In 2008, the American Supply Association’s governing board and leadership embarked on an ambitious journey to create a long-term strategic plan that clearly defines the association’s purpose, mission and goals. The meeting resulted in a new process of strategic governance and laid the foundation for ASA’s transformation into an industry powerhouse.

Each year since then, the association’s leadership has evaluated past assumptions about the future and revised the plan to keep focused and working in unison on the short- and long-term goals that are critical to success for wholesaler-distributors and the PHCP-PVF supply chain.

This year’s update to the strategic plan revealed a new “big audacious goal” for ASA: Being indispensable to achieving prosperity in our industry.

As the largest water heater manufacturer in the world and partner to many wholesaler-distributors, A. O. Smith subscribes fully to this vision for the industry. And as a longtime member of the ASA, we’ve seen firsthand how the ASA’s relentless commitment to evaluating and strengthening programs has created exponential value for our wholesaler-distributors and their partner manufacturers.


ASA value proposition

How does ASA create profitability for its member wholesaler-distributors and their supply-chain partners? The association focuses its resources on delivering quality programming on core areas important to its membership.

In less than a decade, we’ve seen ASA expand its programming to include economic forecasting, full-time advocacy efforts in Washington, comprehensive and meaningful training, peer networking opportunities, and employee recruitment solutions.

As an ASA manufacturer partner, A. O. Smith benefits from these programs directly — actionable business intelligence, smart lobbying and world-class events such as NETWORK have proven valuable to many manufacturers. Indirectly, A. O. Smith is undoubtedly better-positioned for success when our wholesaler-distributor partners have access to great workers who are
well-trained to thrive on the job.


A. O. Smith’s Wholesaler Partner Pledge

A. O. Smith not only endorses the ASA’s strategic approach and the programs it supports, it has implemented a similar process to ensure it is continuously expanding its value proposition to partner wholesaler-distributers as well. Last year the A. O. Smith team revealed to wholesalers a renewed commitment — the Wholesaler Partner Pledge.

Similar to ASA’s strategic plan, the pledge was conceived from our conversations with top wholesalers in settings from formal business presentations to casual yet invaluable ASA events. Through planning meetings and work sessions, the A. O. Smith team has resolved to meet a simple goal: help our wholesale partners be
more successful.

With the priorities of our partners in mind, the A. O. Smith team has refined and retooled existing programs and created new features to form the Wholesaler Partner Pledge, which include: a comprehensive breadth of hot water products, exclusive product sales tools, best-in-class partner support and complete brand support.

Beyond hot water solutions that meet the needs of any commercial or residential plumbing contractor, the pledge also includes sales tools that are unmatched in the industry — from the Xpert™ product selector app and product cross reference to consumer financing options. Additionally, A. O. Smith invests to increase consumer recognition of our products and directs them to our contractor and wholesaler partners.

One of the most powerful components of the pledge is A. O. Smith’s best-in-class partner support. This unique support package for wholesalers and their contractors helps everyone grow their business with customized marketing and communications resources. We work to reward customer loyalty for selling and installing our products with free sales leads through our Contractor Locator Tool. Our partner support also extends to education programs and investments in professional industry organizations such as the ASA.

In an ever-changing business landscape, it takes a multi-faceted approach to support modern wholesaler-distributors. And in our industry, A. O. Smith proudly marches alongside the ASA to provide leadership and value to our partners.