Realizing that a coordinated effort between all industry participants is needed to advance issues of critical importance to the long-term health of the industry, the American Supply Association has entered into formal working relationships with Affiliated Distributors, Embassy Group and WIT & Co.  “Two vital ASA long range goals have guided the association’s move to sign agreements with buying groups and work more cooperatively,” said ASA executive vice president Mike Adelizzi.

“Engaging everyone in the industry to aid in the fight to protect industry interests in Washington, D.C., and the need to elevate the professionalism of the industry has prompted ASA to develop closer working relationship with industry buying groups.  We recognize that buying groups are an important part of the business interests of many of our members.  The groups’ strong connections with a broad cross section of wholesalers and manufacturers can assist in motivating owners to take action on important industry issues.”

ASA is the logical organization through which the industry can affect change in Washington, D.C.  Through the association, wholesalers and manufacturers can influence issues such as Card Check, Cap & Trade, LIFO repeal, as well as environmental issues that can have a favorable impact on industry markets such as the W.A.T.E.R. Act.  By partnering with the buying groups, ASA is able to coordinate efforts and strengthen the industry’s position on these issues.   

ASA has seen a major increase already in participation from non-ASA members becoming active and responding to ASA legislative alerts.  A recent alert on LIFO Repeal garnered hundreds of additional letters to Congress above the normal response rate generated by members.

In addition to advocacy efforts, the partnerships bring the programs of the ASA Education Foundation to a wider audience, promoting the benefits of an educated industry.  “A rising tide raises all boats,” continued Adelizzi.  “The more distributors in the PHCP and PVF industry who have well-educated and knowledgeable employees, the stronger the industry becomes as a whole.  An employee who understands his role in the profitability of a company finds ways to remain competitive without resorting to cutting price every time.  Proper training can have a huge impact on the profitability of not only a single company but the entire industry. 

“The buying groups do a great job of providing significant discounts through group purchasing.  ASA does a great job of advocacy, education and benchmarking.  Forming a working alliance with the buying groups makes good sense,” concluded Adelizzi.