THE ASA WOMEN IN INDUSTRY division was formed through the perseverance of strong women in the industry recognizing the need for a specialized group. Five years later the group has grown from less than 100 members to more than 400 women participating in the division. The reasoning behind the group has always been twofold. First, the division is meant to be a place for current women in the industry at all levels to get a chance to receive educational opportunities tailored to them as well as networking opportunities they wouldn’t otherwise receive at any other industry events. Second, the ASA Women in Industry division is meant to help bring women into what is a male-dominated industry. The group wants to show women looking to come into the industry that they aren’t alone and there is a group here to support them and help them grow. It shows a different face for the industry, letting people know that there are women in the industry and they are a large and growing faction. ASA Women in Industry has recognized the importance of attracting the next generation into the industry. The division decided at its 2017 Spring Conference to invite the Texas A&M’s Society of Women in Industrial Distribution to take part in the event. Eight students from the university participated, taking back with them the message of our industry and hopes for the future. It resulted in some internships and a return trip to this year’s 2018 Spring Conference in Savannah, Georgia, where they will again be participating in the event. We have also invited a few female students from Purdue University’s Industrial Distribution program. The division’s goal for the future is to continue to partner with these groups and others to aid in attracting new and exciting talent into our industry. DRESS FOR SUCCESS The division has partnered with Dress for Success for the past three years. Dress for Success is an international not-for-profit organization that empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. The ASA Women in Industry division has donated its own clothes, money, accessories and time to help this incredible organization to continue to achieve its amazing mission. One of the truly unique things about the division is that it is for women at all levels of the organization. Women who otherwise don’t attend any other industry events can get out and meet other women in the industry and truly get a feel for the industry, not just what they’ve experienced in their workplace. The opportunity to network and create relationships, whether it is finding a mentor, becoming a mentor, or just making new friends, the options for what this division can offer only continue to expand. WOMEN IN INDUSTRY 2018 This year marks the fifth anniversary of the ASA Women in Industry division. It has come a long way from the first Spring Conference in Chicago, Illinois, where it started to this year’s Spring Conference in Savannah, Georgia. We only continue to grow and improve year after year. The word is out that ASA’s Women in Industry division is one of the fast-growing groups at ASA. Women want to be a part of it and companies want their female employees to receive all the benefits that belonging to this division offers. Through its webinars offered throughout the year, articles written in Supply House Times, the Spring Conference, Facebook group, LinkedIn Group and everything else the division continues to offer its members throughout the year, it is no surprise that this division is only continuing to grow and get stronger. POWER YOUR POTENTIAL Make sure to Power Your Potential at this year’s Spring Conference in Savannah, Georgia, from April 25- 27. With this year being our fifth anniversary, you can expect incredible education sessions, fun networking opportunities and so much more. Join us and see what has the industry buzzing about the ASA Women in Industry division. Proud Partners Propel Growth for PHCP Wholesalers ASA IS ON TRACK to achieve its seventh consecutive year of net membership growth and continues to solidify its partnerships with industry buying groups, including Omni Corporate Services. In early February, ASA staff traveled to Palm Desert, California, and attended Omni’s 2018 Spring Conference. “As a whole, Omni members reflect a profile that is true for about half of ASA’s wholesaler members, which is to say that their best competitors are ASA members,” ASA’s Chris Murin said. “With so many different wholesalers and manufacturers in attendance, this annual conference is an outstanding opportunity for us to showcase ASA’s accomplishments on behalf of the entire industry as well as highlight the programs, services and resources that help companies make the most from their membership and participation in our industry’s national association.” One of the key takeaways shared with all of Omni’s members was a quickreference guide that highlights a number of ASA member benefits specifically designed to address the needs and issues that are currently top of mind for many owners and principals as well as their employees, such as e-commerce, sales and revenue growth, improving profitability and reducing costs, training, personnel and consolidation The bottom line is ASA is invaluable for distributors throughout our industry because the volunteer leaders and staff understand they want their people to sell more product more profitably and elevate the level of service provided to their customers. ASA is equipped, prepared and proud to support these efforts throughout our supply chain. ASA is deeply appreciative for the continued support from John Aykroyd and Omni’s board of directors, and as a result, ASA is proud to have welcomed these Omni members as having joined ASA over the past 12 months: Learn more: www.asa.net/membership | firstname.lastname@example.org | 630.467.0000, press 5 Water Efficiency – What is the Impact of Success? THERE IS NO TIME TO RELAX for a codes and standards person — 2018 kicked off with my attendance at the ASHRAE Committee meeting held in Chicago, followed by attending the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) A.112 Plumbing and Materials Equipment Committee meeting in San Diego. I participated in many discussions related to building and plumbing issues during the meetings and I noted a common thread – water efficiency. There is a debate going on involving those who want to further decrease mandated requirements for flow rates and flush volumes for plumbing fixtures and those who want to wait while we gain additional information through sound research on the impacts of further decreasing water flows. Today, there exists federal regulations which mandate maximum flow rates and flush volumes for plumbing fixtures. In addition, the EPA offers a voluntary testing/listing program, WaterSense, that validates and lists plumbing fixtures and appliances that meet voluntary criteria about 20% lower than the federal mandates. What is currently being pushed by some is to update model plumbing codes and product standards to require WaterSense levels. If the updates occur, the voluntary lower levels would become requirements through local adoption of the model codes and standards. THE GOOD NEWS The good news is we are becoming a more water-efficient country. The U.S. Department of the Interior U.S. Geological Survey report Public Supply and Domestic Water Use in the United States, 2015 confirms urban water efficiency across the US. public withdrawals in 2015 were 7% lower than in 2010. A significant contributor to the increased water conservation is due to the plumbing product industry’s commitment to produce and sell water-efficient products that have been tested and listed under the WaterSense voluntary program. According to WaterSense, “WaterSense-labeled, high-efficiency showerheads can save at least 20% compared to standard fixtures, resulting in a potential savings of more than 2,300 gallons per household per year.” safeplumbing.org/water-efficiency/watersense Congratulations to the plumbing industry for having such a large impact on water conservation. However, the question being asked now is, “How much is too much?” Building water delivery and removal systems are designed based on water flow rates much higher than the lower flow rates being achieved today, and we do not fully understand the impacts of the lower flow rates on the potential quality of the water in the system, the safety of the water being delivered at the outlet and the ability to properly remove the wastewater generated. The California Association of Sanitation Agencies (CASA) published a white paper1 that sites the following potential impacts on infrastructures due to reductions in indoor water use: DRINKING WATER has a longer residence in pipes leading to water-quality issues and potential compromising of public health; and DECLINING WASTEWATER FLOWS may increase pollutant and solids concentrations leading to blockage, odor and corrosion in pipes. THE UNANSWERED QUESTIONS There is research that has been completed and that is underway to try and address some of the unanswered questions and address the unintended issues surrounding lower water flows in premise plumbing systems: THE PLUMBING EFFICIENCY RESEARCH COALITION (PERC) completed a study in 2012 and a Phase 2 study in 2016 plumbingefficiencyresearchcoalition.org/wp-content/ uploads/2016/04/PERC-2-0_2-1-FINAL.pdf that evaluated the impact on lower flow devices on drain flow. It was noted in the 2012 report that, “1.28 gallon (4.8 L) and 1.6 gallon (6.0 L) test runs resulted in an orderly and predictable movement in the Test Apparatus. As a result, the PERC TC anticipates no problems with use of 1.28 gpf (4.8 Lpf ) toilets (HETs) in new commercial construction. In retrofit applications, it is suggested that drainlines first be inspected for defects, root intrusions, sagging or other physical conditions that could result in clogging with lower flush volumes.” The 2016 report “does not recommend the use of 3.8 Lpf / 1.0 gpf toilets (or less) in commercial applications that have long horizontal drains and that do not provide additional long duration flows from other sources to assist with the drainline transport of solid waste.” RESEARCH sponsored by the International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Plumbing Engineers and the Water Quality Association – Research Foundation resulted in the development of a new alternative to Hunter’s Curve when estimating water supply demand for residential buildings. This work resulted in a new “Water Demand Calculator” that better estimates pipe sizing based on current residential use patterns. iapmo.org/WEStand/Pages/default.aspx IN 2017 DREXEL UNIVERSITY was awarded a $2.5 million grant from the EPA to lead a group of researchers in a three-year project to bring together existing and experimental data on building plumbing into a risk assessment tool that can guide new water use and safety regulations. THE DISCUSSIONS held at the recent ASHRAE meetings included the potential of conducting research on the impact of lower flows and changing temperature requirements on premise water systems. DISCUSSIONS DURING THE ASME MEETINGS led to the formation of a task group to evaluate the unanticipated impacts on premise water systems due to lower volumes and flows. THERE IS PROPOSED LEGISLATION (HR- 301) referred to as the NIST Plumbing Research Act of 2018, sponsored by Rep Matt Cartwright (D-PA). A companion Senate bill is being prepared for introduction by Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL). The companion bills support funding for applied research by NIST for demand-side water research leading to informed drinking water infrastructure policy. SUPPORTING SOUND INFRASTRUCTURE There are other significant ways we can impact and increase wateruse efficiencies that do not involve additional demands on premise water delivery systems. The American Society of Civil Engineers states in its 2017 Infrastructure Report Card that there are “an estimated 240,000 water main breaks per year in the United States, wasting more than two trillion gallons of treated drinking water.” Supporting sound infrastructure improvement funding in our water delivery systems to the premise can have a significant impact on water savings and reduced costs. Plumbing product manufacturers and distributors are providing the marketplace a choice – plumbing fixtures that meet federal-mandated flow and flush volumes as well as participating in the voluntary WaterSense listing program and providing plumbing fixtures that have flow and flush volumes 20% below the federal mandated levels. And through this market choice, a significant increase in water-use efficiency has been achieved. However, now is not the time to move from a volunteer system to a mandated system for fixtures delivering lower volumes or to consider even lower flow rates or flush volumes below the EPA WaterSense program. Let’s take the time to complete the needed research, carefully evaluate the results and then make sound decisions that lead to increased efficiencies while protecting the quality and safety of the water within the premise plumbing systems. And in the interim, focus on improving our existing infrastructure. Making Customers Your Most Powerful Weapon Focus of ASA Showroom Council Event at KBIS ASA showroom managers attending the 2018 KBIS-IBS shows held in January in Orlando heard Robb Best, senior advisor for cognitive strategy for Elkay, talk about how showroom managers can make customers their most powerful weapon and turn their showrooms into selling machines. Attendees learned how to employ a variety of strategies, including the Kano model, to grow and retain customer bases, develop and orchestrate customer experiences that inspire lifelong loyalties, how to use a showroom’s surroundings, ambiance and product displays to appeal directly to customers’ emotions and ways to transform the average showroom experience into a formidable sales system. This popular educational and networking event has been held annually during KBIS as an opportunity for its members’ showroom professionals to network with peers and grow knowledge of the industry. Don’t miss this exciting event next year during KBIS in Las Vegas, Feb. 19 – 21, 2019.
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