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June 5, 2009 Newsletter

- Letter from the Executive Director- Mid Year Report

- Company Profile - SuperFleet

- New Member Benefit - Pre-Employment Screening


Letter from the Executive Director- Mid Year Report

Moving forward on the Strategic Plan adopted by the SBCA Board last October, and on the input we have received from our members, SBCA has been busy “reinventing” itself to provide true “Value-Added” to your SBCA membership.  Whether its member benefits, certification and training, or protecting your rights and those of your customers, you will see that joining SBCA will result in direct savings to you.  You can save money, provide benefits to your employees and your contractors and increase skills and training, all by joining SBCA. 

Here’s what we’ve done since January:

Enhanced Member Services – Your One Stop Shop for Value Added Programs

In January of this year, the SBCA met with leaders from all sectors of the satellite industry including distributors, manufacturers, retailers, contractors and platform providers. During this meeting the message we heard was that we needed to expand the services that we offer our members. As a result of this meeting, the SBCA has been aggressively identifying specific services that could benefit our members and then creating partnerships with key organizations to provide these to our members. In the last 60 days we have announced value added services in a number of categories including:

  • Discounted Health Insurance for Individuals and Their Dependents
  • Discounted Fuel and Oil Changes
  • Contractor locating services
  • On line advanced technology certification courses
  • Employee benefit and rewards program
  • Pre-employment screening services


In the coming months we plan to offer more programs designed to provide our members with a one stop resource for their business needs including discounted installation products and uniforms.

Some of the key items that you will be seeing soon are: (1) an updated website with more user functionality and interactivity; (2) revised licensing database which will provide a more comprehensive overview of each state's low voltage regulations and licensing requirements; (3) advanced on line training and certification modules designed for specific products and technologies. Additionally, we will continue to be identifying partners to offer enhanced business services and programs which will benefit our member companies.

Go to www.sbca.org for more information on these benefits.

Public Policy

In the past six months our combined efforts helped defeat onerous tax bills in 6 states, dish placement bills in 3 states and made progress on licensing bills in 2 states

We are happy to report our most recent win in the battle against unfair taxes was in the state of Nevada.  Through intense lobbying and a grassroots campaign urging customers to call their legislators, the industry was able to fight back a bill that would have imposed a 5% tax on satellite and cable TV service, but provide cable with a 100% franchise fee credit.

Through lobbying and grassroots outreach to satellite customers, similar tax bills also were killed in Vermont and Texas this spring. 

In New York, Indiana and Iowa, we worked to avoid similar satellite taxes being pushed by the cable industry. 

The industry continues to work hard to fight a budget bill in Massachusetts that includes a provision that would impose a 5% tax on satellite. Both DISH and DIRECTV have launched slates on their platforms as a call to action to satellite customers and more grass roots activity is planned.

At the beginning of the year we saw three states, North Dakota, South Dakota and Connecticut introduce legislation to regulate the placement of satellite dishes on rental property.  We were able to kill these bills by engaging with the legislators through meetings, testifying and educating them on the issue.

On the licensing front, we made headway in Minnesota by getting legislation introduced that would
enable satellite installers to have their own licensing requirements that match the scope of work that they do.  Though this bill was not enacted before the legislative session adjourned this year, we were successful in educating the legislature on the issue as well as developing a strong working relationship with the Electrical Board in the state.  In Wyoming, we made headway on a bill that would exempt satellite installers from a licensure requirement in the state.  The bill did not pass in the end but we continue to lay the ground work for trying again.

Certification and Training

With strong backing from DISH Network and DIRECTV, SBCA is having its best year ever certifying satellite technicians


Through Q1 2009, we have mailed out almost 15,000 tests, compared to slightly over 5,000 in 2008.  In May, we sent out another 3,600 tests.  DISH Network certified all of its in-house technicians during Q1 and is rolling out on line certification for its retailer channel by the middle of June.  In addition, DIRECTV has been encouraging all of its HSP channel technicians to be certified by June 1, resulting in a surge of test requests.

SBCA, in collaboration with SatProf is rolling out on line certification for the commercial/MDU sector and DIRECTV’s MFH2 commercial product.

Our focus for the remainder of the year will be to get the word out to current and potential members of the value of the “new and improved” SBCA.  Expect to see SBCA staff at regional event's through the summer and fall. 

Stay tuned!
 

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Company Profile - SuperFleet

Headquartered in Enon, Ohio, Speedway SuperAmerica LLC (SSA) is one of the four largest company-owned and -operated gasoline and convenience store chains in the U.S. and the largest in the Midwest. SSA has approximately 1,600 stores in nine states. Most of the stores are operated under the Speedway and SuperAmerica brand names. Serving more than 2 million customers a day, the convenience stores of SSA pledge to be “The Customer’s First Choice for Value and Convenience.” SSA’s customer focus has resulted in a significant increase in customer satisfaction as evidenced by its number one ratings in all four quarters of 2008 in an independent national survey  conducted by Corporate Research International. SSA’s aggressive marketing strategy has also enjoyed significant success in the marketplace, posting relatively dramatic category sales increases over the last five years. SSA also has implemented Speedy Rewards™, an industry-leading customer loyalty program that has built active membership to approximately 3 million customers. During 2008, SSA sold approximately 3.2 billion gallons of transportation fuels and an additional $2.8 billion in merchandise.

SuperFleet® Card

SuperFleet offers all commercial retail customers (accepted at over 6,000 locations, including Marathon) a line of credit. Further, special reporting features, card restrictions, security features, and volume discounts are offered. No annual or monthly fees. Visit www.SuperFleet.net for more details  or contact Rick at rjprebles@ssallc.com. Whether you have 1 vehicle or 1,000 vehicles, your company is eligible for the SuperFleet® Program.

The SuperFleet® Program is designed to help fleet managers control their fueling costs and monitor vehicle performance while providing security and convenience. The flexibility of the SuperFleet® Program provides the ability to design a Fleet Program that fulfills your needs. SBCA members participating in the SuperFleet program will save  up to  $.04 per gallon  discount on all fuels and 15% off of all oil changes at Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations. This translates into hundreds of dollars in savings per vehicle.
 

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New Member Benefit - Pre-Employment Screening
 

Background checks and drug screening are an important aspect of ensuring a quality customer experience. Many organizations have specific guidelines for pre-employment drug and background screening. Also not all screening programs are the same. As such the SBCA has partnered with American Background and Sterling InfoSystems in order to offer our members a choice in their search for the right program to fit their needs. SBCA’s partners can assist your business in complying with these by creating customized programs. In addition you get the reports and verification you need in a timely basis to ensure that you only hire the best applicants.

Pre-Employment Screening is an important aspect of your business.

• It reduces your legal exposure

• Reduces incidence of theft

• Enhances consumer confidence

• May reduce your insurance costs

• Allows you to hire only the best applicants

• Promotes safety in the workforce

• Differentiates your business from the competition

SBCA Member Discounts will save hundreds or even thousands of dollars by utilizing our approved partner organizations.

• No set up fees (Non-members pay $300)

• Save up to 50% off of background checks per employee

• Save up to 40% on substance screening

Savings Example:

                                        Non Member                SBCA Member

Set up fee                              $300                               $0

Background check         $85 (per employee)        $25 (per employee)

Drug Screening             $40 (per employee)        $25 (per employee)

Savings per employee = $75

Savings for a 10 member organization = $1050

Savings for a 100 member organization= $7800

For more information go to the 'New At SBCA' section on our website www.sbca.com

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New Members

Listed below are SBCA's newest members that have joined over the past month that we would like to welcome to the Association:

A-Tech Systems
Stockton, CA

AA+ Inc.
Frederick, MD

Ar's and Yours Satellite
Toledo, OH

Broadband Systems Consulting
Dacula, GA

Buccaneer Communications
Largo, FL

Dave's Audio and Video
Saranac Lake, NY

Digital Direct Communications
League City, TX

Digital Media Group
Fridley, MN

Digital Satellite Systems de Santa Fe
Santa Fe, NM

Dish One LLC
San Juan, TX

Dove Digital Services
Winnfield, LA

Global Satellite & Wireless
Jacksonville, FL

Installer Institute
Holly Hill, FL

International Satellite Systems
Sarasota, FL

Longbow Communications
Gresham, OR

Planet Satellite
Odessa, TX

Sanders Electronics Inc.
Carrollton, GA

Satellite Systems & Service
DFW Airport, TX

Strawflower Electronics
Half Moon Bay, CA


Coming Soon

New Website

Industry Calendar of Events

MDU/SMATV On-Line Course

SBCA Master Technician Program


DTV Transition

On June 12, 2009 U.S. over the air television broadcasting will change from an analog to a digital format. As a public service we are providing a number of links to resources that might help you decide which path is right for you to comply with the digital transition. The consumer based satellite industry and SBCA are committed to helping you make the transition as easy as possible. Click here for more details.


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