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TOPIC: Relevance To You...

RE:Relevance To You... 09 Feb 2009 23:19 #16

  • Gary_Miller
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JimBondra wrote:
Are you sure that it has nothing to do with the AFA not using the FHRC as it's official website?:)
No disrespect intended.
Merely a question.
Actually in my conversation with Andrew the other day he stated that he has suggested the AFA have an area on this board but has been shot down by the same guys who have not put the members only section back up on the AFA site.
Gary Miller, PF

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RE:Relevance To You... 09 Feb 2009 23:27 #17

  • Cyber Farrier
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JimBondra wrote:
Are you sure that it has nothing to do with the AFA not using the FHRC as it's official website?:)
No disrespect intended.
Merely a question.

Absolutely not!! I offered my services numerous times, but those in charge took another direction. That's their perogative.

This venue exists for the exchange of information, ideas and knowledge for everyone of all organizations. Honestly, nothing pleases me more than having other organizations utilize these forums. It solidifies our reputation as THE "go to" destination for information.

Baron
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RE:Relevance To You... 09 Feb 2009 23:37 #18

  • JimBondra
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Cool!
Thanks Mr. B:)
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RE:Relevance To You... 10 Feb 2009 13:01 #19

  • tbloomer
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Gary_Miller wrote:
1. Education, the organizations must provide education which is convenient and inexpensive in both the trade as well as in business operations.
What level of education are you looking for from a trade organization? There are plenty of "short courses" (8 to 16 weeks) available from farrier trade schools which are supposed to teach the basic fundamentals.

If you want a yard stick to measure your performance against the basic fundamentals, the AFA Certified Farrier exam is a pretty darned good yard stick. Anybody that can't pass the CF test a year after graduating from a "short course" either didn't take a long enough course, made a poor choice of schools, or didn't learn what was taught.

You can get a better business operations education from any community college than you will ever get from a farrier organization.

If you are looking for continuing professional development (beyond the basic fundamentals) then you might have a nit to pick with the AFA because all they have is a magazine, a convention, and a network of local chapters. It is up to you to figure out what if any of the "education" available from those venues has any value to you and your business.
2. Marketing, the organization should have enough visibility to make it relevant to my customers. I want my customers have enough visibility about the organization that they will ask me. Are you a member of such and such organization?
Why should "paying dues" to an organization be important to your customers? If being a member of anything only requires payment of dues as criteria for membership, then what differentiation does your membership bring you? How could your customers possibly distinguish any added value between farriers who pay dues to an organization and farriers who don't pay dues? How does spending $150 make you more valuable to your customers than the farrier who does not spend $150?
3. Inexpensive insurance.
You are asking for something that is impossible to deliver. State laws prohibit trade associations from offering group medical insurance. Until those laws change, no trade organization is going to be able to offer group medical insurance to every member in every state.
4. Discounts on products that a relevant to the trade. Such as tools, materials, business products (such as quicken, quick books, tax software), etc.
Why should a supplyer offer a discount to members of an organization that does not have the ability to buy in bulk and distribute products more economically? Add another middle man to the supply chain, and then expect a discount?:eek:
5. Provide an apprenticeship program that enables those enrolled to get and use education funding while serving an apprenticeship. If your not sure what I'm talking about look up apprenticeship programs for the building trades.
Most of these programs are funded by unions -collective barganing organizations. This concept works well when many employees work under a contract for one company. How do you propose "many farriers" would collectively bargain with "many horse owners?" Who does the negotion for the horse owners? Where is the "leverage?" Now if a group of horse owners got together and decided to form an association to negotiate better prices with a farrier organization . . .
Everything the organization does must benefit my business.

I don't want a club I want a trade association.

So far we don't have these things in any of the associations.

However, I do thing FHRC is headed in the right direction.
Do you believe that paying dues to the FHRC is going to increase your customer's perception of your value to them? Are you a member of Costco or Sam's Club?
Side Note: When got serious in becoming a farrier I went looking for an association which could provide these things. I found the AFA, the BWF, Doug Butlers site, and the FHRC. To date I have learned more about being a farrier from the FHRC than any other resource available.
I would like to point out that you have no "tangeable mechanism" by which to inform your customers that you have learned anything at all as a result of your participation in these forums. Any farrier can join these forums, join the AFA, join the BWFA, Costco, and Sam's Club. Anyone can say they are a farrier. No one can differentiate you from any other farrier based on where you pay dues.

If you want differentiation, then you have to obtain it through some EXCLUSIVE mechanism that is restricted from access by the general population. Something you can't just buy, but have to earn by meeting certain critera for entry. OR, you can differentiate yourself by calling yourself something besides a farrier.
Tom Bloomer
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RE:Relevance To You... 10 Feb 2009 16:41 #20

  • Cyber Farrier
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tbloomer wrote:
...Do you believe that paying dues to the FHRC is going to increase your customer's perception of your value to them?

I wouldn't think so. But that's not why the Co-Op was formed. Its goal is to help farriers with their education and supplies, not differentiation. A better educated farrier, as well as a farrier that can run his/her business more profitably, is of more value to the customer. But the customer probably won't be aware of that. They just want their horses to be sound. The Co-Op's focus is benefits for the farriers. In the long run those benefits will also benefit the customers (and their horses). It's unfortunate the customers are oblivious to this.

(Although, horse owners are joining the Co-Op as well. Most farrier supply companies also sell general equine care products, and the discounts being offered by the suppliers to Co-Op members can be used on any type of supplies, not just farrier supplies. A sale is a sale! And don't forget that some horse owners do attend farrier educational events, and want to take advantage of the Co-Op registration discounts for those types of events.)
Are you a member of Costco or Sam's Club?

You betcha'! Saves me hundreds of dollars, maybe even more, a year. What's the logic to not saving money when it's so easy? :D

Baron
“Suppose you were an ******. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
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RE:Relevance To You... 10 Feb 2009 21:21 #21

  • George Geist
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tbloomer wrote:
You are asking for something that is impossible to deliver. State laws prohibit trade associations from offering group medical insurance. Until those laws change, no trade organization is going to be able to offer group medical insurance to every member in every state.
I'm not sure if this deal is good in all 50 states or not but is certainly worth looking into, especially with it's low cost for anybody who needs medical.
www.abana.org.
For the most part, the 2 worst states for stuff like this are Massachusetts and New Jersey.:rolleyes: I'd recommend people living there to move. Last one out of there shut off the light:D
George
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RE:Relevance To You... 10 Feb 2009 21:58 #22

  • Rick Burten
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tbloomer wrote:
If you want differentiation, then you have to obtain it through some EXCLUSIVE mechanism that is restricted from access by the general population. Something you can't just buy, but have to earn by meeting certain critera for entry. OR, you can differentiate yourself by calling yourself something besides a farrier.

Sounds like you are describing the Guild of Professional Farriers, mon Presidente' :)
Rick Burten PF

In the immortal words of Ron White: "But let me tell you something, folks: You can't fix S-tupid. There's not a pill you can take; there's not a class you can go to. S-tupid is forever."
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RE:Relevance To You... 10 Feb 2009 22:05 #23

  • tbloomer
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Cyber Farrier wrote:
In the long run those benefits will also benefit the customers (and their horses). It's unfortunate the customers are oblivious to this.
That's because the benefits received by the farrier are not tangeable for the customer. It is hard to "market" something like that, no? The benefits are "indirect" for the customer. AND, do you think that horse owners will ever care whether or not farriers are profitable? People "brag" about how much they pay their lawyers. They "complain" about how much they pay their farriers. :o
Tom Bloomer
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RE:Relevance To You... 10 Feb 2009 22:16 #24

  • Cyber Farrier
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You're right. That's exactly why I've kept the Co-Op strictly "benefits-centric" for the farriers (and some horse owners), and am leaving the "marketing and differentiating of farriers qualifications to the horse owners" to the other organizations! :D

Baron
“Suppose you were an ******. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself.”
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RE:Relevance To You... 10 Feb 2009 23:02 #25

  • tbloomer
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"Forum Manager"

Now THAT is exclusive differentiation. :)
Tom Bloomer
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RE:Relevance To You... 11 Feb 2009 03:33 #26

  • Gary_Miller
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tbloomer wrote:
What level of education are you looking for from a trade organization? There are plenty of "short courses" (8 to 16 weeks) available from farrier trade schools which are supposed to teach the basic fundamentals.
I looking for something beyond the schools. Beyond the clinics that are mostly forging with a little shoeing. Thing like short one day seminars or what other trades call CE.

tbloomer wrote:
If you want a yard stick to measure your performance against the basic fundamentals, the AFA Certified Farrier exam is a pretty darned good yard stick. Anybody that can't pass the CF test a year after graduating from a "short course" either didn't take a long enough course, made a poor choice of schools, or didn't learn what was taught.
I can't disagree here. The best thing about the AFA is their certification program.

tbloomer wrote:
You can get a better business operations education from any community college than you will ever get from a farrier organization.
It does not have to be that way. It would be so easy to put small business courses on line through the organization. They don't have to be put together by the organization just made available. No reason to reinvent the wheel.

tbloomer wrote:
If you are looking for continuing professional development (beyond the basic fundamentals) then you might have a nit to pick with the AFA because all they have is a magazine, a convention, and a network of local chapters. It is up to you to figure out what if any of the "education" available from those venues has any value to you and your business.
Exactly one of the reasons I don't find the AFA relevant to my business.

tbloomer wrote:
Why should "paying dues" to an organization be important to your customers? If being a member of anything only requires payment of dues as criteria for membership, then what differentiation does your membership bring you? How could your customers possibly distinguish any added value between farriers who pay dues to an organization and farriers who don't pay dues? How does spending $150 make you more valuable to your customers than the farrier who does not spend $150?
All good question of which I don't have the answers. However, I would say that if an organization was know for the educational opportunities then just maybe...........

tbloomer wrote:
You are asking for something that is impossible to deliver. State laws prohibit trade associations from offering group medical insurance. Until those laws change, no trade organization is going to be able to offer group medical insurance to every member in every state.
I'm not familiar with state insurance laws. However, I do know that laws can be changed if organizations see the importance and work together to effect change.

tbloomer wrote:
Why should a supplier offer a discount to members of an organization that does not have the ability to buy in bulk and distribute products more economically? Add another middle man to the supply chain, and then expect a discount?:eek:
Why not. If they want my money then they need to offer some incentive to get me to purchase. Oh and by they way, it seems that Baron was able to make it happen why not other organization. Especially if it had a large membership base.

tbloomer wrote:
Most of these programs are funded by unions -collective bargaining organizations. This concept works well when many employees work under a contract for one company.
Yes and no. In Idaho there are some guidelines and a list of approved apprenticeships for education funding. Because farrier was not on the list I was not allowed to use my GI bill during my apprenticeship. If I was an Electrician or plumber I could of use my GI bill during my apprenticeship. $1000 a month would of been nice while I was apprenticing.

tbloomer wrote:
Do you believe that paying dues to the FHRC is going to increase your customer's perception of your value to them?
No my customers won't even know. OTOH, the education I have received here has improved my value to my customers. In the long run that makes for happy customer. When my customers are happy I'm making money and building my business.

tbloomer wrote:
Are you a member of Costco or Sam's Club?
You bet I'm the value I get from being a member is measured in the hundreds of dollars.

tbloomer wrote:
I would like to point out that you have no "tangible mechanism" by which to inform your customers that you have learned anything at all as a result of your participation in these forums.
I disagree the tangible is in my daily work and knowledge I pass on to my customers when I shoe their horses. Most of my customers know that I'm a active member of this form and that I value the education I have received here. Because I tell them.

tbloomer wrote:
If you want differentiation, then you have to obtain it through some EXCLUSIVE mechanism that is restricted from access by the general population. Something you can't just buy, but have to earn by meeting certain criteria for entry. OR, you can differentiate yourself by calling yourself something besides a farrier.
I'm not looking for differentiation or exclusive. Just value to my business and my customers.
Gary Miller, PF

Ride hard, shoot straight, and always speak the truth.
Gunfighter Motto

"Our level of quality is how well our eye can see it." (Eric Russell, Oct 2008, Horseshoes.com)

"Discover what it is that makes you passionate then grab a firm...
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RE:Relevance To You... 11 Feb 2009 10:13 #27

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Gary_Miller wrote:
I can't disagree here. The best thing about the AFA is their certification program.
For myself, the certification program is the most important thing about the AFA. The is the only reason I joined and that is the first milestone I pursued before I put any energy or investment into "continuing education."

Considering the low number of certified members as compared to uncertified members I find it hard to believe that the overwhealming majority of the membership feel the way I do about certification.

This thread is about relivance to you. Not trying to step on your toes, Gary, but if you really thought the certification was the "best thing" about the AFA, then you would have evidence of that - already be certified. "Best thing" and "back burner" wind up looking like "lip service" and "excuse." It ain't like you haven't been involved with the AFA long enough to get 'er done.

If certification was a priority for the AFA membership, then the membership numbers would reflect that priority by showing a majority of members as having pursued and passed the certification.
Tom Bloomer
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RE:Relevance To You... 11 Feb 2009 15:02 #28

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tbloomer wrote:
This thread is about relivance to you. Not trying to step on your toes, Gary, but if you really thought the certification was the "best thing" about the AFA, then you would have evidence of that - already be certified. "Best thing" and "back burner" wind up looking like "lip service" and "excuse." It ain't like you haven't been involved with the AFA long enough to get 'er done.
Your right. The only excuse I have is laziness. I just to lazy to put in the time to do the shoe board.
Gary Miller, PF

Ride hard, shoot straight, and always speak the truth.
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RE:Relevance To You... 11 Feb 2009 15:38 #29

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Gary_Miller wrote:
Your right. The only excuse I have is laziness. I just to lazy to put in the time to do the shoe board.

Gary,
If you just do one shoe a week, that will get you to the exam. That is how I did my Guild shoe board - one a week. I set my goal and worked towards it. You've done the military thing, you know how to set goals and achieve them - so just do it!!
Mikel Dawson, RJF

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What part of "NO" don't you understand!!

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RE:Relevance To You... 11 Feb 2009 16:01 #30

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beslagsmed wrote:
Gary,
If you just do one shoe a week, that will get you to the exam. That is how I did my Guild shoe board - one a week. I set my goal and worked towards it. You've done the military thing, you know how to set goals and achieve them - so just do it!!
Mikel,

You have obvious leadership potential. Please direct your attention to the Guild forum as you will see your potential has been officially "tapped." :)
Tom Bloomer
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Here's the deal. I'm trying to keep it simple.
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