Dan Hilton 2016-04-06 00:47:02
ASA Takes on California and its Industry Regulations Join ASA Members June 15-16 for Sacramento Day ASA’s advocacy efforts are set to take off in a new direction. We are expanding our ability to impact government regulations and their impact on our industry and your business. Seeing the challenges continually placed on our manufacturers and small businesses within our industry and beyond, ASA’s leadership has approved plans for ASA to bring our advocacy programs beyond the Washington Beltway and engage in Sacramento, Calif. As you know, California and the regulations that come out of the state capital dramatically impact the way you do business. In fact, I’m sure you wouldn’t be surprised to hear that many of the distributors in California have employees spending an inordinate amount of time monitoring which products no longer meet the ever-changing laws passed each year. The time that could be better spent growing a business, instead is spent avoiding fines and penalties. And as Hirsch Pipe & Supply’s Bill Glockner said in the 2015 Supply House Times Distributor Roundtable: “Being based in California, it seems like we’ve had a permanent obsolescence team. Every year there is some new legislated issue that we have to manage around and some chunk of our inventory likely will become obsolete because of it. We are afraid to guess what is it going to be next? I feel like our legislators believe they know more about the materials needed in plumbing products than manufacturing experts or research scientists.” In February, I traveled to California and spent the day in the Sacramento State House meeting with many of your elected leaders. For those used to traveling to ASA’s Washington Fly-in, I can assure you of the relative ease in navigating around just one legislative building, as opposed to six in Washington, D.C. It was uplifting to identify so many allies that I was able to connect with. In meeting after meeting I was pleased to hear how encouraged they are that small business owners are beginning to engage, particularly as it relates to water. In fact, when I shared with one staffer the practical realities and unintended consequences of the oft-maligned Reduction of Lead in Drinking Water Act and the millions of dollars’ worth of inventory that was tossed aside by many of our members, her reaction spoke volumes. “Those are stories we needed to hear to try and stop this from moving forward”. ASA and many of your elected leaders need your help. For the first time in recent memory, we are asking you to come to Sacramento on June 15 and 16 and Support our efforts to begin educating your state senators and general assembly on the issues you are facing. We believe that this is the key missing link in challenging the outlandish regulations being promulgated in Sacramento. This is just the first step of what ASA is working to offer in California as we begin to lead our members in fighting for common-sense regulations. Many of you may have heard that ASA is moving toward becoming fully engaged in codes and standards with the hiring of a code engineer. Some of the focus of this new position will be to support our advocacy efforts in California. But it begins with you helping us with this first step and what’s to come to Sacramento. We may have lost the battle on lead in plumbing, but we will never be in that position again. The time is now to build the relationships needed to help us win the battles of the future in order to prevent more aggressive water conservation measures from being implemented. If we don’t establish these relationships today, our industry will continue be threatened tomorrow. Join us in Sacramento and take a stand for the PHCP-PVF industry! Finally, one hidden benefit. Did you know that California legislators are term-limited? Whether they serve in the Assembly or Senate, they can only serve a maximum of 12 years. Perhaps one positive out of the state that’s been known to wreak havoc in so many other ways? Eliminating legislators for life. By not having to constantly look over your shoulder for fear of defeat at the ballot box, California legislators have proven they’re interested in getting things done. It’s our responsibility to ensure that they get it right. ASA to Engage in Codes and Standards As we know, regulatory initiatives promulgated at both the national and particularly the state level can have a major impact on the PHCP-PVF industry. Often, changes to standards and codes take place under the radar and without much time or chance to impact them before they become law. A greater effort MUST be made to protect the industry and the public from costly regulations that have little benefit. Left unchecked, our industry would have to deal with myriad state codes and standards making our products expensive and difficult to manage as manufacturers attempt to meet multiple standards, on a state-by-state basis. To make matters worse, distributors would be forced to stock unnecessary products, taking up valuable warehouse space. A great example of this is once a new code is introduced in California, extreme pressure is put on other states and markets to follow suit and meet the California code changes. The result is numerous states having multiple interpretations all addressing the same issue. Manufacturers must then ramp up to meet those new standards by manufacturing multiple products, adding cost to production and to maintain additional inventory. Distributors that operate across state lines must add inventory to meet multiple state standards. To alleviate this issue, the industry must then seek relief through a federal agency to issue a national standard. The unfortunate downside to this has been the defensive nature of asking for a national standard. It is precisely for these key reasons that the ASA leadership is in the development stages of creating a new staff position of Director of Codes & Standards. The position of Director of Codes & Standards for ASA will include responsibility for the overall coordination of business strategy, policy development and coordination within all ASA departments. The position will also liaison with allied industry organizations and be highly visible; he or she will be viewed as the principal spokesperson for the association in the plumbing, heating, mechanical, water, environmental and technical areas. The Director of Codes & Standards will assume a leadership role in positioning plumbing, heating, cooling, pipe, valves and fittings products, as well as other industry-related products, to better serve core constituencies and the industry in general. This will include supporting the association’s government affairs operation as well as it’s educational programs. He or she will consistently provide ASA members with access to codes and standards activities for all products in every vertical; and stay current on the impact of codes/standards in areas such as national model codes and select state and local codes. This person will also be a key liaison between ASA and relevant trade associations as well as various code committees/councils such as ICC, ASPE, ASHRE, PPI, PMI, AHRI, PHCC/MCAA and CIPH. The Director of Codes & Standards will develop and maintain strong relationships with industry stakeholders and the PHCPPVF community. In addition, he or she will leverage ASA’s diverse membership and role in the industry to impact codes and standards as well as provide policy guidance and support in government relations activities at the state and federal levels. This will include monitoring local, state and federal government legislation and regulations related to industry product issues, and developing and presenting testimony that supports the adoption of industry codes. This person will also be responsible for coordinating and leading a coherent and organized response to codes and standards by driving to build consensus among the ASA membership. Last but not least, the Director of Codes & Standards will provide education and training on codes and standards processes and changes to members and their employees, as well as engaging them in the process. For more information on ASA’s Codes and Standards position, including further details and/or a pledge form, please contact MIKE ADELIZZI, ASA executive vice president, at email@example.com or at 630.467.0000, ext. 201. OUR INDUSTRY’S FUTURE PARTNERS WITH OUR NATION’S VETERANS This past February, Rogers Earl Jr. (YE chairman), Chris Reynolds (YE Officers Council), and Bill Erfort (YE staff liaison, ASA) went to Crested Butte, Colo., to visit and volunteer with Operation Rise & Conquer and the Adaptive Sports Center. After seeing the program first-hand, Earl Jr. Said: “During our visit, we were able to see the programs and facilities, qualified and friendly staff, and most importantly, the participating military. Volunteering with the veterans and experiencing how this program positively affects their confidence and morale further backs up our support.” Over the course of roughly three days of programming, the Young Execs were able to assist a group of U.S. Air Force and Marine Corps veterans participate in snow-based activities including skiing, snowboarding and a day of ice climbing. For more information about Operation Rise & Conquer, please visit www.asa.net/ORC. Train Your Employees on Key Commercial Plumbing Systems Learn in 3D with the 3D Commercial Schematic©—Plumbing Systems Training Package! This training package, built by ASA University specifically for our industry, takes students into typical hospital plumbing systems with five interactive lessons and quizzes that focus on: the water supply; carriers and drainage; fixtures, faucets and trim; appliances; and appurtenances. See water movement and other important features animated in a typical commercial setting to help students visualize how water flows through a plumbing structure. The 3D hospital schematic takes employees to the next level of their knowledge and ability to work on and understand the inner-workings of a commercial plumbing system. Find out more by visiting the ASA University store at www.asa.net/store. We Were All Wrong by Dan Hilton, Director of Government Affairs It was late on Super Tuesday while reading through various musings on the state of the race for the White House when I read a quote from a pundit that really spelled things out. “Until at least the year 2044, every political science doctoral candidate’s dissertation will need to include ‘with the exception of 2016.’” Elections generally have a semblance of predictability. We often can guess which candidate will rise, and certainly which ones will fall. Six months ago, NOBODY predicted we’d be where we are today, myself included, on the verge of possibly electing a reality television star and real estate mogul to the highest office in the land; a true outsider. What concerns many is the known “unknowns,” as Don Rumsfeld coined, regarding what was then the new age of terrorism. With most candidates for president, they stand on a political platform largely supported by the party elders; based on generations of tradition and history. But that may all go away and fall into the hands of an unknown quantity; a true outsider who hasn’t spent years in the governor’s mansion or on the floor of the United States Senate. The truth is we don’t know what the next president may do. But, we have other avenues to confront these unknowns. This is through ASA PAC and the help we provide to our allies in Congress. Winston Churchill once said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others that have been tried from time to time.” Thankfully the First Amendment gives us the ability to influence one-third of our government, by supporting our allies in the House and Senate. With the support of our members and many of our volunteer leaders, we’re able to give the PHCP-PVF industry a voice in the halls of Congress. There is no better way to support your industry in Washington than through ASA PAC. Join us today! Visit www.asa.net/Advocacy/ ASA-PAC for more details. The Industry IN FOCUS The most anticipated industry event every year, NETWORK2016, brings together industry leaders and decision-makers from wholesaler-distributors, manufacturers, independent reps and professional leaders in our industry to network, learn and grow. Continuing to be THE event for the PHCP-PVF industry, ASA once again packed the event agenda to maximize your time in solidifying existing relationships and building new industry connections. This will surely have you leaving with more knowledge about the industry, and most importantly your customers, vendors and peers. Register now to take advantage of the early-bird savings and to see the exciting plans we have in store for you September 28-30 in New York City. Visit ASA.net/Register16 more more details. I AM ASA “We joined ASA to improve our training process which at one time was virtually nonexistent. Today, I am pleased to report that we have a viable, well-structured training program that benefits all our employees” – Brian Tuohey Collins Companies INNOVATION CORNER APRIL 2016 Distribution Needs A Catalyst For Change I was sitting in a theater in Providence, R.I. for the Business Innovation Factory two-day innovation summit. For two days I immersed myself in the storytellers who took the stage. One moment we heard from a social entrepreneur who talked about the need to innovate to help the victims of Hurricane Katrina. Next we heard from the VP of Innovation at Intel. For two days, a stream of storytellers … the only thing they had in common was the word “Innovation.” I thought about distribution. Right or wrong I thought, not much innovation coming out of the 250,000 distributors across this country. So I needed to test my assumption. I called CEO’s of distribution businesses, large and small in all lines of trade. Almost universally they agreed. The business of distribution is complex and busy. We get caught up in today and lose sight of the innovation and change that’s required for the future. One CEO summed it up well, when he said, “Dirk, wholesalers and distributors need a catalyst for change.” You Can Do This Ask your leadership team to identify mega trends and market dynamics that suggest how we do business “tomorrow” will be different than how we do business “today.” WATCH ASA NEWS MONTHLY THROUGHOUT 2016 FOR BRAND-NEW INSTALLMENTS OF INNOVATION CORNER.
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