August 16, 1999
Until the Internet came along, it was hard for trade associations to
communicate with their members beyond their six-page quarterly
newsletters and annual conferences. The Manufacturing Jewelers &
Suppliers Association is a superb example of an association that's using
all the Web has to offer to provide organized, comprehensive resources
for its members.
The site has existed for some time, but MJSA recently redesigned it to
information easier to find. On its home page you can find the top
five headlines from the latest MJSA press releases, links to highlights
from AJM magazine, links to MJSA Expo reports and information
about membership. The association is especially committed to providing
news to its members the site also includes Industry News, where
MJSA posts all company press releases and news it receives, and articles
from the MJSA newsletter, Benchmark. Heavily involved in lobbying
for industry-friendly legislation, MJSA also reports on and
interprets bills introduced and passed on Capitol Hill.
There's also a great deal of reference material here. Under Industry
Research, the site includes InfoSource articles, a library of research
compiled by MJSA to answer the some 8,500 telephone calls it gets each
year from people seeking industry information. Topics range from CAD/CAM
and the Americans with Disabilities Act to finishing and hazardous
chemicals. Each article includes suggested reading lists and related Web
Looking for educational opportunities? The AJM School Directory, as
well as rundowns of MJSA's educational programs, are on the site. MJSA
also plans a Career Center where industry members can
post job listings and resumes.
A generous service to MJSA members is ReferralNet, a high-powered
search engine that allows jewelers to search for manufacturers and
suppliers. MJSA gives its member free home pages, which appear in
the search results. The association tallies the use of this search engine
on its home page: it refers some 700 to 750 members every week.
Technically speaking: The site is handsome, extremely easy to
navigate and largely text-based so the pages load quickly.
- by Stacey King