LONG BEACH, CALIF. - In the face of aerospace industry consolidation, the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering has tightened financial controls and re-elected President Allen Penton to a second one-year term.
``We have installed checks and balances ... to help us better manage our finances,'' Penton said in an interview during SAMPE 2001, held May 6-10 in Long Beach. ``That will give us a base to grow from when the industry turns around.''
The society lost $200,000, reducing reserves for the fiscal year ended June 30, but ``SAMPE is a very solvent organization,'' he said.
In an unusual November move, past presidents ``thought it would help continuity to keep the officers for a second year,'' said Penton, a retired Boeing Co. project director.
Membership once neared 8,000 and now exceeds 3,000 in the United States and Canada, 700 in Europe and 300 in Japan.
Covina, Calif.-based SAMPE is targeting market diversification beyond aerospace, more international leadership involvement, stronger marketing to sell exhibition space and a heightened education program to develop engineers. SAMPE has 54 student chapters and numerous educational programs.
In seeking a broader platform, SAMPE has had ``some success with automotive, but it has not caught on to the degree we hoped it would,'' he said.
Also, litigation expenses have increased.
In 1998, a five-year contract to edit, lay out and coordinate production of the bimonthly SAMPE Journal was awarded to Benjamin Diversified Consulting Inc. of Gilbert, Ariz.
SAMPE canceled the pact in June 2000, bringing the journal in-house, and Benjamin filed breach-of-contract litigation in an Arizona state court. The case was moved to a federal court.
``We brought the Journal in-house because [its] cost was the biggest single cost on our ledgers,'' Penton said. ``We have exceeded the savings we expected.''
Benjamin produced ``a very high-quality Journal,'' he said. ``The challenge was to not let our members feel we had downgraded the Journal [by in-house editing]. From all indications, members are satisfied with the quality.''