Business Intelligence to Advance Your Insights Chris Murin, American Supply Association CRITICAL TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR BUSINESS are timely data and relevant statistics about performance, materials and markets. So is leading information and analysis about our industry that helps you to make accurate, confident and supported decisions with channel partners and satisfy customer demands. Doing so more quickly helps you set better goals, objectives and priorities so your company is positioned to increasingly gain competitive advantages. According to Kevin Craine, managing director of Crain Communications Group based in Portland, Ore., “Business intelligence can be used to support a wide range of business objectives and strategies.” According to an article he wrote for Workflow, short-term operational decisions, such as product positioning and competitive pricing, are generally enhanced with better business intelligence. Long-term strategies concerning things such as branding and market share are more successful with the perspective that business intelligence can provide. “In any case, business intelligence is more effective when it combines external data culled from the market in which the company operates with internal data found within the company, such as financial numbers and operational information. When external and internal data are combined together, the perspective creates an ‘intelligence’ that cannot be derived by any singular view or set of data.” The American Supply Association is our industry’s national organization, and it understands how business intelligence gives you the insights to advance your business: Prepare for change and develop longer-term strategies to continuously reduce risk and increase profit from evolving economic trends; The most current and qualified market data and analysis on various materials with comprehensive insight on price-influencing actions within different market segments; Detailed comparisons of compensation and benefits programs for distribution executives and employees; Determine the market value of a business with an accurate and objective method that will save you thousands; and Pinpoint operational strengths and weaknesses relative to industry demographics as well as regular snapshots of industry performance relative to the broader economy, different market areas, sales volumes and industry segments. When it comes to pinpointing operational strengths and weaknesses as well as guidance for developing long-term strategies that prepare your business for the future, ASA’s annual Operating Performance Report (OPR) simply delivers. With nearly 200 firms contributing data for this annual report, the OPR is the most comprehensive compilation of accurate and up-to-date financial performance information for the PHCP and industrial PVF wholesale distribution industry. For 35 years, it has served as the basis for comparing an individual company’s performance with industry comparatives across product emphasis, sales volume and number of branches. You may be saying to yourself, “I’m not a financial expert. I don’t have the time to pore through countless performance ratios trying to understand what they mean.” The fact is, the OPR is designed so you do not have to be a financial expert and you do not need to spend a lot of time in order to learn invaluable insights about your business that are not otherwise possible. Therefore, the OPR is designed to serve as a customized, easy-to-understand, actionable tool for you to evaluate your company’s operating results, identify profit leaks, set new goals and measure employees’ productivity. It also provides objective feedback for managers as well as valuable data about the industry to share with your company’s accountant and financial institutions. Further, wholesalerdistributors and their suppliers can and do use this information to strengthen partnerships with one another. Bottom line: Understanding a variety of performance metrics and the impact of this type of analysis means the difference between simply operating your business and excelling in our industry. Learn more: www.asa.net/business-intelligence email@example.com | 630.467.0000, press 5 MY ROI "We use the OPR as a benchmark against our internal numbers and find it very useful. This is an added benefit to our membership in ASA and its Industrial Piping Division." Mike Abeling President & CEO Consumers Pipe & Supply "For at least the last 20 years, I’ve found ASA’s annual OPR to be an invaluable tool for Dakota Supply Group. Given the diverse product selection we offer to our customers, we rely on ASA for this resource that provides a consistent historical analysis and ways to measure our company and others within various business segments." Ross Westby Divisional Controller Dakota Supply Group "Our membership provides access to ASA’s critical industry reports delivered in real time about developments that are impacting our industry and forecasts changes to expect." Joe Pro President Pennsylvania Machine Works "At Collins, we utilize the OPR’s ‘high-profit firms’ benchmark as a tool for measuring our performance in every operating and financial area." Brian Tuohey President The Collins Companies The Revenue Growth Habit By Alex L. Goldfayn, CEO, Evangelist Marketing Institute IF YOU WANT TO GROW your company quickly, you need to think about it the right way. You’re not selling, you’re helping. You’re not imposing, you’re providing great value. Ask your customers, they’ll tell you. Here are some additional revenue growth truisms: MARKETING IS THE LOW-HANGING FRUIT. If you want to grow your business, there is nothing you can do – not even sales meetings – that will grow your company faster, easier and more effectively than good marketing. Sales is one-on-one. Marketing is one-to-many. Marketing allows people to raise their hands and volunteer themselves as being interested in your work. Marketing feeds your salespeople. Marketing feeds your family. EFFECTIVE MARKETING REQUIRES THE RIGHT MINDSET. Which is to say, you cannot outmarket, or out-sell, or out-produce your mindset. If you think products or services, that’s what you will market. If, conversely, you believe you are improving lives and growing businesses, that is what you will market. Since marketing is nothing more than a transference of perceptions (yours, onto your market), good marketing begins between your ears. Here, then, are the major mindset shifts required to improve your marketing: YOU DON’T SELL PRODUCTS AND SERVICES, YOU IMPROVE LIVES AND COMPANIES. There’s such a massive difference between these two beliefs that this shift can actually mean seven figures in additional sales for most of you reading this. If you tell me you sell products or services, I think you’re a commodity and I’m bored. If, conversely, you tell me you can help me grow my business and as a result I can achieve my dreams, you will have my undivided attention (and probably some of my money, too). YOU’RE NOT IMPOSING ON PROSPECTS’ TIME, YOU’RE AVAILING THEM OF YOUR TREMENDOUS VALUE. When you believe that you’re in the business of improving lives and growing companies, you don’t hesitate to pick up the phone to tell people about the great value they’re missing out on if they don’t do business with you. The effective mindset is “I believe in my value and will shamelessly communicate it to clients and prospects.” Unfortunately, too many members think “I don’t want to bother my prospects.” Here’s the truth: You are doing prospects a disservice by not informing them of how you can help them. You owe it to them! They deserve to know. This next mindset shift one is huge, with tremendous implications for your company’s success: EFFECTIVE REVENUE GROWERS TAKE ACTION INSTEAD OF OVER-THINKING, OVER-PLANNING AND UNDER-EXECUTING. Want to know the key to marketing more? It’s marketing more. This is how easy it is. There is no secret or magic to growing your business besides taking more action. That’s it. If you want to grow your business, market. If you want to market better, or more, then believe in your value and focus your mind (and your messaging) on how people are better off after working with you, rather than on your products and services. And, in the name of all things revenue and growing bank accounts, take action! To hear more from Alex Goldfayn, be sure to register for the ASA Young Executive’s Spring Forum in Cleveland, May 22-24. For more information, go to www.asa.net/YE Speaking with ONE voice IS THERE ANY DOUBT that every vote counts and every voice is heard? It’s 2017 and a new president was recently sworn in, along with a Republican-controlled House and Senate. No matter your political leanings in Washington, inaugurations are an exciting time (especially in a town that hasn’t won a sports title in almost 30 years, we just don’t get those kinds of parades). We’ve all heard the campaign promises, that the Affordable Care Act will be repealed and replaced. But just as challenging as it was to craft the original law in 2009–2010, repealing and replacing it will be equally challenging and this is where the rubber meets the road. How challenging will it be? An apt comparison might be the long slog to build the Next Gen air traffic controlling system. One that needs to be built, tested and deployed WHILE PLANES ARE FLYING. The fact is, NextGen’s slowly being inserted into our air travel system airport by airport, with the timeline being from 2012–2025 to get it fully stood up; oh and it must also integrate with foreign systems to accommodate overseas travel. The belief back in 2009 was that Congress wouldn’t get it right and there are many, including members of ASA that believe that they did not. Based on the election results, it might appear that millions of voters believed that as well. But how do we know they’ll get it right this time around? From the meetings we’ve had in January, the sole focus has been on repeal, with a replacement to come later. A complete and total repeal could be as problematic as it is welcome. For example, much of the law is based around tax credits and subsidies. Do those get repealed before, during or after the policies within the law are repealed? We can assume that a transition period of several years will be a part of the repeal, meaning that although the law may be repealed, the actual date that it is no longer law of the land will be a few years later, allowing Congress time to come up with a sufficient repeal. The next several months will be crucial for every stakeholder. What do you want kept in the law? What do you want scrapped? As we’ve said, we don’t think they got it right in the past, which was because they didn’t listen to the most important stakeholders, the employer community that bears the brunt of these costs. Now is the time to get involved, contribute to your industry’s political action committee and get your team engaged. ASA will enable you to use your voice and to make your opinion heard. Take advantage! It’s Time to Reach Out to Your Future Workforce IN 2017, FINDING, hiring and retaining millennials remains a very important topic. ASA’s work continues in this area by communicating, each month, with guidance counselors at high schools, colleges and trade schools as they look for employment opportunities for their students. ASA has identified career events across the country that give companies in the industry a chance to get in front of future job seekers to show them the successful careers they can have. These efforts are more likely to succeed with companies volunteering to talk to these students. Your company may not have an opening right now, but in the next few years you will certainly be looking. The industry needs to be proactive in building the pipeline of the future workforce. If not now, then it will be too late when the effects of the labor shortage start to take over. If ASA has not identified opportunities in your area, then you need to start reaching out to your local schools in your communities. Not sure where to start? Contact ASA for some help in the right direction. For more information about career events in your area, and other career recruitment tools, visit www.asa.net/Careers. ASA is ACCESS for Master Distributors MASTER DISTRIBUTORS JOIN ASA for many of the same reasons why wholesaler-distributors and other vendor members do: peer networking with decision-makers, industry recognition, employee training and education, industry-specific business intelligence, and lending their support to ASA’s unified voice in the legislative and regulatory arenas. These 12 companies support ASA because it is the one national association that advances the PHCPPVF supply chain and connects them with the industry’s leading manufacturers and wholesalerdistributors across the U.S. in ways proven to strengthen their partnerships and relationships with one another: Energy Metals Industry Valco JMF Kelly Pipe Co. Kessler Sales & Distribution Matco-Norca Merfish Pipe & Supply MSI Products PHAC Products The Distribution Point United Pipe & Steel Corp. Wal-Rich Corp. THE TIME TO JOIN IS NOW because being your customers’ supplier of choice means your people will sell more products more profitably, elevate the level of service they provide, and make fewer mistakes that cost time and money for your company and your customers. Learn more: www.asa.net/Join-ASA firstname.lastname@example.org | 630.467.0000, press 5 ASA University New Product Offerings ASA UNIVERSITY CONTINUES to update and add courses to the University Store. Two of the most recent additions are the Essentials of Profitable Showroom Sales and Creative Problem Solving. Essentials of Profitable Showroom Sales has been updated to cover the critical concepts of consultative selling, showroom marketing, and customer service. Designed to help new employees sharpen their selling skills and seasoned salespeople to refresh theirs, the course describes the important role that showrooms play in the overall operation of the wholesale-distribution busines. Creative Problem Solving is a course in which participants will learn how to integrate creativity with analytic thinking for effective problem solving and to develop critical thinking skills. To see these and our other course offerings visit: www.asa.net/store. ASA Appointed to the ICC Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Code Action Committee THE AMERICAN SUPPLY ASSOCIATION is proud to announce it has been appointed by the International Code Council (ICC) Board of Directors as a member of the Plumbing, Mechanical, and Fuel Gas Code Action Committee (PMGCAC) for the 2018-2019 Code Development Cycle. Hugo Aguilar, P. E., ASA's director of codes and standards, has been appointed to represent ASA as a full committee voting member for these codes. The objective of the code action committees are to enhance the technical requirements of the international codes. The committee shall pursue opportunities to improve and enhance a particular international code or portion thereof. This includes both the technical aspects of the codes as well as the code content in terms of scope and application of referenced standards. This is accomplished by submitting proposed code changes and participating in the code-development process. This participation consists of supporting the proposed changes submitted as well as participating in the consideration of related changes proposed by others. The primary responsibilities assigned to the PMGCAC are the International Fuel Gas Code (IFGC), International Mechanical Code (IMC), International Plumbing Code (IPC), International Private Sewage Disposal Code (IPSDC), International Residential Code (IRC, Chapters 12-33) and the International Swimming Pool and Spa Code (ISPSC). Nearly every state in the country adopts at least one of the ICC's plumbing, mechanical or fuel gas codes at the state or local level. Currently, 35 states plus Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico and Guam adopt the 2012 version of the IPC at the state and local level. The IMC is in use or adopted in 46 states, Washington D.C., Guam, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The IFGC is in use or adopted in 42 states, Washington, D. C, Guam and Puerto Rico. This appointment is a measure of ICC's confidence in ASA's abilities to perform the duties of this committee. ASA is committed to participating in the development of these codes and bettering an industry, which protects the public's health and welfare. For any questions pertaining to the ICC appointments, please contact Aguilar at email@example.com.
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