|ServiceCore believes that when Portable Restroom Operators from around the world come together to share ideas, discuss important issues, and form relationships, our industry as a whole gets better. That’s why we will be sponsoring 5-10 PSAI memberships for ServiceCore customers per quarter, starting with JB Bresett, GM of Sanitary Environmental Recyclers Corp. (SERC). We believe the Portable Sanitation Association International (PSAI) elevates the industry and we want our customers to receive all the benefits it has to offer. And we challenge suppliers in our industry to do the same.
Together we can build a community for portable restroom operators to thrive.
What is the PSAI?
The PSAI is recognized internationally as a credible, authoritative voice providing education and information for the portable sanitation industry. Through the effort of our members, people can access sanitation in places where it is not otherwise available, and the environment is a cleaner, safer place.
What PSAI Has Done and Is Doing for the Portable Toilet Industry
The PSAI began in the 1970s and unified leaders in the portable sanitation community in order to communicate and standardize best practices for portable restroom operators so that the industry could grow and improve its services.
What resources does the PSAI offer for operators (and suppliers) in the industry?
Virtual Roundtable Discussions
Current Industry News
Online Supplier Directory
Training & Certification Programs for Suppliers
Can you describe the PSAI culture?
“We frequently ask our members ‘What is the greatest benefit you’ve received from joining PSAI?’ And the answers we receive almost always include ‘networking’ ‘peers,’ ‘friendships,’ ‘mentorship,’ and so on. Perhaps the one comment I hear again and again about PSAI culture that sets us apart from other associations is the willingness of members to share information. Some trades are quite protective of industry ‘secrets’ but PSAI members have continually welcomed newcomers to the industry with an eagerness to share knowledge and provide guidance. So really it’s the members themselves that really steer this PSAI culture of the community.
PSAI is also a proud culture. We highly prioritize setting industry standards through public and industry-level education efforts. We take pride in our industry in a way that the public and sometimes even employees new to the work might not. Education helps change that. Through the PSAI Certification Program, for example, we can help service techs see the value of the service they provide and feel confident doing important work professionally and safely. This is just one example of how PSAI uses education to elevate the image and standards of the industry.”
Something that has really stood out to us is that the PSAI Board of Directors is full of owners and suppliers. (We love that the PSAI uses people within the industry to help provide direction for the organization).
How does the PSAI use this insight in the PSAI?
“PSAI not only diversifies the Board of Directors with operators and suppliers alike, but also every PSAI Operating Committee. The reason is simple: PSAI has both operator and supplier members and all membership categories should be fairly represented in the influential bodies of the association. The impact goes much deeper. For one, the relationship between supplier and operator members is symbiotic as they are each looking to connect with the other. Additionally, the needs of each member type are quite different.”
How does the PSAI help businesses grow?
“PSAI wants to give members the tools and knowledge they need to be proactive in their business strategy. We’ve discussed the value of networking but PSAI also offers a variety of training courses, a certification program, virtual webinars, a vast resource library, and more. If a member truly takes advantage of these tools, we believe they will be prepared for many of the decisions or events life can throw at them as PROs.
For example, when the opportunity to add a new location to your business arises, we want you to know what questions to ask to make an informed decision. Or if a crisis hits your business location – from natural disasters to economic downturns – we want you to already be prepared. By arming businesses with the ability to be proactive, they can focus more on growth, improvement, and planning ahead – not just putting out fires and problem solving after the fact.”
What growth has the PSAI seen in the last few years and what changes have been made to support that growth?
“The last few years have actually been a challenge for PSAI and most other trade associations. The pandemic led to most associations seeing a downturn in membership numbers and a decrease in events. However, as the pandemic has subsided, we’re gradually seeing a comeback. PSAI has made a few changes that we expect will lead to higher membership and greater offerings than we’ve had in a while. In 2021, PSAI decided to contract with Ewald Consulting, an association management company.
This has allowed PSAI to increase our staff from 3 to 10, access more resources to improve association operations, and allow us to be among the first to know about association trends and changes in best practices. All of this combined has increased our capacity to grow beyond what we were capable of pre-pandemic. We’re feeling especially optimistic for the next few years.”
Where do you see the PSAI going in 2023? What do we have to look forward to?
“Again, with the switch to using Ewald Consulting for most of our association administrative duties, PSAI has a capacity to explore growth and new opportunities greater than we’ve had before. Our biggest project in 2023 will be expanding and increasing access to PSAI education. Currently, we have committees exploring options to make our virtual training available on demand; committees in the early stage of development on at least 2 new training courses; and preparing to pilot our Basic Service Tech Training series in Spanish.
We are also doing a major refresh of the PSAI website and content. Visitors to the site will notice those changes rolling out gradually over the next several months. We expect to see a big increase in member engagement after making the site more user-friendly and highlighting some of our best resources. Finally, we’re forecasting our largest Annual Convention and Trade Show in years, to take place Jan. 31 – Feb. 2 of 2023 as well. I encourage anyone in the portable sanitation industry to not miss that event.”
How can we all (operators and suppliers) help the PSAI elevate the industry?
“The simplest way for operators and suppliers of all kinds to elevate the industry is to remember each of us gets to be the face of the industry – this includes the service techs, the sales reps, the administrative staff, etc. By educating ourselves first, we can better represent the industry to the public. There are a lot of myths and stereotypes around the industry, but when we arm ourselves with knowledge and best practices we can confront those with confidence in our daily interactions.
And when owners and operators attend PSAI events, they can learn from each other how to develop a positive workplace culture, how to develop their personal brand and local image, and how to level up their business practices to become recognized as a respected and essential service in their communities. From there, you can go as far as you want. We invite our members to serve on our committees that work on things like public education campaigns through creative marketing; developing national and collaborating on international industry standards; and much more. There are so many creative ways to find platforms to educate the public on the importance of portable sanitation and to shed light on myths around the industry.
Of course, we always want to hear ideas from our members: what creative ideas do you have? What challenges have you faced? What have you already tried to help elevate the industry where you are? We want to support those efforts and act as a resource.
To watch our ToiletTalk where we sit down with Veronica Crosier and talk about the many ways they help Portable Restroom Operators grow their businesses and network with other PROs from around the world – click here.