ASA University Improves a Distributor’s Ability to Adapt. Grow. Succeed. Doing training for training’s sake is not a good use of precious time and resources. You may feel good about training, but in the end you are not where you really want to be. With the new tools and resources now available through ASA University, ASA members have access to the support needed to establish full talent management programs within their companies and a blueprint for real training success. For years, the ASA Education Foundation has developed top-notch training programs specific to this industry from product knowledge courses to distribution business basics and job-specific programs. Thanks to the Karl E. Neupert Endowment Fund, we are able to continue with this important course development while investing in the training support needed by the industry. Through ASAU, ASA members now can get assistance with all facets of a company training program, from getting started, implementing a company-wide program, working to develop a specific employee or department to the maintenance and continued improvement of an existing program. When a company invests in training, it is important that the program be integrated with individual goals, on-the-job expectations and overall strategic direction of the company. ASAU can help. Do your employees wake up every morning thinking about how they can perform poorly on the job that day? Some of you may think they do, but truthfully they don’t. In most cases, they do not understand the connection between their job descriptions, their roles in helping to grow the company and their careers. Implementing a Path to Productivity and Higher Profits Distributors have struggled for years trying to get more out of their core employees, especially when having to reduce staff. But how do you maximize each employee’s potential? ASAU has identified the path and it starts with sound job descriptions. Does your company have them? Are they up-to-date to reflect today’s job expectations? The first connection to real talent management is a good job description. ASAU has built job descriptions for each role within a distribution company. The assessment phase takes the foundational job description and offers unbiased insight during the hiring process (are you getting the right person for the job?) As well as identifying development needs of current employees. Objectiveassessment is the second connection to training. The third connection is the competencies allowing job descriptions to become more universal on an overall, company-wide basis. Competencies provide for a common and consistent approach to performance expectations across the company, building the framework for required behaviors. Behaviors define the competency areas in terms of expected on-the-job performances and become the fourth connection to learning management. They offer an impartial mechanism that defines success for the employee. It will guide an owner in determining areas of competence and weakness and future growth of the employee. This is core to learning management. And finally, performance management makes the fifth connection to training. This formal measurement of job performance helps to guide an individual’s lower-level behaviors to more meaningful, aggregate results. This becomes vital in establishing necessary, achievable goals for each employee. Successful performance management happens when an employee begins to take the process seriously and applies training in order to earn a wanted reward. Does this process sound familiar in your company? Most likely it doesn’t, but ASAU offers you help in getting there. ASA University Provides Needed Support ASAU is your training solution with a step-by-step plan for performance management that includes tools needed to get started, implement, maintain and improve your company’s plan. With templates for job descriptions, job competencies and expected behaviors, assessment support for more in-depth evaluation and full curricula for every role within your company, ASAU is positioned to help connect training to the five talent management initiatives for your organization. The more connections between these plan components and training you are able to make, the better the return on your training investment. Ready to invest in your employees but don’t know where to start or who to assign the responsibility of professional development within your company? ASAU can help here, too! ASA members have access to expert staff that can help a little or a lot. Through the new ASAU Advisory Service, ASA offers various support levels from recommending how to customize the tools from ASAU to digging in and making customizations and full recommendations for your company. Continuing to Remain Relevant The ASA Education Foundation will continue to improve upon the ASA University model by remaining relevant to the challenges and needs of the industry by expanding and strengthening the tools and resources we have to offer. Five years ago, we rolled out ASAU Online, a learning management system that not only delivers our content online in an interactive and engaging way, but also allows companies to manage their full training program with company-specific dashboards, transcripts and reporting. In the coming year, we will be unveiling a new Master of Distribution Management program that will provide a comprehensive and challenging development track for industry branch managers. Build Your Plan Today ASA University is committed to developing your workforce, both new and seasoned, for a stronger industry. Come see what’s new and how we can help with your training initiatives. Visit www.asa.net/education for more information. ASA and Regions to Release Compensation Report in 2014 Next spring, ASA and its independent regional affiliates will release a comprehensive employee and executive compensation report. This will be the first time since 2010 that this kind of data will be available for the PHCP and industrial PVF wholesale-distribution channel. “This study really is the best sample on compensation and benefits in distribution,” said Chris Murin, ASA’s executive director. Data collection will begin in early January, and all wholesaler members will receive a copy of the final report in exchange for completing the survey questionnaire – at no fee – and the final report will be made available only to members. Contact Chris Murin at email@example.com or at (630) 467-0000 for more details. August Webinar Previews Industry Forecast Slow but stable growth in the stock market and a bright outlook for 2014 and 2015 were points of discussion during ASA’s Aug. 14 Industry Forecasting Webinar that featured Industry Trends Research President Alan Beaulieu. Beaulieu presented ASA members with an update on what he sees changing for the balance of 2013 and into 2014 and beyond. In this one-hour session, Beaulieu advised members as to what various market segments are doing, including which ones are emerging and when it will be advisable to invest in expanding their businesses. Some of the positives moving forward toward the end of the year include: an increase in hiring, banks continuing to provide loans, an increase in retail sales and improved spending in both the residential and commercial construction markets. The webinar was the second in a two-part series and is just part of a comprehensive new forecasting program that was launched by ASA at NetworkASA 2012 in Orlando last October. At that event, Beaulieu gave a complete 2013 industry forecast, which introduced the ASA membership to the monthly ASA Advisor forecast publication from ITR Economics. ASA Advisor not only provides a monthly competitive advantage to ASA members, but the regular update also helps them plan for the economic future of their companies. Beaulieu will follow up ASA’s two-part webinar series with his 2014 industry forecast at NetworkASA 2013 in Washington, D.C., Oct. 2-4. Members that did not have an opportunity to participate in either the April or August webinar can view replays by logging in to the “Members-Only” portion of the ASA website at www.asa.net/Login.aspx. Please contact ASA at 630/467-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org for member login credentials if needed. ASA Partners With Design & Construction Week The American Supply Association officially has agreed to partner in Design & Construction Week, a joint venture of the National Kitchen and Bath Association and the National Association of Home Builders. Design and Construction Week is an effort to bring the entire residential construction industry together with the goal of improving the professionalism of the entire supply chain that comprises residential construction. A major part of Design and Construction Week will be the associations’ two mega tradeshows — the International Builders Show and KBIS — now offered under one roof. Both NAHB and NKBA will have a dedicated tradeshow pavilion; registered attendees for one show will have access to both pavilions. NAHB and NKBA will hold their national conventions during Design and Construction Week, Feb. 4-6, 2014 in Las Vegas. “ASA saw a great opportunity to connect with a huge customer segment of the residential industry by becoming a partner with these two large associations,” ASA Executive Vice President Michael Adelizzi stated. “We have a great opportunity to market our newly launched PB Outlook magazine as well as provide educational opportunities to the more than 75,000 attendees who will visit more than 2,000 expected exhibits participating in Design and Construction Week. One of ASA’s larger goals is to begin promoting the benefits of doing business with an ASA member to industry customer segments. Participating in the new venue is a major piece of the puzzle.” As a benefit of this agreement, ASA members will receive special reduced registration pricing once registration opens for Design and Construction Week. Stay tuned for more details. Doin’ it Our Way ASA Young Executives to ‘Make Their Dreams Come True’ in Milwaukee in 2014 As the theme goes from the popular 1970’s T.V. sitcom, “Laverne & Shirley”, “…give ‘em any chance, they’ll take it; give ‘em any rule, they’ll break it…,” ASA’s Young Executives (Y.E.) Division is already looking forward to next year’s annual ASA Spring Forum in Milwaukee, Wis., on May 19-21, 2014, at the Hotel InterContinental. One hundred attendees representing 31 different wholesalers, 23 manufacturers and vendors and nine independent manufacturer representatives participated in this year’s program in Kansas City, Mo. The ASA Education Foundation, Elkay Manufacturing and InSinkErator have proudly committed their support for this program as its 2014 Supplier Partners. Elkay’s Mark Whittington and InSinkErator’s Rebacca Falish agree, “Y.E. is made up of individuals who are genuinely passionate about their businesses and futures. They are engaged, driven and focused on making certain their companies operate with best practices that are rooted in a broad spectrum of experiences.” “Today, with the support of ASA University, we have a formal training program for each job discipline, which is a tremendous benefit to our employees and to our company as a whole.” Brian Tuohey, president Collins Pipe & Supply “The resources offered within ASA University save our company (and me) a great deal of time trying to find, create and administer training within our company. We average 350 hours of completed training annually because we believe intelligent people give us the edge over the competition.” George Yezbak, COO and vice president Murray Supply Co.
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