Our members come to ASTM International to achieve their goals and develop standards. The job of the ASTM board of directors and staff is to optimize the process in such a way that the goals and expectations of our members are met. The ASTM staff is a team of professionals that works constantly to facilitate and streamline the standardization process, remove obstacles to participation and relieve our volunteers' administrative burdens. Those of us who provide this support are keenly aware of the technical expertise, dedication and hard work our members bring to the development of ASTM standards, and we see our involvement as more than a job. It's a mission.
But even missions have to be tested against the end game. At the prompting of the ASTM International board of directors, ASTM staff evaluated progress in each of its strategic objectives and conducted a survey to assess member satisfaction. We used key performance indicators to measure our progress and evaluate our performance against defined goals. Here's the report card:
The number of new standards as a percentage of total work items has remained fairly constant at about 8 percent over the past few years. However, it is interesting to see a marked increase in the number of standards that contain rationalized SI1 units of measurement over the past three years, another indication of the growing global application of the ASTM portfolio.
There has also been a dramatic increase in our social media activity. "Likes" on the ASTM International Facebook page jumped from 900 in 2010 to over 3,000 in 2011. "Followers" of ASTM's Twitter page grew from 400 to 1,500 in the same time period, and there were 972 ASTM LinkedIn group members in 2011, our first year on that platform.
Overall, the picture was one of progress and productivity, a significant achievement, especially in the face of the economic downturns of the time period we surveyed. ASTM International not only did not decline in its overall performance, but actually experienced growth.
Recently, ASTM staff conducted a survey to gauge member satisfaction. More than 3,000 members responded, and I'd like to take the opportunity here to say thank you to the members who participated.
The results showed that among the members surveyed, an overwhelming majority were satisfied or highly satisfied with the following:
Additional suggestions have the staff exploring options relating to the member benefit volume of the Annual Book of ASTM Standards, more technology tools at ASTM meetings, other functions within the collaboration spaces and a redesign of the ASTM website to make it easier to use. In some cases, the staff has interacted with commenters to discuss issues in more depth.
These surveys showed us not only where we are at present, but where we want to go in the future. The board of directors of ASTM International and its staff are well aware that we are the custodians of a standards organization that is, in every way, exceptional. We are dedicated, therefore, to its prosperity, its continuance and its vitality. Our mission is to support the work of our members, to make sure that they have what they need to continue their tremendous contributions to health and safety. Our job is to constantly look for ways to stay relevant, to stay ahead of the curve, to accelerate the process, to increase efficiency and to do whatever it takes to enhance the standardization experience. And that we will continue to do.
1. International System of Units.
James A. Thomas
President, ASTM International