Dear Industry Colleagues,

The existence of any National Association boils down to one core purpose and that isto help its members run more efficient, profitable businesses. ASA exists for the sole purpose of helping our members make more money through superior performance. We are working on three specific action plans to move us forward toward achieving this goal.

Action Plan #1: Benchmarking.

In the current economic climate, our members have an increased need for reliable, timely industry data in order to help them make sound decisions. ASA has introduced a suite of benchmarking reports that has been available to ASA members atno charge. In our distribution company, we use the revenue and inventory benchmarks in our monthly meetings with all employees so they know exactly how we compare to the market. We also use these reports to educate our external board members and financial institutions, as they really have no other means to judge our company’s performance. 

Action Plan #2: Increase members driving continuous improvement.

In prior years, the only way for members to become directly involved in the association was through a significant commitment on the Board of Directors or the Executive Committee. We’ve now created many more ways for members to become involved and share their individual strengths for everyone’s benefit.

ASA has put together some member-run committees; it is amazing the level of energy within these committees and what they have accomplished. The Safety Committee, for example, has entered into an alliance with OSHA, writes a monthly article on safety, traveled to D.C. to meet with OSHA, and has developed a section on the ASA Web site devoted to Safety Resources to share best practices.  On Tuesday, August 25, they are sponsoring a Webinar on loading dock safety FREE to anyone in our industry - visitwww.asa.netto sign up today.

In addition to the Safety Committee, there are active committees for Government Affairs and Marketing, and we are adding Membership and a Codes and Standards Committees. We also have the Training, Warehouse & Operations, Showroom Managers and CFO Professional Peer Networking Councils. Soon there will be councils for Sales Management and CEOs. Members are more engaged in the association’s development than in recent memory and it’s making a visible impact. 

Action Plan #3: Increase ASA's position as a clearinghouse for the identification and efficient communication of changes on the industry.

Our Government Affairs Committee has been phenomenal this year. With Card Check, metal theft, Cap and Trade, the W.A.T.E.R. Bill - for which ASA is chairing the coalition that’s pushing its passage - we have had plenty to do.  Our Government Affairs page has clearly been developed to make it easy for you to find out what the latest status is on a bill, our industry’s position on the bill, as well as quickly make contact with your own specific representative or senator to urge passage of those bills which directly affect us.

These are only a few of the action plans ensuringASA members will be more profitable and sustainable as they deliver world-class supply chain efficiency in a changing marketplace.

We are making good progress in helping our members achieve this very important goal.  The hard work you do can be greatly enhanced with an efficient and effective national association standing side by side with you, an association like ASA.  Make sure you make the most of it for your company.

Joe Poehling