The ASA Education Foundation has just completed its research on training practices by ASA members. According to the research, only 36% of ASA member companies dedicate a specific dollar amount (budget) to training every year. For multiple branch operators, the figure rises to 44%. These companies spend an average of $15,900 each year. Most operators expect to increase their training expenditures next year.

ASA members who do train consider hands-on training to be the most effective. Almost 75% have used manufacturer-developed programs at their offices. Most also provide in-house or ASAEF-based product knowledge training to their employees.

ASA member companies prefer to train their employees during the middle days rather than the ends of the workweek. They also prefer to concentrate their heaviest training during the winter months to avoid being understaffed during the hectic construction season.

Members cited travel costs, time away from the branch, inconvenient locations and poor quality of training available as the major barriers to training.

We at the Education Foundation are disappointed that a mere 36% of our members consider training a priority in their firms. Study after study demonstrates a strong link between well-trained employees and increased profitability. Indeed, if this industry is going to continue to prosper, more than 36% of distributors will have to quantify their commitment to training with a budget. To assist those who need help getting started, the ASAEF offers a free training planner on the ASA website.

Your Education Foundation will use these training survey results to increase the effectiveness of program and marketing decisions. However, regular and frequent input from program users and ASA members is essential to our ability to provide effective service.