To help develop and maintain products and services to better meet the needs of its members and others in the global HVACR industry, ASHRAE is launching a comprehensive market research program. "It's vital that we have a better understanding of the needs of our members and others so we can better serve them with valuable products and services," said Kent W. Peterson, P.E., P2S Engineering of Long Beach, CA, an ASHRAE volunteer leading the program.

The market research program involves collecting data from current members, former members and non-members around the world. As part of the assessment, ASHRAE will conduct a survey via email all of its current members as well as conduct focus groups and telephone interviews. Some 50,000 people are expected to be asked about how they use existing ASHRAE products and services, how those products and services could be improved and what products and services should be developed to better assist the industry.

The effort focuses on ASHRAE's key stakeholders: consulting and design engineers, contractors, manufacturers and their sales representatives, and facility managers, and building owners.

The results of the research program will be delivered prior to ASHRAE's 2005 Winter Meeting, February 5-9, Orlando, FL. "The goal of this assessment is to facilitate changes in the way ASHRAE does business through strategic recommendations," Peterson said. "The market research program will deliver actionable strategic recommendations that will be used in ASHRAE's planning committee and throughout the society."

Peterson leads a team of volunteers, staff and market research consultants that are carrying out the program. The consulting firm, Kerr-Downs Research Inc., has 20 years of experience in delivering successful market research programs to technical/engineering associations.