Moving the WIA from Loss to Profit while reducing member subs.
It can be done. The WIA can move from being an out-dated dinosaur that loses $1,100 per week, to a dynamic 21st century organisation that represents its members and delivers even better services.
And, most importantly for you, membership subscriptions could be lowered significantly. The WIA would go from losing $12k (and draining our funds by $57k) in 2015 to making a surplus of $50-100k once the transformation was complete.
How could this be achieved?
Firstly, and most importantly, we’d need a massive change in leadership style and culture. We need a new Board. A Board that focuses on operating as a collaborative team, a board that utilises 21st century business models and the cost efficiencies these offer.
Secondly, members would need to accept a change in the way in which some services are delivered. It’s called innovation and moving with the times; and amateur radio operators have a proud tradition of stepping up to both of these concepts.
The WIA currently does a lot of things that are not core business. They run outdated IT systems, a bookshop, an empty warehouse and a publishing house. All of this spends our membership fees at a great rate for very little return in actual advancement of amateur radio in Australia.
The WIA needs to stop spending cash doing things with no return.
What follows is a brief description of the actions required to bring about these changes. If you would like to see the details behind these actions and how they relate to current income and costs structures please follow this link: What-if
Move the National Office into a smaller more efficient space
The WIA does not need a 400sqm factory in the outer suburbs of Melbourne for two staff and a bookshop/QSL Bureaux . Meetings with government are normally at their office and the board rarely, if ever, meets face to face at the Melbourne office.
The existing WIA office would be leased out on commercial terms and the WIA would rent a more suitable office. This action alone would save considerable money for the WIA and enable it to provide improved services to all members.
Move as many business processes and services as possible to the Cloud or digital space.
This would include most office functions and the ACMA Contracted services (Examination and Callsign Management services). Not only would this drive down costs (employment and office running costs), but the WIA would become vastly more efficient and responsive in delivering members services.
We only pay for what we need, when we need it. Specialists secure our information and help us when required. The big cloud companies like Amazon, Google and Microsoft spend hundreds of millions a year on security.
Moving into the Cloud means that volunteers and staff can access the system they need to help the WIA do business from wherever they are. There is no need to go to a physical office. This is the same principal as using online banking to pay your bills – you no longer have to go to the bank…..
Progressively migrate Amateur Radio magazine to a digital platform.
We acknowledge that this is a big leap for some members. There is no doubt some members like receiving the paper copy of the magazine each month.
However, this is a proverbial bullet that must be bitten….
Paper magazines are an out-dated channel for communicating with members (news is six weeks old, at least…), they are incredibly expensive to produce/distribute and they can’t compete with the functionality and services of a digital magazine.
According to the member survey completed by the WIA a couple of years ago, over 96% of members use the Internet daily.
Moving to a digital AR would save the WIA over $100k per year.
Introduce more progressive services to attract revenue and new members
The WIA could earn more money from advertising, commission structures, improved education and training offerings and of course, more members.
The ARRL, for example, offer a wide range of value added services for members.
Reduce membership subscriptions from $95 per year to (for example) $50 per year.
With greater efficiency and more members, the cost per member becomes lower. This lower cost is returned to members in the form of lower subscriptions and increased services.
Not only would this reduce the burden on members, it would also encourage others to join.
Why should we pay $95 just because the current Board refuses to look at more efficient ways to run our WIA?
In future years any surplus could be used to develop better education services, increase promotion of the hobby, sponsor worthwhile projects and offer more services to members. It could even be used to lower subscription fees further….
The WIA requires a new Board with the skills and mindset to adopt contemporary business practices..
Positive action is being planned. But we need to ensure every member is made aware of the facts. Please forward this email to your local club and friends. Take a copy when you meet local amateurs for a coffee. If they contact Feedback@wiarg.org we can send them a newsletter directly.
Stay up-to-date with news and progress; – visit www.wiarg.org .
We’ll continue to support the only two board members who share our vision. A strong WIA is critical to protect our hobby. We encourage every radio amateur in Australia to be a member.
Until next week,
G.C. Dunstan VK4DU, C. Chapman VK3QB, R. Dollar VK8RD
PS – We don’t want to spam you. Send us an email if you’d prefer we remove you from our mailing list.