Before I get into this month’s key thoughts related to important ASA efforts, I would like to bring to further light the recent unexpected death of longtime respected industry trade journalist Bob Mader. While most of our distribution audience might not have known Bob well, manufacturer executives in the PHCP-PVF industry who read this publication most certainly did, particularly those in the plumbing, heating, cooling space.

Mader was part of a small fraternity of industry trade journalists that was omnipresent at all industry events and did his job the right way — producing content that helped his readers do their jobs better and win more business. I invite you to read my tribute column to him here. The industry was better for having Mader in it for all these years.

ASA advocacy efforts

Companies receive many benefits as an American Supply Association member. One of those benefits, which I feel needs to have a big-old spotlight directed on it here, is knowing that ASA is fighting for its members’ and the industry’s health through nonstop, sleeves-rolled-up efforts through our government affairs and codes and standards offices.

During the height of the pandemic last year, ASA Government Affairs Director Steve Rossi knocked it out of the park in helping make sure our industry was deemed essential via employees of ASA member companies writing to their elected officials. 

In fact, employees of ASA member companies wrote some 10,000 letters to their elected officials last year on a variety of critical issues, including essential workforce and the lead situation in California.

Equally on fire with his efforts in the codes and standards arena has been ASA Codes and Standards Director Jim Kendzel.

I invite you to check out the ASA News section of theApril issue to see just how active Kendzel is in his efforts to help make sure ASA member companies and our industry continue to thrive, whether that be through ASA’s recent position on greenhouse gas emission reduction; his appointment to an IAPMO technical subcommittee on alternate water source systems for multi-family, residential and commercial use; or the testimony he recently provided in opposition of proposed amendments to California Article 6 related to compliance with California Proposition 65.

Through the efforts of Rossi and Kendzel, rest assured ASA has our members’ backs — and the industry’s in general — when it comes to advocating on critical, difference-making issues that affect or potentially affect the way industry stakeholders conduct business.

ASA box scores

Another key benefit of being an ASA member is access to exclusive business intelligence data reports. Remember as a kid when you used to scan the local newspaper for the Major League Baseball box scores (for me it was the Chicago Tribune every morning)? I liken this to what ASA is doing with two of its members-only reports, the Pulse sales report and the annual Operating Performance Report. 

The Pulse sales report gives ASA member distributors a great snapshot of how the industry is performing in numerous different key categories, ranging from sales, inventory levels to days sales outstanding numbers — and broken down by industry segment. Based on member feedback, the Pulse sales report has returned to a monthly reporting format.

And our long-running Operating Performance Report gives a tremendous measure of industry benchmarks in even more categories (like many more). If you are looking for the most comprehensive look into how PHCP-PVF distribution firms are performing on an annual basis, there is no better report available.

Does your shop participate in one or both of these reports? Neither? To be blunt, if you are not participating in both of these reports you are missing out on helping shape the robustness of a pair of documents that can only help you in your business. 

Just like the football coach who watches hours of film on the next week’s opponent or the baseball team that charts its players’ every movement, having data as a resource to make decisions matters. Knowing how you shape up against the industry matters.

And to those who are hesitant to submit data due to security concerns, not to worry. ASA business intelligence partner Industry Insights handles the secure collection of the data for both reports. ASA staff members never see the raw data. 

If you would like more information on the Pulse or OPR — or both — contact ASA Business Intelligence Analyst Ayesha Salman at