There are two kinds of people in the business world. We all recognize Type 1 as the vaunted “people person” who parlays a winning personality into lasting business relationships. All of us also have encountered Type 2, who might be labeled the “numbers cruncher.” To them, personalities are irrelevant.
Master distribution is a testimony to entrepreneurial inventiveness in a free economy. Our industry's manufacturer-distributor channel serves as the best way to get bulk goods to market, but it doesn't work all that well for dealing with oddball items, short orders, imports, repair parts and other specialty goods that don't fit snugly into this channel's normal stream of commerce. Master distributors popped up to fill the gaps.
The past few years have delivered a long-awaited turnaround for the wholesale distribution industry. The United States continues to expand at a sustainable rate. In 2005, Pembroke Consulting estimates that total sales of wholesaler-distributors will reach nearly $3.6 trillion, representing a 7% increase over 2004. Pembroke Consulting forecasts continued growth in 2006, with industry revenues growing by 6.5%.
The American Supply Association (ASA) was officially formed in December 1969 through the merger of two groups: The Central Supply Association (CSA) and the American Institute of Supply Associations (AI). ASA is a not-for-profit national organization serving wholesale distributors and their suppliers in the plumbing, heating, cooling and industrial pipe, valves, and fittings industries.