NATM Announces 2023-2026 Strategic Plan
In July of 2022, the National Association of Trailer Manufacturers (NATM) Board of Directors met in person to discuss the Association’s new strategic plan for 2023-2026. NATM staff, the Board, and Executive Committee quickly began to work on structuring committees and committee goals to ensure there would be alignment between committee goals and the newly developed strategic plan.
The strategic plan sets out four areas of focus for the Association:
- Advocacy and Partnerships
- Decal Awareness
- Cohesive Industry
Advocacy and Partnerships
The goal of Advocacy and Partnerships for the Association is to promote and protect the light- and medium-duty trailer industry through key legislative and industry relationships.
Regulatory Roundup, Government Affairs, and NHTSA
NATM will continue working with legislators and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on gathering additional funding for Trailer Safety Week. Further, through lobbying efforts and the Regulatory Roundup, NATM will seek to gain advocates for our industry on key external committees in Congress. NATM will also work to collaborate with state Departments of Transportation (DOTs) on understanding the value of the NATM Decal and what it means for trailer safety and compliance.
To achieve these goals, the Association will work to increase member participation in grassroots efforts. NATM will explore legislative relationships in key states for our members with the assistance of K&L Gates. Further, NATM will work to establish a network of members in key states and actively work to build relationships between those members and their state-level legislators.
NATM will work to build relationships with organizations like the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association (TTMA), the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the RV Industry Association (RVIA), and other relevant groups to identify current issues and determine opportunities where our Associations may be able to collaborate and assist the industry as a whole. This will involve setting up standing meetings with these other organizations to ensure we are in regular contact and are able to assist as needed.
NATM will provide the industry with access to educational resources and promote the production of safe trailers. In addition to this, NATM will work to increase dealer and end-user knowledge of NATM and provide those groups with accessible educational information about safely towing a trailer.
Industry Access to Educational Information
NATM will work to build more shared repositories of educational resources that can be shared with members to assist in building safe trailers. NATM will engage subject matter experts who can provide educational webinars or presentations to members on areas of interest to the industry. In addition to engaging with the subject matter experts, NATM will work to expand participation in webinars and forums taking place during our annual Convention & Trade Show.
NATM will hire an Education Director, whose job will be to focus on expanding educational content offerings and work to build out the NATM Academy. The NATM Academy will assist members with training their staff on identified best practices in the industry and offer a resource library that can be used to store this information for on-demand viewing.
Increasing Dealer, End-User Knowledge of NATM
NATM will work with staff and members to generate educational content that is intended to assist end-users in safely towing their trailers. To achieve this goal, NATM will continue to collaborate with our Dealer Affiliate members and work to grow this network. NATM will provide resources to our Dealer Affiliates that can be shared with end-users. End-users will be encouraged to visit TrailerSafetyWeek.com and view materials created by the Association that are intended to provide best practices while towing a trailer. NATM also will work to make sure Dealer Affiliates and end-users have a better understanding of our Association’s decal and what steps manufacturers must take in order to place the decal on members' trailers.
Decal Awareness and Growth
NATM will work to expand our dealer network and provide education on what our decal stands for, along with the process manufacturers must complete in order to display it on their trailers. The Association will work to increase decal sales amongst the membership and seek to increase membership participation by providing more “value” in our decal. NATM will utilize compliance verification consultations to educate manufacturers and their interested employees on both NATM and the decal.
Through a collaboration with NATM’s Dealer Affiliates and members, dealers will seek out trailers featuring the decal as it will help ensure that the trailers they are selling have had a third party verify that the company has the processes in place to build trailers that meet the required Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. The NATM staff, and specifically the member outreach specialist, will work to grow our Dealer Affiliates and provide feedback on the value NATM is providing to the Dealer Affiliates. By increasing the understanding and awareness of the decal, NATM seeks to increase members participating in the decal program.
NATM, with the assistance of the Board and Committees, will work to ensure we are the reputable resource of trailer information for consumers, trailer manufacturers, component suppliers, trailer dealers, OEM vehicle manufacturers, and regulators.
Industry Participation Growth
By continuing to expand our educational offerings, trailer safety information, and compliance programs to the entire industry, including end-users, NATM will continue to grow our membership in all areas. NATM, the Board, and Committees will seek to engage non-members on the benefits of NATM and what we offer to the industry. NATM members will also work to bring their dealer networks into the Association’s Dealer Affiliate Program, this continued growth will assist in providing information to both dealers and end-users.
NATM’s membership increases engagement and participation in Trailer Safety Week. By having a cohesive and concerted message shared by members about the importance of trailer safety, brand awareness will grow, and NATM can continue to further its mission of promoting trailer safety and overall industry success.
Member companies can expect to see much more value in the coming years as the Association Board, Committees, and staff continue to put together additional programming and benefits in these four key areas. Members are also encouraged to provide feedback and participate in surveys so that NATM may better tailor these new opportunities to its members.