The Silicon Review
The association industry is a tight and relationship-driven community. Delivering outstanding customer experiences is a critical factor in the success of any company serving this industry. And to maintain a sterling reputation, companies look for the most effective services available in the market that deliver what is promised.
Founded nearly 50 years ago, Naylor Association Solutions started out as a provider of print publications for trade unions and associations in Canada. With a mission to help build strong trade and professional associations by delivering member engagement and revenue generating solutions, the company sold industry-specific advertising to offset the costs of publishing associations’ directories and other publications.
Over the years, the company expanded its reach into the United States and began focusing entirely on trade and professional associations. In 2005, Naylor took a critical turn which played a major role in crafting the company’s future - the company’s founder sold Naylor to Clarity Partners who hired Alex DeBarr in 2006. DeBarr is still the president and CEO of the company.
To continue growing the company, Naylor launched a full suite of digital communications tools in 2007 and acquired an event management company that focused entirely on trade show and events management for associations. In 2014, Naylor acquired Boxwood Technology, the leading career center/job board software provider in the association space, and in early 2015 with the acquisition of a leading association CRM (called an AMS), Naylor developed two strong software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings. The latest acquisition, in 2016, was a leading association management company.
Each of these expansions was purposeful as part of a plan to accumulate a complementary suite of products and services that help associations to better engage with their members and generate critically important non-dues revenue to help them achieve their organization’s mission and goals.
In today’s world new competitors, products, services and technologies are evolving at jet speed and leapfrogging amongst the competitors is not something exceptional. So, to succeed in this fast-moving competitive industry, the key to success lies in the delivery of outstanding customer experience. “There must be a maniacal focus on service at every customer touch point – internal and external,” said Naylor President and CEO Alex DeBarr. “The company known for the best service is the one that will win the day.”
Commitment to exceptional customer service is one of Naylor’s core operating values. With a strong, motivated team committed to a common purpose, Naylor makes sure that its customers are never disappointed.
Simon Sinek, author of ‘Start with Why’ once quoted, “Customers will never love a company until its employees love it first.” And being a company that treats its people like family, Naylor gives its employees an environment in which they can thrive. The company’s commitment to ongoing improvement is critical and this mindset helps ensure that the employees are on the lookout for ways to develop professionally, improve internal processes and deliver an improved customer experience.
Organizations simply don’t give additional business unless a company demonstrates its ability to deliver against the commitments. And Naylor with its team, focus, expertise, experience, strong products, commitment, work ethic, persistence and adaptability, has proved its worth every time and has gained an immensely positive reputation in the industry.
More than Just Understanding and Serving Associations
The association industry by its nature is full of organizations whose existence is tied to issue advocacy, industry standards, and making the world a smarter, safer and better place. And Naylor Association Solutions feels good to play an important role for these organizations by providing products and services that help them achieve their goals.
In addition to helping their association clients do good, Naylor’s employees make a point of practicing corporate social responsibility on a regular basis. Associations promote community, mutual assistance, professional growth and innovation. At Naylor, these ideas are the bedrock of the company’s foundation.
“We are engaged, compassionate citizens, invested in our communities as well as our workplace, and we consider it a responsibility and privilege to share our time and resources with others,” DeBarr said. Teams across Naylor’s five offices, as well as dozens of remote employees, fundraise, collect items, and donate time and skills to local organizations. Employees nominate charities and aid groups to support to ensure they’re serving causes that are meaningful within their diverse communities. To date, Naylor employees have supported and given back to more than 50 charitable organizations.
50 Years of Prestige
Naylor has been very active on the product development front. Recently, Naylor launched something completely new to the association community - an online hub that functions like an online app store for associations to perform instant and no-cost integrations between current software products, and Naylor career center and AMS solutions. Giving associations the flexibility to use the software products of their choice, the Naylor Marketplace increases their ability to select software solutions that best meet their needs as they grow.
Upcoming categories of integration include accounting and survey platforms. Also planning to launch this year is a government relations solution that will help associations conduct advocacy activities more effectively.
It is very rare that companies stay in the same marketplace for half a century, but Naylor Association Solutions has proved its staying power. Next year will be the company’s 50th year of providing solutions to the association industry, and it looks forward to working with associations for at least another 50 years.
Meet the Chief
Alex DeBarr, President, and CEO of Naylor Association Solutions: Alex has been the President and CEO of Naylor Association Solutions since 2006. From the day he started at Naylor, he has led the evolution of Naylor’s product and service offerings, including the launch of a full digital product suite and the addition via acquisition of a variety of event, SaaS, consulting and marketing services designed to serve the communication, engagement and non-dues revenue needs of business and professional associations.
Prior to joining Naylor, Alex spent 21 years at Advanstar Communications,(now part of UBM) a leading global media company providing integrated marketing solutions for healthcare, pharmaceutical, life sciences, and other industries. In the final nine years, Alex served as an Executive Vice President, where he oversaw a number of Advanstar’s integrated market groups and managed company-wide editorial and sales program.
“More than one-third (36 percent) of Naylor’s sales staff has been with the company for 10+ years, and another 58 percent have worked for Naylor for 5+ years. Our management, content and support departments boast similar staff longevity.”