The ASA Education Foundation announced a new online site to help members understand product and their applications. The first module in “Fast Track” will include an online resource featuring a brand-new, 3-dimensional model of a modern home.

“Our primary target for this instructional tool is the wholesale distributor employees, who supply these products to their contractor customers,”Inge Calderon, the Foundation’s executive director told us. “We want to teach them how these products are used in their final application, in order to help them understand more about their functionality and placement, and obviously to help them in their sales efforts.”

The residential module is expected to debut in January, 2009. Additional modules in “ Fast Track” will incorporate commercial and industrial applications.

“Ultimately, our plan is to also create similar 3-D models of some commercial applications, such as a multi-story office building or school, and possibly also some industrial systems for that segment of our membership serving those customer groups,” Calderon added.

In other news, the Foundation also announced that ASA members will have access to a free online “Essentials Sampler” course. The “Sampler” is a 15-minute course about the vital role that wholesale distributors play in our marketplace, how they make money and how pricing decisions affect the bottom line.

The “Sampler” will have a variety of uses: Incorporate it into a “lunch-and-learn” session to stimulate discussion among your sales team or make it a part of new employee orientations. Manufacturers might also find it a benefit to their new CSRs who serve the wholesale channel. The “Sampler” gives members a preview into the kinds of valuable lessons that are included in the Foundation’s “Essentials of Profitable Wholesale Distribution.”

More mini-courses like these are being planned.  Meanwhile, check out the new “Essentials Sampler” atwww.asa.net.