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There appear to be two issues overlooked in recent discussions of SPI's dues structure. Both relate to the matter of the association's service.

First, SPI's comments appear to assume that nonmember processors will enroll in significant numbers, if only the dues system is rationalized. This needs critical review. Even if association dues equate to the cost of subscription to a periodical, there won't be a subscription if the ``product'' is not relevant. In our experience, SPI could justifiably raise the dues if it were better able to sell the service.

Fellow consultant Peter Lantos (Nov. 25 Mailbag, Page 12) decries the inequity of his dues compared to that of a small processor. But again, what is the value?

It has always seemed beside the point to consider the other members' dues when our value received is much greater than the assessment.

Self-interest intrudes at two levels. First, the SPI directors (members all) have reason to maintain the trade association as dominated by manufacturers, by making the bar a little higher for us service providers. Second, I'm happy to pay higher dues for the greater benefit of competitive advantage.

Joseph S. McDermott

Composites Services Corp.

Cresskill, N.J.