With the newest version of ASA’s Strategic Long-Range Plan, the Executive Committee met on July 18-19 to establish initiatives for the next 18 months based on input from association volunteer leaders and their strategic discussions last winter. In keeping with the ongoing evaluation and investment in resources, which continues to expand the association, the Executive Committee reviewed numerous initiatives sought by board and division members for implementation in 2018. For nearly 10 years, the leadership of ASA has worked to build financial reserves while at the same time adding new initiatives. This year, the Executive Committee committed resources for three new initiatives that will enhance member benefits.
The ASA Executive Committee evaluated every strategic goal area and is investing increased resources in the following targeted areas:
Expanding the Depth and Breadth of Business Intelligence
ASA will add staff for a full-time focus on business intelligence. As one of the association’s four core value propositions, business intelligence provides ASA members with the information necessary to make sound business decisions. Offering critical information regarding industry compensation, economic forecasting, commodity and materials pricing, sales trends, and operational performance, ASA’s business intelligence offerings will become more relevant and significant. Additionally, an upgrade to the data collection process and dashboard reporting will improve the value of the data so ASA can continue to be a trusted resource for members.
Connecting Members to Customers
ASA will add a new service, The DigitalBranch Incubator, to provide the information and support needed by members to navigate their online presence. Many distributors have started their journey either on their own or with outside help. However, ASA has an opportunity to support the membership with the tools, resources and information to continuously evolve and expand their know-how. The DigitalBranch Incubator program will empower members with training and education on e-commerce, digital marketing, and creating a digital branch. Industry best practices and updates will keep members abreast of new and exciting opportunities, and e-commerce software and platform comparisons will help members make the best choices.
Attracting the Best Talent
ASA will play a larger role in marketing the industry to the next generation of workers. By partnering with industrial distribution colleges and universities, ASA will bring future employees to the annual NETWORK event to connect with and learn from ASA members. Through the creation of an internship manual, ASA will assist members in attracting new talent for their management trainee programs. With marketing assets to communicate the career opportunities within the industry, ASA will share the importance of our industry to the health and safety of the nation and the role prospective employees can play. With education and training, ASA will help members illustrate that they are employers of choice with career pathing, continuing education, and a positive work culture and workplace environment.
ASA has grown in its financial strength that now provides leadership with the ability to expand the ways in which the association can advance members’ ability to be successful. Expanding their ability to connect with customers, strengthen their ability to stay ahead of economic trends and their ability to hire, train and retain top talent are the new ways in which the association is remaining viable and a relevant partner for the future. More details will be announced at the association’s Annual Member Lunch during NETWORK2017 in Nashville in October.
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This article was originally titled “Advancing members’ ability to lead” in the September 2017 print edition of Supply House Times.