In a report to the ASA Board of Directors on February 10th, 2007 President Joel Becker of Torrington Supply Co., Waterbury, CT, enumerated what he deemed to be some of the most critical strategies involved in the association’s efforts this year.

“I feel very strongly that ASA needs to take some aggressive measures this year to demonstrate the tangible benefits that our wholesaler and manufacturer members receive,” Becker said. He went on to describe three distinct strategies that will change the way ASA members view the association, opening them up to new opportunities and a wider awareness of the multitude of ASA’s programs and services.

The first strategy is to develop a series of programs and benefits for key groups of people who manage the functional areas within ASA member companies (i.e. human resources, purchasing, sales management, etc.). These groups, or “Councils” as they are tentatively dubbed, will allow mid-level managers to meet on a regular basis and engage in best-practices networking, benchmarking, training programs and more. The first of these Councils is expected to focus on HR managers; the first session is tentatively planned for late summer of this year.

Secondly, ASA will be developing new ways of packaging its programs that will encourage wider participation among member constituents. By “bundling” some programs together and offering a variety of options including educational credits, customized training packets and other plans, members will realize added value, new opportunities, less hassle, and lower costs.

Finally, ASA will be “putting the pedal to the metal” when it comes to introducing new educational and training tools. Along with ongoing development of industry-specific programs, such as the brand-new “>Essentials of Profitable Inside Sales” just released, ASA will greatly expand its offerings throughout the educational landscape. More than 20 different industry job descriptions will be targeted. Requirements and appropriate training tools for each of these jobs will be identified and made available through ASA, including course books, training manuals and web-based tools.

“I can’t wait to start introducing these new opportunities to our members,” said Inge Calderon, ASA’s executive vice president. “By putting new programs out there, and by shedding new light on existing ones, we’re going to be able to really demonstrate that ASA membership is a critical factor to profitability in this industry.”