Mike Adelizzi, 2015-01-12 01:50:16
THERE ARE MORE THAN 25,000 national trade associations in America with an additional 65,000 state and local associations representing their industry's interests — hundreds of thousands of companies and individual professionals seeking to strengthen their industries through association with one another while setting aside competitive issues to seek value together. The American Supply Association is your home. Here you can find a vibrant community, exceptional experiences and essential tools to advance your ability. Five educational colleges, more than 20 role-based training tracks, more than 200 online courses, a branch manager certification program, an annual economic forecast with monthly updates, an annual compensation study, an annual operating performance report to benchmark your firm against competitors, premier networking events, four peer-to-peer networking councils, full-time representation in Washington, D.C., to protect your interests, monthly sales data, commodity and materials reports, customer outreach efforts, and a career development initiative make the value of ASA unmatched. In ASA President Rick Fantham's inaugural Letter from the ASA President column, he urges companies to "Jump In." The time to jump in has never been more important. While members of ASA represent the majority of branch locations and total distributor sales nationwide in our industry, there still are companies that choose not to belong. The reasons vary from, "I don't have time to add more things to my plate" to "ASA is for large distributors only." I believe that these companies are not aware of just how valuable membership in the only industry association has become. Whatever the reason, it's time that every distributor joins ASA. Here are just a few reasons why you should jump in: STRONGER TOGETHER Several years ago, ASA members stepped up to fund a fulltime ASA staff member who works solely for our industry in Washington, D.C. Members of Congress always ask, "Who do you represent in my district?" It's important that we are able to list every distributor name as members of the association. Numbers are important when it comes to protecting an industry. This issue alone is reason enough to jump in. BETTER DATA ASA conducts numerous business intelligence reports that provide great insight into economic trends in the marketplace. The greater the number of distributor firms reporting their data, the more valuable the information that the association provides in its monthly sales reports, compensation study and operating performance report becomes. Having access to what's happening in the marketplace with a high assurance of accuracy is yet another compelling reason to jump in. TRAINING AND EDUCATION The number-one reason we hear from distributors as to why they have joined ASA is because of the vast offerings of training programs and resources available to help them train their employees efficiently and costeffectively. One of the goals of ASA's Education Foundation is to become the one-stop-shop for training in our industry. And with the addition of manufacturer training being rolled out in ASA University this year, that goal soon will be realized. As the economy continues to improve and manufacturers and distributors look to hire additional staff, the value of jumping in has never been greater. SHARED EXPERIENCES Network 2015 is the highlight of the year for our industry's leaders, experiencing an impressive growth in both quantity of attendees and quality of program content over the past five years. Yet, the value offered though ASA membership is not just for the benefit of the CEO/owners of the industry. In fact, ASA's Peer Networking councils are where the value really thrives. By creating these networking communities, ASA members now are able to provide their key managers with the support network vital to their success. With councils for training and HR, warehouse and operations, showroom, and finance departments, ASA offers a peer-topeer network to support virtually every level of management within your company. JUMP IN NOW So whether you are a small, one-location distributor with a few employees, or a larger, regional distributor not yet engaged in ASA, we urge you to jump in now and lend your voice to our efforts in Washington and participate in the numerous valuable programs ASA has to offer. Together we can build a stronger industry. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE Establishes Goals for 2015 DURING THE PAST SEVEN YEARS, the American Supply Association, through the efforts of our staff and leadership, created a vision of where our association was headed and how we would lead ourselves in that direction of growth. Through our long-range strategic governance process, which was developed in 2008 and has been revised annually with the assistance of nearly 70 volunteer leaders, we have achieved some very lofty goals. Full-time representation in Washington, D.C., comprehensive training programs delivered right to our members' employees, economic forecasting, career development programs, creation of a Women in Industry division, emerging partnerships with our industry customers and engagement of the industry have all been a result of our association's visionary leadership. For 2015, the ASA Board of Directors has approved expanding our workforce development efforts. The association has invested a significant amount in marketing career opportunities that our industry has to offer high school and college students. This includes: facilitation of career fairs at major military bases reaching transitioning military personnel; support for craft training with our allied partners; and exhibiting at customer trade shows such as KBIS and NAHB's International Builders Show to market our members to industry customers. In addition, we've added manufacturer training to ASA University, making it a one-stop-shop, and we are incorporating an interactive ASA membership directory on our website linking customers and job seekers directly to our members' websites. These are just a few enhancements that we have in store for the coming year. We also have enhanced our industry-leading peer networking programs and increased investment in the educational value of NetworkASA, to be held in Chicago Oct. 27-29 as we continue to establish the can't-miss event as "the place where the industry meets." With another successful year behind us and an exciting year ahead with new initiatives, ASA is one step closer to becoming indispensable to achieving prosperity in our industry. ASA UNIVERSITY NOW OFFERS FREE PRODUCT TRAINING COURSES ASA university is currently working with member manufacturers of the American supply Association to include their product training coureses in ASA-U online, the association's Web-based learning management system. "With the help of our training partners, we are able to provide quality education to keep the industry up-to-date on current product trends," states Amy Black, executive director of the ASA Education Foundation. "It is our goal for ASA University to be the one-stop-shop for all industry and development resources. The addition of manufacturer training will help progress ASA University toward that goal." New courses will be added throughout the year and can be found by logging in to ASA-U online at www.asauniversity.net. HAYES TO BE FEATURED AT 2015 ASA LEGISLATIVE FLY-IN Stephen F. Hayes, political columnist for The Weekly Standard and official biographer for Vice President Richard Cheney, will be a featured presenter at ASA's 2015 Legislative Fly-In, to be held April 14-15 in Washington, DC. Please visit www.asa.net for a full schedule of events and event registration information. Contact Dan Hilton at email@example.com or (703) 328-5234 for more details.
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