The home office is completely set up, operations are intact and continuous, especially the sales and services to members. The physical inventory of proceedings, journals and archives has been relocated and is fully cataloged and organized on bookshelves. The financial aspect of the transition is progressing well with the expert help of Jack Pugh. All existing financial information is in great shape, but because of some past computer and program issues in Albany, the finances for the Society are not totally set up yet. Any financial information in this report currently only reflects the local Albany bookkeeping. Meetings will be taking place in Istanbul to progress on this issue.
I see the position of Executive Director with two distinct parts: the first part is maintaining current and routine operations, and the second part is development and new initiatives. Items listed below have been completed, are in the works or are planed for the future. With the guidance of the Administrative Committee I am forging ahead. I look forward to advice from the Policy Council on any item.
Membership services. Continuous phone, E-mail and mail coverage are being provided. An all time high for phone calls reached 27 calls in one day, lowest has been 5 calls per day. E-mail messages run between 2 to 8 per day, and we receive about 4-5 letters per day regarding sales, membership and miscellaneous questions.
Non-members are referred to our office mainly by members, people at MIT, Pegasus Communications and readers of The Fifth Discipline. Earlier this year, people made 2 to 3 calls before reaching the System Dynamics Society office. Access seems to be quicker now.
A local Society office website is under construction. It will contain the brochure information, including how to order past publications and how to become a member. The site address will be http://www.albany.edu/cpr/sds/
Beer Distribution Game, Proceedings, Journal Sales. There is much interest in the Beer Distribution Game, and less demand for the Proceedings and back issues of the System Dynamics Review. Orders filled (including bibliographies) as of June 30, 1997 totaled 148, and were shipped to 23 countries.
Regarding the Beer Game: In response to questions, additions and minor changes have been made to the Beer Game Instructions. We have also videotaped a session of the Beer Game facilitated by John Sterman. This raw material is in need of editing in order to produce an instruction video to “train the trainer.” In speaking with a range of people from large corporations to small consulting firms, there seems to be a great need for this new product. For clients who do not wish to run the game themselves, a facilitator’s list is being created in response to firms seeking to hire someone to facilitate the game. Working with the manufacturer for both the vinyl boards and the videos, we have been able to acquire cost reductions for these products.
Regarding back issues of the System Dynamics Review: A suggestion has been made for a gradual reduction in price on old issues. If this decision is made, clearance will be sought from the Administrative Committee.
Other. Bibliography disks are available, but the bibliography needs to be updated. Also, a new brochure has been designed for general Society information, sales of the products, and membership information.
John Wiley & Sons continues to be very helpful and responsive. As of June 30, 1997 there are 524 members, 82 of which are new. Please see Attachment II for more detailed membership information. A membership directory is currently being produced at John Wiley & Sons. It will be distributed in the very near future.
We are currently working on setting up a system to send welcome letters to new members of the Society. John Wiley & Sons will send information on new members to me and the Society office will mail out the letters.
In an effort to increase membership, the arrangement for sponsorship has been slightly changed. In lieu of receiving a free subscription with a sponsorship, the sponsor now will receive three free annual memberships. We have had one success with this new arrangement to date with a brand new sponsor. After the conference I will be talking with Jay Forrester about an increased role in the management of soliciting current sponsors and a method of contacting new sponsors to the Society.
As noted above, the finances are still in transition and progressing smoothly. As of June 30, 1997 income on the local books have totaled $38,922.00. Large expenses include salary, replenishing the supply of vinyl boards and videos, and videotaping a Beer Game session to produce a training video. Please see Attachment V.
All the local bookkeeping is computerized using Quicken. Jack Pugh will be working closely with the Society office over the next few months to make this transition complete.
Many clients ask if the Society accepts credit card payments. With the conference coming up in Quebec, I have done research on the costs associated with being able to accept credit card payments. Briefly, the processing charge would be 2.93% on all credit card sales with a minimum monthly processing charge of $35.00 Our break even point would be approximately $1200 per month. The rate is guaranteed for 3 years and the annual membership fee would be waived. In addition, there is a $15 per month statement fee, a one time charge of $150 for training/acquisition and a cost of $350 for software for our computer/modem for authorization.
A new Presidential Initiative is to create the Administrative Calendar. The rational for this tool is for continuity of organizational memory. The Calendar will help the administration of the Society to be continuous, but also responsive to change. Please see the attached draft of the Administrative Calendar (Attachment III). Key people will need to comment on the Administrative Calendar and related processes to make it complete. The role of the Executive Director would be to help keep all the Society processes timely. Unfortunately there has been little progress on the Administrative Calender to date.
Possible new initiatives (Attachment IV) that are currently not routine operating processes include:
|Developing a Records and Archive System
|Supplying Support to Special Interest Groups, Sponsors and Chapters
|Develop a Link to the Annual Research Conference
|Aid in Coordination and Development of Electronic Presence (with Bergen)
Daily time sheets are recorded as my time is separated into three cost centers at the University at Albany, the main one being the System Dynamics Society. Most of my time on Society work continues to be spent on current operations. As the transition becomes complete, more time is being spent on system building. I continue to have difficulty trying to find enough time for the new initiatives listed above. We have completed, or are in the process of completing some new items. As of June 30, 1997 I have worked a total of 166 hours in overtime. We also had a graduate assistant work to assist in setting up the office. For the months of April, May and June, her hours totaled 105. Without this added assistance, the office would not be as organized as it is today. It would benefit the Society to be able to continue with this assistance.
|1997 (June) - 524
||1996 - 572
||1995 - 504
||1994 - 484
||1993 - 487
||1992 - 406
||1991 - 418
|Total Membership: 524
||Regular Payment: 414
||Reduced Payment: 110
||New Members This Year: 82
|Jay W. Forrester Award Selection Procedure
||New Awards Such as Best PhD dissertation??
|Define Executive Director's Role
|Notice of Conference in Research Journals
||Manage Conference Program including:
|$ 30,787.00||From Society||$ 11,502.00||Salary/Fringe|
|$ 17,715.00||Game Sales||$ 8,467.00||Games Supplies|
|$ 14,515.00||Profit from Wiley||$ 1,472.00||Shipping|
|$ 2,000.00||Sponsorship||$ 1,451.00||IFR Indirect|
|$ 1,475.00||Prepaid Postage||$ 1,083.00||Travel|
|$ 1,234.00||Proceedings Sales||$ 1,000.00||Membership|
|$ 760.00||Membership||$ 312.00||Copying|
|$ 749.00||Review Sales||$ 277.00||Mailing Supplies|
|$ 315.00||Bibliography Sales||$ 252.00||Phone, Etc.|
|$ 159.00||Miscellaneous||$ 215.00||Refunds|
|$ 69,709.00||Total||$ 26,031.00||Total|