Whenever I see a service truck pull into my neighbour’s (I call him Bossman) driveway, I’m tempted to run out and let the contractors know that no matter their level of expertise or experience, there is a 100% chance they’ll be called back to complete or correct their work to meet his impossibly high standards.
I think Bossman is anal to the extreme based on incidents like asking the window washer to return for missing a spot the size of a loonie on the upstairs hallway skylight. Yet at the same time I admire his determination to hold tradespeople accountable to deliver the level of service he’s paid handsomely for.
I profess to a similar trait, particularly when engaging consultants or suppliers on behalf of TIABC. As a member-based association with limited resources, I am extremely careful about spending money on contracting out work for certain projects that require a level of expertise beyond the scope or capacity of our existing team. My duty is to ensure we receive fair value for money.
Thankfully, most of the suppliers we’ve worked with over the years have delivered exactly what we’ve needed both on time and on budget. I am grateful for the partnerships and relationships TIABC has with its consultants, suppliers, and experts that allow us to execute on our industry advocacy priorities.
However, sometimes the gap between my expectations and the delivery of contracted services is more like a crevasse instead of a crack and I’m left with electing to either accept below average work, compel the supplier to step up, or start fresh with someone else. Often the choice isn’t as obvious or straightforward as it sounds.
Such was the case for www.tiabc.ca. We launched a new website a year ago and ever since I’ve been reticent to point our members and stakeholders to it. Candidly, the site was underwhelming and fell well short of what we asked or hoped for.
Trust me, my intent is not to throw the supplier under the bus, but rather provide some context. The fact is, we simply couldn’t get on the same page from the get-go. No doubt, workforce challenges in the midst of COVID had something to do with it. Otherwise, by all accounts they are a reputable company that does award-winning work for multiple clients.
In our case, for reasons I won’t go into, we had no choice but to live with what we had until such time we could begin anew with a process that took months to bring us to the launch of our new site this week..which is still a work in progress as we add content and refine certain sections. Regardless of the time, cost, and other repercussions, we’ve moved on and are excited about the new tiabc.ca, as well as other initiatives we’re rolling out in the coming days to coincide with the new site.
For example, we’re introducing TIABC’s One Minute Monitor survey to gauge member and stakeholder opinions on a variety of emerging issues that will allow us to provide timely industry feedback to government and help inform our policy positions. We’ll promote each survey through our newsletter and social media channels with results posted on our new website along with other communication channels.
Given new legislation introduced recently vis-a-vis MRDT, a sample question might be along the lines of, “Do you support the proposed change that would allow communities to add an additional 2.5% in MRDT (on hotel room stays) to generate funding for major events?”
Another new initiative we’re about to launch is TIABC’s Voice of Tourism Podcast where we’ll regularly discuss myriad issues that affect the visitor economy with subject matter experts representing sector associations, private businesses, destination management organizations, academics, government, and other stakeholders. Upcoming guests include Kathy MacRae of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC, Ross Cloutier of Helicat Canada, and Joss Penny of BC Lodging & Campgrounds Association.
These informative podcasts (to be shared with government and industry) will also help us in our advocacy efforts and give TIABC further opportunity to trumpet the value of tourism to our province. Stay tuned for the first episode shortly.
It goes without saying that we make mistakes, and each project or initiative is a work in progress. Nonetheless, we’re trying to put our best foot forward and deliver what you as members and stakeholders expect from the funds you generously invest in our organization. On a related note, please feel free to give us further guidance or share your thoughts on what TIABC can do better through our membership survey which we deployed last week. At the very least call or send me an email or text. I’d love to hear from you.
To close the loop on Bossman, after my neighbour gets through working his contractors to death, he’ll often send them my way, obviously because he doesn’t think that I’ve done a good enough job maintaining my lawn or power washing the driveway. I usually get revenge by having the service providers send him the bill.