Morris R.Beschloss 2013-11-12 01:37:38
It’s All In the Delivery: The Growth and Economic Success of Distribution This important industry sector is generating an impressive $100 billion into the plumbingheating- cooling-piping industry, adding positive revenue into our nation’s economy. Last year America’s gross domestic product for goods and services nearly topped $16 trillion — almost double that of China, the global GDP runner-up. When analyzing this leading economic achievement, what is often overlooked is the United States’ superior and intricate distribution system. Of particular note is the $100 billion PHCP industry, facilitated by thousands of distributors consistently delivering our industry’s goods and services to the nation’s 50 states and territories. PHCP distributors comprise a critical dynamic in this evolving industry’s growth; they have created an indispensable link in a channel that extends from the inception of manufacturing and importing down to end users, installers, retailers and service providers. The net result is an offering of hundreds of thousands of PHCP products that is available to a growing U.S. population that trails only China and India in its size. Many important factors play a role in the ongoing success of the PHCP industry’s evolving services. But what is most remarkable about the achievements of distribution are the following: 1. Commitment to the supply chain. Despite its sprawling size, this massive distribution system feature individual players that are committed to providing goods through “legitimate” channels — legitimate being a colloquial industry term used without legal or technical implications.The overwhelming majority of America’s PHCP distributors pride themselves in selling and servicing their products through traditional channels. In fact, the industry rejects defectors if their non-traditional or “illegitimate” actions are discovered. 2. Brand-name products. The U.S. PHCP distribution system takes pride in selecting brandname lines with which they have become familiar over the years. Although cost-effectiveness is a consideration, quality, service dependability and backup have grown increasingly important in a rapidly changing global environment. Consequently, nameless commodity buying has diminished over time. 3. Long-term relationships. While major corporate-owned distribution continues to play a significant role in America’s PHCP distribution systems, the bulk of installations throughout the United States are privately owned and managed, often by multi-generational families that consider their industry customers as an extended family with whom they have developed lifelong relationships. These familial relationships continue to be handed down to the next generation, a pattern that’s been proven by a number of distribution entities that have become regional and, in a few cases, even national. 4. Entrepreneurial spirit. Manifesting the highest standards of entrepreneurial capability, the U.S. PHCP distribution system has made it possible for start-up manufacturers and new product developers to gain a footing in the industry. If U.S. wholesalers were not such a receptive group, many present-day brand name products would have never tasted success. 5. On-hand inventory. Distributors provide much-needed maintenance of substantial inventories, which most product manufacturers and importers find themselves not in a position to offer. This situation can be attributed to financial limitations and a hesitancy to carry more than a working minimum in today’s soft economy. A lack of such support would make it practically impossible to develop the scope of business manufacturers are presently enjoying in America. The ability to introduce, promote and sustain the wide array of brand names carried by distributors could not be accomplished for a substantial sector of PHCP products that are flourishing throughout the nation today. ASA Supports Distributors The reputation of an industry-related product is closely tied to the national, regional or local distributor’s reputation. This reputation hinges on Constant contact with the producer’s customers and prospects as well as a regard for the unique capability and safety of each product carried by a distributor. The consummate impact of PHCP-industry products maintained by a superb distribution sector is indispensable to the growth of one of America’s most important arenas, which is facing both accelerating opportunities as well as problems. In lauding the functional success of America’s PHCP industry distributors, the indispensable role of the American Supply Association, and its regional affiliates, must be brought to light. The ASA is the industry’s “big tent” where national distributors, both large and small, can take advantage of the opportunity to interact through ongoing education, forecasting and updating of government lobbying capabilities. The ASA is especially effective in its constant online communications and special-interest committee meetings, which are Held frequently throughout the country, consummating in an annual national convention. The ASA is a national organization, founded in 1970, through the mergers of the Central Supply Association and the American Institute (a federation of regional organizations). What is most admirable about the association, however, is the personal contact maintained continually by its staff, including visits, telephone and email communications, as well as the dissemination of articles in the media on critical issues. The ASA’s ongoing informational stream lends inestimable value to all of these industry related activities. Together with its sister publication PVF Outlook, this officially sponsored plumbing quarterly reaches a combined total of 70,000 end users. PB Outlook and PVF Outlook represent the latest of the invaluable support that the ASA affords its membership and the PHCP industry as a whole.
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