Reputation can make or break a business — especially organizations that produce and manufacture consumer products.

You want to be known as a company committed to quality, growth and innovation. For more than 20 years, LIXIL, a global leader in innovative plumbing technologies, has partnered with the American Supply Association to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Kurt Raabe, leader, sales East, LIXIL Americas Trade Sales, currently represents LIXIL on the ASA board.

“LIXIL is grappling with several issues that I believe affect all manufacturing organizations: how to recruit new talent, how to infuse technology into our products and how to navigate government regulations,” he said.  “Gathering businesses with similar goals is the best way to gain traction and solve the problems that we all face. As a new ASA board member, I look forward to sharing ideas and working through complex programs with like-minded individuals.”

One of the more complex problems affecting LIXIL and ASA membership is the profound labor shortage in the U.S. within the skilled trades. LIXIL’s TradeUp Initiative, a program designed to bring more young people into the skilled labor force, is similar to the Project Talent initiative started by ASA.

“In a world where parents and high schools are encouraging students to attend four-year colleges, sometimes the less traditional route of entering the trades is ignored,” said Vince Arnese, leader of service and outreach, LIXIL Americas. “ASA is partnering with us to highlight and promote educational programs designed to bring more people into the skilled labor force.

“Their Project Talent initiative similarly introduces people to the manufacturing world and illustrates how to turn their talents into a lucrative career. Finding this talent is going to require the collective energy of our entire industry.  I know we can count on ASA to help us lead the way.”

LIXIL understands that ASA provides a forum for manufacturers to come together to share ideas, solidify ties and create relationships that would not be possible without the strength of the association.

“During conversations with ASA, we are finding that each of us is struggling with the best ways to infuse technology into our products,” said Robert Buete, leader e-commerce, LIXIL Americas. “Not giving away trade secrets, but learning how other manufacturers use technology to transform their products and their facilities always helps me in my own work.”

ASA has also taken an active role in employee safety and best practices. Jennifer Chen, leader of employees health and safety, LIXIL Americas, appreciates the learnings and ideas that ASA brings to the table.

“At LIXIL, the health and safety of our employees continues to be a priority,” Chen said. “As a leader focusing on health and safety, I appreciate the safety articles, webinars and resources that ASA offers to help me be a better advocate.”

LIXIL is also proud to collaborate with ASA in advocating for meaningful change in local and regional government policy. ASA gives LIXIL a voice and a strong partner we can turn to when navigating the complicated process of regulations. We appreciate how their wide range of views and industry knowledge helps us stay on top of trends and regulations that will affect our business – culminating in the annual ASA meeting (NETWORK), which gathers key distributors, manufacturers, reps and other industry stakeholders from around the country.

Kelly Safis, leader of sales, LIXIL Americas, understands the importance of these annual gatherings.

“As a newcomer to the plumbing industry, but a veteran in the appliance industry, I know these events provide valuable networking opportunities, relationship building and best practice sharing.

“I’m a life-long learner. ASA events give my team a lens into the manufacturing world that they might have otherwise missed. I am thrilled to be part of such a value-driven organization.”

The ongoing relationship between LIXIL and the ASA is a huge advantage for our organization and a great sounding board for exploring new ideas, working through challenges and helping us grow our business. Here’s to another year of learning and sharing — LIXIL and the ASA —moving forward together.

For 150 years, LIXIL has stood at the center surrounded by the swirl of everyday life, designing and patenting new innovations that improve function, feel and sustainability in people’s kitchens and bathrooms. We remain a global leader in innovative plumbing technologies that improve lives for people everywhere. By designing and developing meaningful products that solve real-life challenges, we add real value to our consumer’s daily lives.