Supply Chain Partner of the Month: ASA Center for Advancing Technology
The ASA Center for Advancing Technology (CAT) was created in 1998, by order of the ASA Board of Directors. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the association. Prior to the formation of CAT, the association had a long-standing tradition of working with a committee of volunteers which was beneficial, but needed a full-time staff to complement these efforts in order to meet the members' growing needs for technology, education and resources.
CAT is a service division of ASA and continues to work with industry members in committees, as well as individually. Any ASA member may contact CAT for help or assistance with technology, or to suggest projects that CAT may take on.
CAT has a full-time director who reports to the Executive Vice President of ASA.
CAT has the mission to improve the productivity of ASA members and the distribution industry by promoting technology standardization and solutions within the PHCP industry. The objectives of the Center include facilitating industry-wide technology development, education about state-of-the-art technology solutions and providing a central resource of information on technology.
- Promoting standardization in the PHCP industry, most notably with EDI. The EDI Express Documents are the de facto foundation for electronic transactions between distributors and manufacturers. Today, over 350 firms use the standards and CAT's EDI network to conduct commerce.
- Seminars and educational meetings throughout its eight-year history, that help provide the latest information on technology to its members from around the country.
Current Priority Projects
- CAT is continuing to develop and promote a standardized database of industry products. The IDB Industry Database now contains over 1.5 million products available for pricing and data updates.
- New this year is the HomePortfolio showroom marketing Web site, where members can advertise their 'brick and mortar' plumbing showrooms to Internet shoppers.
- The partnership with Computer Pundits has enabled members to create custom catalogs in-house using CPC's software and product information content.
A Word With…Kevin Price, director of ASA Center for Advancing TechnologyWhen asked what's in store for 2006, Kevin Price said, “The Center for Advancing Technology is well positioned to continue its mission of delivering technology standards and solutions to the ASA membership, and the PHCP distribution industry as a whole. Future plans include emphasizing the educational aspect of readying members to use technology to their benefit. CAT's new Volunteer Task Force will work closely with ASA staff to advance relevant programs and services in the technology field.
"Our newest offering is HomePortfolio.com, a Web- based marketing service that drives consumers and design professionals to high quality plumbing products and the local distributor with a showroom displaying those products. We currently have a growing audience of over five million unique visitors annually. We are also working with manufacturers to allow co-op advertising funds to be used to pay for the service. Distributors can call me for more details at 800-608-7308."
Current Officers, Directors and Volunteer AdvisorsEXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Inge Calderon
American Supply Association
ASA Center for Advancing Technology
Eastern Pennsylvania Supply Co.
Torrington Supply Co.
Mid-City Supply Co.
Western Nevada Supply Co.
Coburn Supply Co.
Legend Valve Co.
ASA Education Foundation
Peabody Supply Co.
Hercules Chemical Co.
Consolidated Supply Co.
Wit & Co.