THE AMERICAN SUPPLY ASSOCIATION and the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials will be providing much-needed courses to educate the industry on product certification and labeling. The ASA and IAPMO venture will provide education to an area of the industry that is currently lacking as there is not a source available where high quality education pertaining to certification and labeling can be obtained. The educational program, which will be jointly developed by ASA and IAPMO, will be offered through the ASA University program and IAPMO’s training and education entity IAPMO LEARN! The courses will cover the history of product marking, what is a standard, how are they developed, documentation of markings, location and approvals, just to name a few. The courses will provide education to individuals in the supplier and distribution industry on how to read the certification labels and markings on products. Overall, this effort will remove the dissatisfaction from the end user, the installer and contractor, and ultimately the wholesaler/suppliers when an unapproved part is installed and not approved by the inspector for the intended use. Just about every product has a standard. There are standards for job performance, laws that keep society functioning and standards as to what products may be used in different situations. Standard and code compliance is not limited to the jobsite. The various distribution channels have responsibility to ensure the products they promote meet the local requirements. Buyers need to be aware of changes in model regulations as well as local requirements. Not including this information in purchase orders opens the wholesaler and retailer to several bad scenarios: inventory that cannot be sold, bad reputation, customer-service issues and additional liability should there be a problem. The courses will be provided online or via seminars depending on the demand. In either case, the industry can rest assured that those who complete the courses will obtain the knowledge necessary to recognize labeling of products, understand how the products came to be certified by third-party accredited agencies and ensure that products meet local code requirements. Suppliers, distributors and wholesalers with someone on their team who successfully completes the courses can be certain that he or she will have the ability to understand the markings on their products which will, eventually, lead to them making correct business decisions. ASA University is the only resource directed specifically to the plumbingheating- cooling-piping (PHCP) and industrial and mechanical PVF industry, built from the ground up by members actively working in the industry. ASA University combines online and traditional learning to address the needs of new or seasoned employees. Your company will increase productivity, profitability and safety when employees understand their roles in running an efficient distribution business while delivering outstanding customer service. The IAPMO training and education program is an advocate of the code administration profession, and as a champion for the advancement of code professionals in pursuit of their career potentials, it is their mission to provide relevant, exceptional continuing education in a variety of formats and to offer national personnel certification and construction trades testing programs that are applicable, reliable and meet government mandates. The venture between ASA and IAPMO makes sense because ASA holds unique membership spanning manufacturers and distributors from the plumbing, HVAC and PVF sectors of the industry; IAPMO holds the experience in developing model codes and being a certification body. ASA’s unique membership can provide the technical experience and input and IAPMO can provide the technical experience from being one of the leading advocates for the safety of the public. The courses are expected to launch in early 2018. Questions pertaining to this joint effort or on the courses, should be directed to Amy Black (executive director for ASA Education Foundation) at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mike Adelizzi (executive vice president) at email@example.com. Online Education from ASA-U ASA UNIVERSITY (ASA-U) is pleased to announce a series of recent updates to ASA’s online education courseware. All updated courseware boasts an entirely revamped visual design with engaging colors, graphics and layout. Revised navigation pathways make for a more streamlined and functional experience and includes learner-driven engagement activities with several interactive elements. Presented in an audiovisual format with accompanying transcript, an integrated search feature allows users to search for terms within the course of specific interest. Automatic bookmarking also comes standard on each course. A posttest at the conclusion of the course tests knowledge gained during the exercise. ASA-U’s online education courses are developed in response to essential gaps in training curriculum in the wholesalerdistributor industry. Intended to cover both the basics of business in the industry and more nuanced approaches, ASA-U also offers many leadership-based professional training courses. Essentials of Profitable Purchasing and Inventory Management for Wholesaler-Distributors This course provides an understanding of the role of purchasing and inventory management, including definitions of common industry terms, explanations of the impact of lower prices on a supply house’s financial health, GMROI, money and non-money issues, and other issues to help employees serve their customers more effectively. Essentials of Profitable Counter Sales for Wholesaler-Distributors This course provides an overview of how counter sales staffcontributes to a profitable wholesale-distribution operation. The course defines the key role the counter staffplays and includes in-depth treatment of key distribution concerns such as gross sales, net sale, margin and markup. Other critical concerns such as pricing, specific customer needs and how to deliver exceptional customer service are covered. Coaching Conversations The “Coaching Conversations” course provides a clear definition of what coaching is and how it can be used as a technique to guide an individual toward success. Discussion of accountability, commitment and producing tangible results are included. The concept and framework of goal-setting within a formal coaching structure is reviewed as well. Coaching for Development The “Coaching for Development” course delves deeper into the specific coaching skills required to help an individual achieve their developmental goals. Learners can find out more about active listening, traits that define a good coach, as well as behaviors to avoid. To see these and our other course offerings visit: www.asa.net/store. I AM ASA The industry knowledge and wisdom ASA members bring to the table is priceless. ASA even facilitates the opportunity to build invaluable relationships between vendors, manufacturers and distributors. Whether it be regulation changes in our industry, employee development or operating performance data, ASA creates an environment for all members to succeed. – Christy Maloney Corporate Financial Analyst Coburn Supply Co. Recruiting and Retaining the Next Generation of Talent By: Bill Erfort, Member Services Manager FINDING, HIRING AND RETAINING millennials remains an important issue in the PHCPPVF industry and a key initiative of ASA. Many companies still struggle just to find qualified candidates. Once they find and hire someone, they run into the issue of keeping them. So how does one find potential employees, hire and retain them? Over the past several years, ASA has focused on developing resources for its members and connecting them with the next generation of the workforce. Between the resources that ASA University and ASA Careers already offer and the continued development and enhancement of these tools, there are several opportunities available for members to analyze and improve their own recruitment and retention strategies. Recruiting new employees seems to be one of the most difficult tasks for our industry. Where do I look? How do I get a 23-year old excited about our industry? Posting to an online job board seems to get the most reach and views, but it’s really difficult to sell someone on building a career in the industry through that medium. Going out to a career fair at a local high school or college is usually casting a smaller net, but it can be a lot more valuable. At a career fair, you have the opportunity to speak one-on-one with job seekers, find out what they’re looking for, what appeals to them and their expectations. Now, the goal is to influence as many people as you can to want to work for your company and the industry. But in order to do that, you need to show them that it’s much more than just a job, it’s a career. As for employee retention, this actually comes before you even start recruiting. You need to have a plan in place for these potential new hires. Do you have a new employee onboarding program? Do you have an internship program? This generation is afraid to be pigeon-holed like a lot of the generation before them, so what does an employee’s situation look like in a year, three years and five years down the road? How can you show them it’s a career if they can’t see a potential future? This younger generation wants to be challenged and they want their employers to invest in their growth. Having a plan in place helps them understand where they are and what they need to accomplish to advance their career. ASA continues to develop and expand its recruiting and retention resources. We strongly recommend that you analyze your own recruitment and retention strategies to see where you can improve. Don’t wait for an invitation, get out there and find the next generation of talented employees! ASA’s employee recruitment and retention resources can be accessed at: www.asa.net/employeedevelopment and www.asa.net/careers INNOVATION CORNER OCTOBER 2017 Unleash Innovation By Looking Outside Distribution Dirk Beveridge, UnleashWD THE DISRUPTIVE CHALLENGES confronting wholesaler-distributors won’t be solved and the transformative opportunities in front of distributors won’t be seized by simply talking to, studying and hanging out only with other wholesaler-distributors. As Steve Jobs once said: “It comes down to trying to expose yourself to the best that humans have done. And then try to bring those things in to what you are doing.” Want to create a culture of innovation within your business? Then commit to exposing your team to critical thought from unconventional resources. Innovative distributors who are preparing for the future will augment the needed industry-specific information with other non-traditional opportunities. We need to, as Steve Jobs said, expose ourselves to the best that humans have done – and that comes from a variety of sources. More than 85% of distributors surveyed for recent research agree that there is an imperative “to reinvent our business before someone else does.” Reinvention requires new perspectives, which requires that we consciously Lift and Shift™ ideas from outside of distribution into our businesses. ASA PAC Your Political Voice GENERATING SALES LEADS can be a laborious, time-consuming, yet rewarding process that pays offin the end. And as any member of ASA and the PHCP-PVF industry knows well, the distribution channel requires ongoing maintenance, oversight and refinement. Political action committees and political fundraising are a little different. In fact, when asked what aspect of the office that they like least, nearly every politician provides the same response: fundraising. Finding new donors and convincing past donors to contribute once again is not unlike the need to cultivate a portfolio of customers to call on to generate business in support of the company’s bottom line and future growth. The products our members manufacturer are amongst the finest in the world, but no item can sell itself without putting in the work on the ground, educating your partner to finalize the sale and giving them the confidence that this is a wise investment. Our mission with ASA-PAC is no different. As the only representative of manufacturers and distributors in the PHCP-PVF industry in Washington, we have an opportunity to put forth our issues and concerns before decision-makers cast their votes in areas of our concern, a process that takes time, relationship building and educating of decision-makers. One of the most important ways that you can support ASA is by contributing to ASA PAC. Together, we are making a difference in the political process to elevate ASA’s priorities in the political arena. We have set a goal for the 2018 election cycle of $100,000 and we need every member of ASA to help. To date, we’ve surpassed collections from each previous year, but we can do better! Being engaged in the political process is important as a citizen and as a member of ASA – every American deserves to have their voice heard. Our country was built on the foundation of political involvement and is most effective when everyone participates. It’s up to every member of ASA to help ensure there are officials elected into office who are committed to common-sense solutions that will foster a healthy economy. Our goal is to support candidates who are likely to be supportive of our interests and concerns. ASA PAC is your voice in the political process and we take your contributions to the PAC seriously. And because of that, any ASA PAC member can recommend candidates who meet the above criteria for support to the PAC Board. ASA has a number of important, yet achievable priorities. From protecting LIFO as Congress gears up to potentially rewrite the tax code to educating senior policy makers of our industry’s path to employing the next generation. With your help, we will assuredly get there! Join us today! Zoeller Pump Company is a Proud Member of the American Supply Association Zoeller Pump Company supplies dependable products that move and treat water in residential, commercial and industrial industries around the globe. From its humble beginnings in August “Pop” Zoeller’s basement in 1939, 78 years later the company has grown to several different divisions that offer a wide and varied range of products. Zoeller Pump Company has been a member of the America Supply Association since 1993. ASA provides resources for job descriptions, training ideas, industry education and helps to improve the overall connections between suppliers, manufacturers, reps and customers across the nation. As a member for more than 24 years, we have enjoyed the many beneficial services that the ASA offers. One of the greatest advantages to our ASA membership is the networking opportunities. The annual ASA NETWORK meeting has improved each year. The conference speakers are always knowledgeable and articulate and the tabletop sessions with our customers are continually something to look forward to each conference. The experience is something you don’t find anywhere else in the industry. NETWORK provides us with a unique opportunity to network with our distributors as well as catch up on the latest industry trends and news. The networking events are always helpful to the growth of our industry and allow the plumbing wholesalers and manufacturers to come together and be supportive of collective issues. The advocacy that ASA does on behalf of the plumbing, heating, cooling and piping industries is outstanding. The information it provides on relevant legislative and regulatory issues and its dedication to supporting or opposing initiatives that directly effect people working in our industry is second to none. Thanks to our membership with ASA, Zoeller Company has had several opportunities to be in front of representatives of Congress to discuss the plumbing industry, environmental issues LIFO issues, and overall industry concerns. ASA provides its members with extremely useful and valuable industry intelligence. Industry benchmarks and forecasts are exceedingly helpful tools for business growth. ASA is one of the most important avenues of communication that we utilize for information and resources that allow us to excel within the industry. There are reports and communications that we look at monthly for useful information and the development of key ideas. As a proud member of the ASA for more than 24 years, Zoeller Pump Company still values its membership and plans to continue to take advantage of the support and development tools that ASA provides for us.
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