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Leading organisations continuously question and assess their relevance in the eyes of their customers says Jakkie Olivier, CEO of the RMI
With constant changes taking place in and around us on a daily basis, this statement has been asked and tested over many years. One could argue that business relevance and customer satisfaction have become even more of a focussed, strategic imperative. In the automotive industry, the motoring public in general and the younger generation have ever-growing demands in terms of what they want, where they want it and when they want it – and all on their terms.
The question therefore remains: does the RMI still do what its customers want? In the RMI’s case, business owners who are affiliated to the RMI and its associations are its customers.
While many questions could be asked to test one’s relevance and value-add, at the RMI we need to ensure that we deliver on:
- High perceived value of belonging to the RMI despite the increasingly tough business conditions.
- High quality communications – inform our customers (our members) in an effective manner of industry-related news and developments affecting their businesses.
- Information sharing – ensure that the RMI brand as a value proposition is understood, appreciated and accepted.
- Awareness – ensure our members recognise the RMI and its associations as the only “go to” organisation in the automotive industry.
- Visibility – inform the motoring public why it is so important to choose RMI members (as opposed to those not affiliated to the RMI) for their daily motoring needs.
The RMI’s financial year-end was at the end of June 2018, and without going into too many details, I am pleased to say that our membership once more increased moderately and we are currently approaching the 8 000 membership target. Financially, the organisation is healthy with substantial resources ready to be invested into increased and better member benefits and value-added products and services. In a membership service-oriented business like the RMI, member growth and financial stability are always good indicators of success and sustainability.
The topic of visibility (see above) refers to communication aimed at the motoring public, and this is one aspect that the RMI has identified as a strategic objective over the next couple of years. Our financial resources have enabled us to appoint a professional PR company, Cathy Findley & Associates, to assist the RMI with its endeavour to communicate with the motoring public about the RMI’s values, ethics and value proposition. Our goal is to position the RMI and its associations as the recognised and preferred organisation for both the trade as well as the general public and motoring consumers.
Our PR and branding campaign will inform the public and motoring consumers about why they should choose to deal exclusively with RMI members. We believe that RMI members provide superior motoring peace of mind on a daily basis while for members, the slogan of “belonging is better business”, remains relevant and appropriate.
In future, motoring consumers will search for RMI-affiliated businesses and members should ensure that their businesses are visible by using RMI and associated branding material on buildings, stationery and delivery vehicles. Lastly, we urge members to proudly display the RMI Code of Conduct and membership certificates in their reception areas for the public to see.