When Justin Moss walked through the ASA headquarters doors on May 7, 2019, he didn’t know what he didn’t know about training. The 27 year old fourth-generation owner of Advance Plumbing & Heating Supply in Michigan — along with father Jeffrey Moss and older brother Joshua Moss — was the first to admit it. “I was committed to training! I would do everything I could to get new guys up-to-speed personally. It’s a part of our culture. But I am only one person. And when I was doing other things, the training stopped. We needed to have something more sustainable.” He also found out that he was not alone.


ASA advise

Justin, along with other representatives from industry wholesalers, participated in ASA ADVISE on May 7–8. Together, these distributors decided they had enough of meandering through the world of “disconnected training.” Their organizations haphazardly approached it with a few courses for new hires here and there. They also did a few manufacturer lunch-and-learns in a few branches here and there. But there was no connection, no plan. And certainly not much to address the seasoned employees in the branches.

“My project plan was to come up with a way to train those who work for us to be knowledgeable, and motivated to sell products. The growth of our company is driving this need as well as how difficult it is to find qualified candidates to fill roles. And, I didn’t know how important it was to properly define success on-the-job with job descriptions BEFORE assigning training content.”

Justin partnered with ASA ADVISE to help solve his training issue. ASA ADVISE is a service offering that brings ASA member companies together that share a desire to build and implement a company-wide training program that is meaningful, effective, flexible and maintainable. There is pre-work, a two-day onsite experience, and an implementation phase back home with support from ASA ADVISE staff.

Now that the first two phases of Moss’ program are complete, he moves to implementation at home. “This will be the critical phase. I need to convince the managers that they should support training by prioritizing and scheduling their team members to spend time training. If they don’t, they’ll need to explain to me why. And I’m not going to accept any weak excuses!”


Future plans

By January 2020, Justin’s plans for training at Advance Plumbing Supply will include “implementing a full training program with job descriptions and courses for all current and future employees. We will be able to use the job descriptions and assessment documents to have meaningful performance discussions with employees which will flow directly into needed training areas.”

Justin’s participation in ASA ADVISE was the first step in the journey. “It showed me the steps to take to properly train people. Start with the end in mind with the best people trained to the highest level to perform the changing requirements and meet the customers’ needs. Then, assign training based on an individual’s shortcomings or career aspirations. Make them dangerous!”

Get started with your training journey today. Find out more at asa.net/ADVISE.

> Questions or comments?

Contact Doug Dillon, Director - Talent Acceleration, ASA University at (630) 467-0000 x111 or dillon@asa.net.