouldn’t like to say!!

Tech fair exhibitors were up by 25 per cent and there were a total of 15 new member companies in attendance as well as a record number of contractor companies too.

But those stats only tell you so much about the meeting. As I am sure you all now know, I am a big believer in enjoying what you do. I love our industry and I enjoy spending time with other people who understand all of the ups & downs and the joy & the pain of what our industry brings.

I don’t know about you, but very few people outside of concrete sawing and diamond drilling really understand what we do, so when we all get together it’s great to be able to discuss what’s going on in our industry.

And you learn a thing or two.

There was a great presentation on insurance at the convention…no, stay with me…there really was a great presentation on insurance!

If, like me, you shudder at the mention of insurance – or lawyers or bank managers – then please carry on reading.

Insurance is, like death and taxes, one of the certainties of life. My outlook on it used to be to pay my premiums, be angry about it but then try to forget about it.

That changed recently and the fantastic presentation was very much in line with my thinking on the topic. 

You see, our insurance brokers, our bank managers and our lawyers don’t really understand what we do. Why would they? We are such a specialist industry that is almost impossible to expect them to have a full grasp on the type of work we are doing each day.

So, my advice is get close to them. Don’t think of them as a necessary evil. See how you can use them to your advantage to make your life better and make the business run more smoothly.

When it comes to insurance, keep your broker and insurers fully informed. Be at pains to show them the work you do and the lengths you go to so that you comply with all of the rules and regulations on health & safety. 

It’s about changing your frame of mind from being reactive to being proactive.

It can get your premiums down – which goes straight to the bottom line – and, also, gives you further reason to make sure that all of your H&S, risk and training processes are 100 per cent up to scratch.

Then, if you are unfortunate enough to have a claim against you, you will have people who have a better understanding of you and your business who will be more willing and able to give you the right support and advice – we can even learn a few things from them too! 

The easiest thing to do with any claim is to just say ‘pay them off’ but, actually, with an educated professional services team around you there is the option – if you feel you are in the right – to fight it and win. After all, that’s in your interests – and the industry as a whole – and the interests of the insurers too if you are successful.

Any claim stays on your file for three years and, therefore, affects future premiums which impacts on the costs of business and pricing structures so it makes total sense to work with your insurers to try to avoid them if possible. The same goes for the bank, your lawyers and any other professional services organisation you use. None will have specialist knowledge about our sector in the way we do but by getting to know them and, more importantly, making sure they get to know your business the more opportunity you have to reduce costs and improve the bottom line.

I think it’s this sort of shared knowledge and insight that make attending the conventions and meetings so important and it’s why being part of your trade bodies and associations is so crucial.

We can all learn from one another and, together, make a much stronger industry across the globe.

Finally, then, I look forward to seeing you at the IACDS Annual Convention in Tokyo from May 21 to May 23. Once again, this will be a great chance to meet with fellow professions in our industry from all around the world, to learn from one another and to network. It’s still early days but it looks set to be a record for contractor attendees and countries represented, we will also have some compelling and interesting topics and presentations on offer.

And, of course, we’ll make sure we enjoy ourselves too – as you know I always do!


Julie White, President of IACDS


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