A Message from the President – Manuel Yazijian, CMW21

March’s Horological Times

I n last month’s message I talked briefly about the strategic action plan that took place in our headquarters in Harrison, Ohio from January 31st through February 1st. Mr. T.D. Hughes, a well-respected local consultant who helped us work toward our action plan, facilitated the specific meeting. In effect, we identified our top priorities, our critical success factors (CSF’s), then outlined the goals and their owners for each of those CSF’s. Our next step is to begin the implementation of this plan that will take place over the next one-to-three years, as outlined below.

1    Leadership and Financial Planning led by Manuel Yazijian: The goal is to have better communication between the Board of Directors and staff through regularly- scheduled communication in order to help with financial planning, monitoring and meeting of the critical success factors. Keith Rosser, our CFO and interim Executive Director, will help facilitate these meetings via the use of modern technology. Some further goals are to produce monthly operating statements that are to be shared with Board members and staff, as well as the creation of an annual financial plan. The latter will be comprised of a quarterly review, number of potential membership renewals, actual renewals, as well as the acquisition of new members and their retention.

2    Improved Certification Process led by Chief Examiner, Wesley Grau: This involves the formation of a special task force for the purpose of reviewing and revising the CW21 certification program. The intent is to stay up to date with the most recent developments in our supply chain, to review and improve the content of the exam, as well as to ensure financial neutrality of the overall program. For this reason, the current certification program is in review mode and the current target is to roll out the pilot phase in the month of June, 2013. Stay tuned for updates and more solid dates.

3    Staff Development and Needs led by Keith Rosser: The goal is to confirm the assessments, define roles and responsibilities, determine skill sets and gaps that exist, plan for improvement and create scheduled employee reviews.

As a watchmaker and clockmaker still making a living working at the bench, I would like the culmination of our efforts to be in the best interest of my fellow watchmakers and clockmakers. I know very well how difficult it is making a living at this profession when you are faced with so many barriers. This may include the difficulty and sometimes near impossibility of obtaining spare parts, the very onerous and challenging aspect of the technical side of our profession, the small profit margins in comparison with the high level of skill involved, among others. There is so much fine art and precision in what we do, yet it is for the most part hidden from the customer’s view. If they could only see what we can really do…

While your volunteer Board members, whom you’ve elected to look out after your interests, are doing their job as they promised, can you, in exchange, perform the repair without leaving any trace of your presence? Give yourself that challenge every time you work on a timepiece and you will have accomplished a major feat. It would also help us know our efforts are well appreciated.

In the meantime, keep your skills honed, your standards very high, your attitude professional, your tools and equipment in great condition and your workshops clean and organized; you never know who may come by to pay you a visit.

Manuel Yazijian