The winds of change are upon us. Every day our industry publications and social media are telling us about new products, new technologies and new marketing trends. For some it is exciting and for others terrifying.

If the variety of change weren’t enough, the pace of change is growing exponentially. Less than five years ago, customers were telling me they didn’t understand why business partners, bosses or their own sons and daughters entering their businesses demanded they get smartphones and tablets. They had been successfully doing business the same way for decades. Why change now? Within a year, many of those individuals came back to me, animatedly holding up their smart devices while stating, “You have got to see what I can do with this thing!” These are the lucky ones. They and their businesses elected to embrace change instead of getting run over by it.

When it comes to change, members, business partners and sponsors of the American Supply Association are at a distinct advantage. They understand that they are part of a dynamic industry where technology has transcended the “supply” and taken over the sales, service and marketing facets of their businesses. That is why ASA’s message of “ABILITY to Adapt, Grow & Succeed,” is so important and supported by its dynamic offering of benefits and services such as ASA University, the DigitalBranch Incubator, industry news and its Business Intelligence suite. In fact, according to the ASA, “Nearly three out of four members rank Business Intelligence as ASA’s highest value program.”

Bradford White Corporation is extremely appreciative of the association’s efforts to strengthen their members readiness for the future. As a manufacturer, ASA is a critical partner for all our companies (Bradford White Water Heaters, Laars Heating Systems and Niles Steel Tank) for a variety of reasons. Most notably, our participation and support of ASA has allowed us to learn from and develop stronger relationships with some of the most successful and progressive suppliers in the industry. This knowledge-sharing spirt among association members is refreshing and unselfishly fostered year after year by the ASA leadership team. Bradford White Corporation wholeheartedly agrees with and supports this approach.

Our ASA relationships have also been critical in helping our company expand beyond the “supply” we manufacture every day exclusively for professional sale and installation. When Bradford White Water Heaters and Laars Heating Systems introduced For The Pro and LaarsPro respectively, it was with the thought that it is no longer enough to simply provide our customers with high-quality products. We, like ASA, have an obligation to help our customers expand their “ABILITY to Adapt, Grow & Succeed.”

Earlier, I mentioned that those in our industry who are embracing change are the “lucky ones,” but that’s not exactly true. They are the smart ones. They’ve been paying attention to the daily headlines, postings and Tweets about supplier acquisitions, retail encroachment, e-commerce, connectivity and other game-changing industry trends but refuse to get run over by these changes. They value education and what they learn from organizations like ASA. Bradford White encourages all ASA member companies to adopt a philosophy of helping their customers and business partners “Adapt, Grow & Succeed.” It’s not just the right thing to do, it’s a matter of our industry’s survival!