WELCOME TO THE NEW "ASA NEWS"We're delighted to be offering you this new section in Supply House Times, which will be a feature in each issue, bringing you news and information about the American Supply Association.
ASA is very happy to now call Supply House Times its official magazine, and we're happy to have the opportunity to work together for the good of our industry.
LAS VEGAS TO HOST ANNUAL CONVENTIONASA's Annual Convention and Conference Booth Program takes place this year in Las Vegas, October 23-26. In a departure from the usual schedule, this year's event will start on Tuesday and end on Friday night. This will enable attendees to travel home to spend more of the weekend with their families, a schedule that many have told us they prefer.
There are quite a few changes to the program as well, for example:
Our traditional Opening Party has been expanded to be a two-hour gala, featuring food stations with plenty of options, entertainment and a "Welcome to Vegas" theme.
The "State of the Industry" program on Wednesday morning will feature Dr. Mike Workman as our guest speaker. He'll be taking a light-hearted view on some of the industry trends that he's predicted - some of which have come true, and some of which haven't.
The latest installment of NAW/DREF's "Facing the Forces of Change" series will be the subject of our Keynote Session on Wednesday afternoon. Michael Marks will interpret the results of this brand-new report, and will be using some new and unique audience feedback technology to help bring the subject home to our industry.
There are plenty of excellent educational workshops that have been booked for the convention as well, and a social program that will complement the schedule, providing for a well-rounded couple of days.
Registration materials were mailed in late May. For more information, contact ASA directly at 312-464-0090 or visit the Web site at www.asa.net.
CAT DELIVERS MORE SOLUTIONSThe ASA Center for Advancing Technology recently delivered its latest version of Source ASA+ to subscribers. The new 3.5 version includes an enhanced release of the already popular Job Submittals Builder, now called PRO-SUBMITTALS. These enhancements allow subscribers to tap into the data pages, spec sheets and other info for the preparation of submittals.
Features such as digitally adding notes, circling images on a page, and highlighting text are now standard. The PRO SUBMITTALS module also allows subscribers to download and convert any Web page on the Internet into a Source Submittals Document. This process takes just a fraction of the time that traditional submittals require, because it eliminates cutting, pasting, photocopying, etc.
Instead, Source ASA+'s unique software package allows the user to access the million+ images on the database and prepare a professional-looking submittal. The CAT has been holding online training classes to help users learn how to use this new feature. Call 1-800-608-7308 or visit www.sourceasa.com/training, or send email to email@example.com for more information.
Not Just for SubmittalsA popular misconception about Source ASA+ is that it's a proprietary program with limited applications, which is quite far from the truth. In fact, Source is our industry's best place to find manufacturer-controlled and continually updated data, including product numbering, pricing, specifications, and other catalog content. Currently, no other such database exists, and ASA, through its Center for Advancing Technology, is uniquely positioned to host this content for our industry.
Chicken or Egg?The Source ASA+ program's design, however, calls for manufacturers to submit their data to our headquarters, and to pay a modest annual fee. In exchange, their data is incorporated digitally into the Source database; is indexed, cross-referenced, and distributed to the wholesaler subscribers to the program. These wholesalers have discovered multiple uses for the program, including building submittals, among others. Some have even incorporated the Source content into their own Web sites and are promoting its use to their contractor customers.
However, one of our challenges lies in the proverbial "chicken and egg" syndrome. We wish more distributors and manufacturers would recognize the value of the program. But distributors wish that there were more of their manufacturers represented in the database, and manufacturers wish there were more distributors using the database. Who will take the lead?
Following is a list of manufacturers who are enrolled in the program as of press time:
American Metal Products
American Valve Inc.
Aqua Glass Corp.
Beck Manufacturing, Inc.
Bemis Manufacturing Co.
Bradford White Corp.
Brass Craft Mfg. Co.
Buderus Hydronic Systems
Campbell Manufacturing, Inc.
Cerro Copper Products Co.
Charlotte Pipe & Foundry
Church Seat Company
Crane Valve Group
Delta Faucet Company
Elkay Manufacturing Co.
Garvin, Div. of Guarantee
Gene Rich & Company, Inc.
Gerber Plumbing Fixtures Corp.
Gould Pumps\ITT Industries
Hercules Chemical Co., Inc.
Jacuzzi Whirlpool Bath
Jay R. Smith Mfg. Co.
Jones Stephens Corp.
The Keeney Manufacturing Co.
Legend Valve & Fitting Inc.
Little Giant Pump Co.
McGuire Manufacturing Co.
Merit Brass Co.
Midland Metal Mfg.
Milwaukee Valve Co.
Mueller Industries, Inc.
Peerless Heater Company
RBI Water Heater\Mestek
Rheem Manufacturing Co.
Ruud Manufacturing Co.
A.O. Smith Water Products Co.
Smith Cast Iron Boilers\Mestek
Southern Valve & Fitting
Spears Manufacturing Co.
Sterling Plumbing Group, Inc.
The Swan Corp.
T&S Brass & Bronze Works, Inc.
Thompson Plastics, Inc.
H.O. Trerice Co.
Vanguard Piping Systems, Inc.
Victaulic Company of America
Watco Manufacturing Co.
Wheatland Tube Co.
Woodford Mfg Co.
ISH COMES TO NORTH AMERICAFor many this may seem like old news, but for others, particularly those outside of the United States, the prospect of ISH North America is exciting indeed.
ISH North America will debut in Toronto in 2002 (October 31-November 2). The organizers of the show, Messe Frankfurt, have been busy preparing for this debut, and have had their hands full answering inquiries and making plans.
Early interest from the European manufacturing community has been very strong. Both Italy and Spain are planning to develop pavilions in the show, and interest among trade associations in creating attendance promotions has also been expressed.
"We're very excited about the early response to our announcement about ISH North America," said Dirk Ebener, executive director of the show. His enthusiasm is shared by all of those involved, including the leadership of ASA, which has partnered with Messe Frankfurt to pursue this new direction.
Messe Frankfurt is the 760-year-old organization that organizes ISH in Frankfurt, Germany. ISH in Frankfurt was held in March this year, and attracted more than 220,000 visitors over the five-day show.
For more information, contact Messe Frankfurt's USA headquarters in Atlanta at 770-984-8016 or visit their Web site at www.ish-na.com.
ONLINE EDUCATION NEWSLETTERThe ASA Education Foundation's executive director, Paul Martin, writes a monthly online newsletter titled, "Trainer's Forum," which is free to all ASA members and Associate Members. In the "Forum," Martin talks about what's new from the Education Foundation, and highlights some of the upcoming programs.
The "Forum" also provides valuable information about other affiliated programs and distribution groups. Martin also offers some "Worth Reading" advice to point subscribers to recent, pertinent articles or publications they may have missed.
Those wishing to be included in on this free "Trainer's Forum" e-letter, please send your request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
PRODUCT TRAINING ON CD-ROMNearly 5,000 industry employees have benefited from the ASA Education Foundation's Product Pro? training program, which offers valuable product knowledge not found elsewhere. The program's newest product offering is the "Complete Plumbing Fixtures" series on CD-ROM. Long a popular source for training employees about the products they sell, Product-Pro has been converting its books into an interactive, CD-ROM format.
Product-Pro? is a program consisting of 10 courses in four major areas of product knowledge most important to today's distributor. Each course, whether it's offered in book form or on CD-ROM, includes registration with the ASA Education Foundation, comprehensive, job-relevant instruction, quizzes, final exams, and certificate of completion. Courses are available both as independent study and in workshop formats.
The courses are available as follows:
- Steel Pipe, Stainless Steel and Iron Pipe & Fittings
- Copper Tube and Fittings,
Plastic Pipe & Fittings
- Pipe Joining Methods
- Fixtures, Faucets, Water
Closets, Bidets, Lavatories, etc.
- Multi-turn, quarter-turn, gate, globe, ball, butterfly valves, etc.
- Domestic Water Heaters
- Domestic Water Well Pumps
- Sump & Sewage Pumps
- Residential Hydronic Heating Systems
- Residential Water Processing
FREE TRAINING PLANNER ON LINEThe ASA Education Foundation has taken another important step forward in helping the industry reach operational excellence through training, and helping ASA distributors get maximum value from their membership. A free Training Planner is available on the association's Web site, which offers step-by-step segments that help companies determine training needs, create training objectives, and plan and implement training. Go to www.asa.net/asaef, click on "education," then click on "download training planner."
WASHINGTON UPDATEDeath Tax Repeal Passes: On June 7, President Bush signed into law a tax measure which includes a provision repealing the death tax over the next nine years. Beginning next year, the top tax rate on transferring a business within the family will drop from 55 percent to 50 percent and continue to drop incrementally to 45 percent in 2009. The value of an estate that can be shielded from the tax will rise from $675 million to $1 million next year and continue in steps to $3.5 million in 2009. Full repeal takes effect in 2010. Other provisions included in the tax bill are: reductions in the marginal tax rates; increases in the standard deduction for married couples; increases in the child tax credit; and pension reforms. Most provisions of the law take effect in 2002. One provision effective this year modifies the schedule for corporate estimated tax payments. Payments which have a current due date of September 17 now will not be due in full until October 11.
Repeal of the death tax is a major accomplishment for ASA and the entire business community that has fought for years to repeal this unfair tax. The fight, however, is not entirely over. Due to budget restraints, the only way Congress could enact this major tax law was to stipulate that most of the provisions of the tax package (including the death tax section) will sunset on December 31, 2010. To prevent these just-passed tax cuts from disappearing from the tax code, this Congress or one in the future will have to repeal the sunset provision.
ASA PAC Leads the Way: The ASA Political Action Committee has been raising funds for more than 15 years, and has, over that time, enabled ASA to achieve some major legislative victories by helping to elect members of Congress sympathetic to the industry's needs.
Individuals or companies that donate $600/year for two years are entitled to membership in the ASA PAC Capitol Club ($250/year for members of the Young Executives Division). Contact ASA for more information.