On the last day of the Glass Association of North America Fall Conference Sept. 10 in Dallas, the Insulating Glass Manufacturing Alliance and GANA executives announced discussions regarding closer collaboration between the two organizations have been ongoing since September 2007 with the potential to formalize this collaboration during a three-year transition period. In early 2008, both IGMA and GANA formed Strategic Task Groups to closely study the implications of a closer IGMA-GANA relationship.
"IGMA has a long history of working closely with our affiliated organizations, AAMA, CWDMA, GANA and WDMA. ... This undertaking is about combining our collective and individual strengths, representing the residential and commercial industry across North America and into the global market," says Margaret Webb, executive director, IGMA, Ottawa. "It’s good for business."
The objective of this effort would be to consolidate all glass products under one umbrella group, thus capitalizing on economies of scale in advocacy, staffing, marketing, communication and administrative costs, according to a GANA release Sept. 11. A collaboration between IGMA and GANA would also reduce the duplication of technical efforts and maximize funding and expertise for technical projects and research.
"From GANA's perspective, we have already aligned with IGMA on a number of fronts," says Bill Yanek, executive vice president, GANA, Topeka, Kan. "For example, our two associations collaborate extensively with regard to NFRC
participation and the GANA Technical team, led by Greg Carney and Urmilla Sowell, regularly interact with Bill Lingnell, IGMA's technical consultant, and Margaret Webb."
Webb agrees. "There is a natural affiliation between IGMA and GANA stretching back decades and we have been increasing our collaborated efforts over the past two years," she says. "This year, we have actively participated at each other’s meetings, we will exhibiting together and cooperating on a number of technical documents and activities. IGMA’s and GANA’s discussions are a common sense progression of our joint efforts and history together."
Since Yanek took over as GANA's executive vice president in March 2008, Webb and he have discussed a number of areas of "synergy" where a closer relationship between GANA and IGMA would make sense, Yanek says. "IGMA and GANA share a significant overlap in membership and the strategic objectives of IGMA and the GANA Insulating Division are similar, most notably, both have joint interest in furthering the identification, development and implementation of technical projects relating to insulating glass units," he says.
Webb points out: "While IGMA and GANA have some differences in our membership demographics, these have been positive forces for our discussions," she says. "There is significant crossover in our focus, our strategies, objectives, activities, representation, advocacy efforts and membership."
IGMA has distributed a member survey to solicit member feedback on various aspects of collaboration between the two organizations, identifying benefits, asking for members to identify other areas that may not have been addressed in the survey and asking for input regarding what this collaboration could look like as the two organizations move closer together, according to the release. GANA will also survey its membership to solicit feedback on the collaboration from its member’s perspective.
A joint meeting of the IGMA and GANA Strategic Task Groups will take place later this year, according to the release. At that meeting, the groups will review the results of both member surveys and develop a joint proposal, which would describe the parameters of an IGMA-GANA collaboration. Additionally, the joint meeting will be used to plan future steps in the collaboration process.