In simple terms, a "society" is a group of like-minded individuals who equally contribute to the good of all. The resulting synergy creates an entity that is greater than the sum of the parts. The American society is such a group, where 200 million contribute their taxes toward the support of such things as task forces in the Persian Gulf and public education, even with the knowledge that nonpayers enjoy the same benefits.
So, in this new age of the "individual," am I to believe that participation in the Society of Plastics Engineers, whose ranks include this year´s Nobel Prize winner in chemistry, is obsolete? Are the 30,000-some-odd members of SPE the only industry members whose customers expect timely and technically correct answers to questions about flow rates or tool steels? Are their companies the only companies that need to protect their considerable investments in ISO certification by documenting the required employee training with attendance at SPE monthly technical meetings, conferences and seminars?
Call me out of date if you must, but I think, for the 23rd time, that I´ll send my $8.35-per-month dues to SPE, along with an extra $10 to the SPE Foundation so that they can continue to distribute the "Dr. Poly" video to junior-high science students. And forgive me if I choose to serve my customers by taking a 20-mile trip once a month to attend a program on e-commerce or snap-fit design, or take three days in May to attend ANTEC, where the average cost is about $6 per class.
But allow me this, will you, that perhaps one of the reasons that some in this industry feel like successful individuals is due, in part, to the fine technical service that they must be receiving from their vendors, every one of which, I´ll bet, is an SPE member company.
Avey Plastics Inc.
San Marcos, Texas