Advancing ASA’s Industry-Leading Voice in Washington A Look Back at Last Fall BEING THE VOICE and advocate for an industry is one of the primary roles of any association. In fact, most associations were formed to allow industry businesses, professionals and even competitors to band together into a more cohesive and effective force to advance industry interests with one collective voice. Last month, you heard about the American Supply Association’s advocacy effort in the codes and standards arena where over the past year the association has started to lend its voice and exerting influence when codes and standards are being debated. A robust arm of the association’s advocacy programs has long been its legislative and regulatory advocacy effort toward building a strong and effective voice to protect industry issues in our nation’s capital. Unfortunately, most in the industry do not see the effort put into protecting the interests of those building a business or career. The following is a look at a “Week in Washington,” following ASA’s advocacy efforts to advance the voice of the wholesale-distributor in our nation’s capital. FIVE DAYS IN SEPTEMBER With the prospect of a looming government shutdown due to the lack of passing the a federal budget, ASA had a busy week with a heavy meeting schedule Sept. 13-17 as legislators were eager to get a budget agreement in and move on to historic issues such as comprehensive tax reform and infrastructure investment, two issues that impact industry businesses. SEPT. 13 ASA is a member of the National Association of Manufacturing’s Council of Manufacturing Associations, and as a coalition member, ASA and our members have gained access to thought leaders in manufacturing, specifically as a member of NAM’s Education and Workforce Policy Committee. At this meeting, the group discussed the White House and Department of Labor’s taskforce on apprenticeships and possible strategies to impact efforts to incentivize businesses to take part in apprenticeships, perhaps with tax incentives, regulatory relief or wage subsidies. SEPT. 14 ASA led an industry consortium in a meeting at the White House as we shared with members of the president’s staff our plans for rebuilding our workforce. Joining with PHCC, ASA led manufacturers, distributors and plumbing professionals into the White House to lay out our vision for restoring the ranks of skilled workers, looking toward the next generation of plumbers, as well as other skilled construction workers. SEPT. 19 Tuesday mornings are traditionally reserved for a standing meeting of the Marketplace Fairness Coalition, where we discussed ongoing legislative roadblocks to enacting changes to sales-tax law. In addition, we discussed the timeline for the recent case dealing with this issue: South Dakota v. Wayfair.com. ASA and others drafted an Amicus brief to the Supreme Court, which is presently deciding whether to hear this case. Tuesday afternoon, we returned to NAM to take part in the Energy and Natural Resources Committee to meet with the lead counsel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and its fall agenda. At that meeting, we received that briefing from the assistant administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency for Air and Radiation for the Bush administration, who walked us through the state of play of a number of rule makings currently underway and being held up by the courts and Trump EPA. SEPT. 20 ASA is a founding member of the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance (EEIA), advocating for investment and regulatory relief to increase our nation’s energy development. At this meeting, hosted by the Edison Electric Institute, the CEO of EEI briefed the coalition members on their agenda and investments in electric delivery. In addition, the Associated General Contractors shared the work they’re doing, like ASA, to promote the trades and attract the next generation into our workforce. SEPT. 21 The SAVE LIFO Coalition convened at the National Association of Wholesalers (NAW). With tax reform nearer than ever, it was critical that groups like ASA that represent so many concerned stakeholders relying on LIFO gather and exchange intelligence. With rumors growing stronger that a draft would be introduced soon, we discussed and took assignments to have as many last-ditch conversations to keep a repeal out of the draft. Through our meetings, we believe our support in the Senate is much weaker than the House, so keeping it out of the House version gives us more strength to fight its possible introduction in the Senate. Connecting People to People Who Drive Ideas into Action FOR NEARLY 50 YEARS, ASA has grown highly targeted networks for different industry segments and populations. ASA’s special interest divisions connect people to people, those who represent the best of our industry’s channel partners, with other leaders they want to do business with, and at the same time, provide strategic guidance for ASA to drive ideas into actions. Annual membership in ASA is a prerequisite for membership in any of the association’s special interest divisions. In addition to the Industrial Piping (IPD) and Plumbing (PD) divisions, there are two especially focused on the professionals throughout our industry’s aging workforce, and both continue to rapidly grow interest, enthusiasm and participation among their distinguished ranks. ASA’S EMERGING LEADERS (EL) division cultivates the best of today’s middle and upper managers into tomorrow’s most complete business leaders for the PHCPPVF industry. Formerly Young Executives (YE), ASA’s EL is dedicated to preparing your company’s future leaders, generally age 45 and under, to face our industry’s new and evolving challenges. With today’s middle-manager becoming tomorrow’s principal or CEO, you are undoubtedly looking for opportunities that not only address the specific educational and networking needs for new executives but also open the door for building key relationships. In fact, many well respected industry veterans frequently say that ongoing learning and education enhanced by peer-to-peer relationships Connecting People to People Who Drive Ideas into Action forged at industry programs are key to their success and profitability. Therefore, the annual Spring Forum, which will be in Jersey City, New Jersey, on May 21-23, is the best opportunity for the next generation of industry leaders to learn new concepts and skills and cultivate profitable relationships with different channel partners from across the country. ASA’S WOMEN IN INDUSTRY (WII) division is one the fastest growing groups and continues to set attendance records at its annual spring conference. This division’s focus is to provide female professionals across the country an opportunity to cultivate a network throughout the industry, gaining valuable contacts and education in the process. ASA’s WII also helps to attract women into the industry by showing them that it isn’t just an industry of all men. Women in Industry brings in female college students enrolled in industrial-distribution programs to introduce them to the industry and show them many and varied options and opportunities that it has to offer. Through webinars and articles in Supply House Times, ASA’s WII continues to contribute educational content to the industry and shows that women play just as important of a role as men. Power Your Potential at ASA's fifth annual Spring Conference for Women in Industry, which takes place in Savannah, Georgia, April 25-27. Learn more: www.asa.net/divisions firstname.lastname@example.org 630.467.0000, press 5 Business Intelligence to Advance Your Insights By 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. 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 priceinfluencing 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 more than 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. MARCH 1 Survey questionnaire available & data collection begins. APRIL 30 Early response deadline for those companies that want an early glimpse at last year’s performance. JUNE 1 Participation deadline. JULY 13 Final industry report and company performance reports available to all participants. AUG. 1 Free, one-hour webinar to review key findings and highlights. 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, wholesaler-distributors 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. Data collection begins March 1, and wholesaler-distributors should submit their data by June 1. Learn more: www.asa.net/business-intelligence email@example.com 630.467.0000, press 5
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