The Board met from November 18-21 in Toronto. We were there for a face-to-face meeting and a frank discussion. CRC needed badly to modernize.
Well, in a little under 3 weeks we put up a website, changed out partnership program, changed our membership program, changed out the forum and have started working towards implementing all the improvements.
This, in case you were confused, is a part of that improvement. Welcome to our private blog. This blog is where we will be doing a lot of more in-depth and industry appropriate pronouncements from up-on-high.
Really, this place is a 50/50 split. We're going to be using this space to take care of some of the announcements for CRC that don't work in Slack -which is also a part of the improvement. The other half our time is going to be creating a better workflow for you. We want to build a resource that lets you learn, evaluate and then ultimately sell what we're talking about with confidence.
Why make the change?
Because we're about technology and it wasn't reflected in how we were operating. From beginning to end we wanted to focus on tech. That means that we want to opt-in on what is new and great about the technology of our times.
What changed in membership?
A couple of things.
- You are all members
We still maintain the clip levels that remained in the past, but changed the words around it. You are no longer an "associate" member or a member. You are just a member. This still means that free trips and rebates etc. are based on hitting the $250,000 / year through our partners.
- Being a member means more
More direct benefit to the things that you are evaluated on. We want to make sure that you have the means through CRC to be more successful. This means having resources that couldn't easily be created / shared / accessed before. This is one of those resources. The integrations into Slack are another one of those things (but it will be another post). The programs that we have planned are the most valuable of all.
- Being a member is going to cost more - for some
If you are currently a member of CRC your membership for 2018 is going to be slightly more expensive than it was in 2017 and before. We haven't increased the member rate since inception, so we felt that it was time. Members who sell less than $1 million through our partners will cost $350 and more than $1 million will be $700.
What changed in partnership?
A different couple of things.
- Partners now have clips
All our partners now have clips that go along with their levels. If you see a platinum partner, know that they are paying us the best possible rebate level. In some cases this may mean that they are more expensive than their competitors. That only means that they are giving more back to you (and really are you going to notice the .1% difference on a daily basis?)
- We differentiate the rebate based on industry
There is a difference between a broad distributor who deal in every SKU under the sun and a more narrow distributor who focuses primarily on higher margin markets. We make that differentiation. It doesn't really matter to you dear member, but it is all the difference for our partners.
- Partners have minimum guarantees on service
In order to be a silver, gold or platinum partner you have to have agreed to a number of services that you will provide our members. These are going to be pinned to each partner on Slack as well as included on anything that mentions them, like this blog. In the end we are looking for a way to make it easier to evaluate a partner faster.
What changed on the forum?
It is gone. Not deleted or anything, but it is being archived as we speak. Because while it has served us faithfully to date, it is falling behind. In its place we are moving everything to Slack. What is Slack you say? It is an instant messanger / forum that is richer than either of those things. That is vague because I am going to post a post all about it soon enough.
Why this is only the beginning
This is a first announcement. This is a first shot. None of this is in its final form and nothing is written in ink. We can't afford that luxury. We are going to move faster to respond to what is valuable to our members and partners. A huge part of that is having the flexibility in our tools to do so. This is only the beginning.
- There is no more "associate member" you are just a member
- Our partners are separated into Partner, Silver, Gold and Platinum so that you can sort faster
- RIP Forum, long live Slack