January 15, 2015
By Terry Murphy CLM

Terry MurphyORCGA’s President, Jim Douglas’ recent article in the Ear to The Ground publication highlights the future direction of the association as it starts its next decade.

After spending two full days, with the 22-member board of directors, a strategic plan was developed. How can this plan relate directly to Landscape Ontario and its members?

This writer, representing LO and the industry at the ORCGA Board level, was part of the planning process on your behalf. The resulting document is strategic, important, meaningful, and achievable. It will certainly continue to help the horticultural industry.

There are no bad ideas

As part of the planning process, ideas are offered in brain storming sessions. There are no bad ideas in brain storming. The ideas are openly and thoroughly discussed and then rated. Then the process comes up with the top six that truly represents what the majority believes will make the maximum contribution to the organization.

“Congress 2015 provides an opportunity
for focused marketing to our landscape industry.”

The six key strategic objectives are staffing resources, improved membership value, increased membership growth, focused marketing, industry lobbying and value in training.

How does this plan relate to LO?
  • Staffing resources: The organization is looking for a vice president and a marketing person. Interviews are in process. The new hires will benefit all sectors.
  • Improved membership value: Every member needs to see value for their membership fee. Small landscape contractors can become an ORCGA member for $125. If you can save only one utility hit by being a member, it will pay for the equivalent of 20 years of membership fees.  My Underground World December column outlines 13 good reasons for solid membership value. Increased value will be further reviewed in 2015.
  • Increased membership growth: Every Landscape Ontario member should consider an ORCGA membership. ORCGA needs critical mass, just the same as Landscape Ontario. Increased growth is the goal of every organization. It helps revenue, lobbying, committee involvement, net-working and promotional activities. Membership can help the landscape contractor.
  • Focused marketing: Congress 2015 provides an opportunity for focused marketing to our landscape industry. ORCGA will conduct a 25 and 25 Campaign, directed at two specific areas. First, it will benefit 25 landscape and irrigation contractors by getting faster locate approval through the Alternative Locate Agreement (ALA) and secondly by having 25 horticultural industry firms join the ORCGA. There will be five major utilities available at Congress for contractors to sign ALA agreements (Bell, Enbridge, Union, Hydro One and Rogers).
  • Industry lobbying: Having critical mass of members, ORCGA can more effectively lobby governments on such issues as the approval of Bill 8. This Bill streamlines the locate approval process, and guarantees five-day locates by provincial law. Offenders will be fined and face stiff penalties. This is a prime example of how ORCGA is helps the landscape industry through the importance of having a strong lobbying process.
  • Value in training: All organizations conduct training. Our goal is to make sure there is a high value in all ORCGA training programs. Our current damage prevention locator training program is rated as the top program in North America. Maintaining a high level of training and making it more accessible to the excavating community is an important consideration in the next two years

Need a good plan to grow

As Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you don’t know when you have arrived!” Every organization needs a good plan to grow and improve its mandate. This recent strategic planning session has charted ORCGA’s direction for the next two to three years.

Our Landscape Ontario Congress 2015 effort is part of the ORCGA plan and it is available for the benefit of the Landscape Ontario community. Please take advantage of the 25 and 25 Congress Program.
Terry Murphy can be reached at tvmurphy@ca.inter.net.