Scott Bardreau 2017-06-30 03:04:09
“We take full advantage of the many services and unique advantages that come with membership in ASA.” Privately owned Matco-Norca has been in business for more than 60 years and an ASA member for almost as long. The company, headquartered in Brewster, N.Y., is a leading supplier of globally sourced, code-complaint plumbing and PVF products for use in residential and industrial applications. Its nationwide market reach is made possible by trusted ISO-9002 suppliers linked to five geographically positioned distribution centers and select regional warehouses. Scott Bardreau, Matco-Norca’s vice president of sales, had this to say about the longstanding relationship between the company and ASA, and how he benefits personnally from ASA programs and services. “Without a doubt, ASA provides us with unlimited opportunities to learn, engage and network within our industry, and we take full advantage of the many services and unique advantages that come with membership in ASA. Our association with the Industrial Piping Division (IPD) has exposed us to fellow suppliers of industrial and mechanical PVF, wholesale distributors and manufacturers reps. Through the services of the IPD we’ve been able to interact with a wide range of colleagues, gain practical industry information and market intelligence about latest trends, and participate in forums to address common issues of concern. We have benefitted from IPD membership as a direct result of the information sharing, counsel and advice we’ve received. It has helped us develop a successful, ongoing strategic direction. The NETWORK event’s IPD Breakfast each year gives us a front-row seat to some of the most dynamic and most successful people in the world. We hear stories and firsthand accounts of how others have faced challenges and tackled issues in their lives. It is critical for all of us to be exposed to people that understand many of the challenges we face and how they have employed good management techniques and used effective leadership skills to captain their way through both calm seas and some turbulent waters as well. Speaking of the NETWORK event, our ASA membership gives us access to this most anticipated industry event each year, and it never disappoints. We never fail to come away from the event newly informed, inspired and recharged, and renewed in our faith in our industry and our fellow professionals across companies and services. NETWORK provides valuable information and knowledge on not only what others are doing but to what is happening across our industry. We view NETWORK as a valuable tool that affords every company in the PHCP-PVF industry a chance to connect with their channel partners through educational sessions, one-on-one appointments and other networking events. Being a moderately sized, privately held company, we especially enjoy the opportunity to connect with our wholesale partners over the course of NETWORK. Participating in NETWORK affords us the valuable one-on-one time to meet with the leaders of these companies and discuss a range of common interests: new products that we are bringing to market, new programs that will make doing business with Matco-Norca that much easier and emerging marketplace trends that will affect each of us. Upon our return from NETWORK, we convene to discuss what we learned, who we spoke with and formulate strategies to carry us not only through the end of the year but into the future. We look forward to attending this year’s event in Nashville! Additionally, regional affiliate organizations such as the Southern Wholesalers Association (SWA), Wholesalers Association of the North East (WANE), North Central Wholesalers Association (NCWA) and Pacific Southwest Distributors Association are instrumental in keeping us connected to our customers on a region-by-region basis. Without a doubt, ASA’s legislative and regulatory initiatives bring into focus the issues that specifically impact supplychain partners throughout the PHCP and industrial PVF industry, specifically tax and regulatory issues. Guidance on these often complex matters is especially important to family-owned small- and medium-size businesses. Reading ASA Advisory reports also provides valuable insight into what is happening around us. We gain valuable insight from ASA’s economic synopsis into current B2B trends, the housing starts data the association provides, as well being given a constant snapshot of what’s happening in Washington, D.C. On a more personal note, I rely on the ASA calendar to help me stay current with the full range of industry events. It’s one more reason why ASA is our trusted partner. Advocacy Expands Beyond Washington ON A DAY WHEN single-payer health care was rumored to be passing the Senate, leaders of ASA in California joined with other small-business owners to advocate for common-sense proposals out of the state capitol. As a note of irony, while hearing Governor Jerry Brown address those in attendance, comment cards were distributed to provide feedback. Seeing the large list of industries to select from, attendee John Mills of WHCI Plumbing Supply noted, “We’re not on here, they don’t recognize distribution!” As is often the case, distributors, both plumbing and PVF, find themselves wondering where they fit, and who represents their interests. This reinforces the need for our industry to stand up and speak with ONE voice for OUR interests. This is why ASA was advocating for common-sense solutions such as AB 968 and AB 1654, both sponsored by Assemblywoman Rubio. If signed into law, it would provide businesses a much needed seat at the table with state water authorities in developing water-use efficiency and conservation regulations that will affect their competitiveness. It would require the Department of Water Resources to convene a commercial, industrial and institutional water-use efficiency taskforce to create water-efficiency measures for the various segments of commercial, industrial and institutional water use. Said Bradford White’s Eric Truskoski, “California’s regulatory environment has been a challenge in recent years. It has effectively narrowed consumer options when it comes to water heating. There are a variety of efficient, eco-friendly water heating options, and consumers should be able to select from all of them, regardless of technology and fuel type. Our industry supports smart regulation, and welcomes the opportunity to work with policymakers to effectively drive water heating solutions that work toward addressing national, state, and local energy and environmental concerns.” Second-time attendee Mike Abeling of Consumers Pipe and Supply also made a simple offer to his assemblyman’s Freddie Rodriguez, to come by when he's Abeling encouraged his assemblyman, Freddie Rodriguez, to come by when he’s offering his employees and customers complimentary refreshments-a terrific opportunity to meet voters and those he represents. “Cultivating relationships with policymakers is as important as relationships with customers, which takes time, effort and a mutual understanding of one and other’s perspective.” Other issues of interest to members of ASA is the threat of costly tax hikes on small, family-run businesses. ASA opposed two bills moving through the Senate that would do so. SB 567, introduced by Senator Lara, increases taxes on employers, requiring payment of capital gains on the inheritance of a family business as well as eliminating a deduction for corporations with regard to CEO compensation. While SB 726, by Senator Wiener, creates the opportunity to impose a state estate tax that will significantly harm family-owned or closely held businesses that are transferred upon death, while adding another layer of taxes. When California already has the highest personal income tax and sales tax rates in the country, as well as one of the highest corporate tax rates, small-business owners stood up and said enough is enough! ASA’s Peer Networking Councils ASA’S PEER NETWORKING COUNCILS focus on four key areas of business, allowing members to connect and network within all levels of the association. The Peer Networking Councils focus on the following areas: Finance- The Finance Council is designed to engage those in financial management with the latest industry trends, how they will impact business and how to stay on track. Showroom- The Showroom Managers Council brings together individuals who are responsible for running a wholesale distribution showroom. This council focuses on establishing a service-oriented team, maintaining a high quality of customer service and different selling techniques, along with the latest industry design trends. Training and HR- The Training and Human Resources Council involves the employees responsible for creating and implementing training programs at both distributor and manufacturing firms. This council also address human resources issues such as retention and recruitment of employees. Operations and Logistics- This council is composed of members who run a distribution warehouse. This council provides the opportunity to benchmark performance against others in the industry, along with trends and performance models. For each of the Peer Networking Councils there is a planning committee composed of ASA members specific to the council field. The planning committees provide the input on topics and presenters for future council programs. ASA provides the means for members to network with each other on these and other important topics so companies stay relevant in the industry. Members are encouraged to ake advantage of ASA’s Peer Networking Councils and engage in direct communication with other member employees who share similar job functions, challenges and opportunities. This is a way to connect with your peers and share best practices. More events will be added throughout the year so keep checking the networking calendar on the ASA website. ASA Provides Comment on IAPMO UPC & UMC The comment stage to develop the 2018 Uniform Plumbing Code (UPC) and the Uniform Mechanical Code (UMC) is now complete. The Technical Committees (TC) for these codes met in Anaheim, Calif., May 1-4 to address public comments submitted. ASA attended the hearings to speak on 12 public comments that were submitted to the UPC and 12 that were submitted to the UMC on behalf of the ASA Codes and Standards Committee. ASA also spoke on other items that affected the interest of its members. Prior to the May hearings, the ASA Codes and Standards Committee met to discuss all comments that can possibly affect the interest of ASA members. Out of the 27 items of interest for the UPC, 21 went in ASA’s favor. For the UMC, out of 17 items of interest, 13 went in ASA’s favor. One of the most contentious items the UPC TC discussed dealt with the use of 1 1/2-in. minimum trap and trap-arm size for showers. The UPC TC agreed for a minimum of 1 1/2-in. trap and trap-arm for retrofit installations only. This item will now go for electronic balloting for final approval. The UMC had contentious items as well. One of the items discussed, in great length, was Item # 072 which intended to limit the use of flex ducts to 5 ft. for both residential and commercial applications. The UMC TC ultimately agreed to limit flex ducts 5 ft. for commercial applications only as it currently reads in the 2015 edition. This item will also go for electronic balloting for final approval. The next IAPMO meeting will be the annual Education and Business Conference in Anchorage, Alaska on Sept. 24-28. At this meeting, an item can be brought back up; therefore, ASA will maintain an active role and follow the IAPMO process to assure the interest of ASA members and the health and safety of the public are protected. INNOVATION CORNER JULY, 2017 It’s Not About Differentiation! Dirk Beveridge, UnleashWD INNOVATION REQUIRES VISION. By any definition of innovation, it is about creating something new and that is valued. I have thought long and hard, researched and talked to many wholesale-distribution leaders about the definition of innovation. We have reviewed how hundreds of wholesaler-distributors and manufacturers define innovation. If there was one major thread, it is around the word “differentiation.” Many wholesaler-distributors and manufacturers attached their definition of innovation to their company’s ability to differentiate itself in the marketplace. It’s important to call this out. Innovation is not about differentiation. When you are focused on differentiation you are focused on two entities: your company and your competitors. That is the wrong focus. Innovation is not about you. Let me say that again: innovation is not about you. It’s not about your competitors or even trying to keep up with your competitors. To the contrary, innovation is about your customers. The Innovative Distributor leads customers to a better future for which they are willing to reward you.
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