Last year, ASA signed cooperative agreements with three major industry buying groups - Affiliated Distributors, Embassy and WIT & Co. These agreements outlined the sharing of resources and promoting membership between ASA and each group, welcoming a new era of collaboration in the best interests of shared members and the industry at large.
In the first quarter of 2010, ASA was invited to attend the annual meetings of Embassy and WIT, as well as Omni, with whom negotiations are currently underway to establish a cooperative agreement. Through this participation, ASA was able to share with each group’s members the value of ASA membership, the progress the association has made in important advocacy issues and ongoing training development, as well as the success of the new suite of benchmarking reports and the positive impact this resource has had for participating companies.
“The value of these partnerships with the buying groups and the effectiveness of being able to attend their meeting and talk in-person with so many of our existing and prospective members are really immeasurable,” sharedMike Adelizzi, ASA’s executive vice president. “For so many years, the feeling out there was one of competition, which was a skewed way of looking at it. We’re all for the same thing - a strong and robust PHCP and PVF industry. It absolutely makes sense for us to share resources when we can and complement each other’s strengths. Our conversations with the folks at these meetings prove that out, the reaction is overwhelmingly positive about the cooperative agreements and everyone appreciates us working together to support their businesses. I, for one, enjoy talking to people in this type of setting, where ASA staff members have the time to share what’s new at the association and where we’re headed.”
At both Omni and WIT, ASA was provided a dedicated area where individuals were able to use meeting breaks to speak with ASA representatives and experience ASAU Online, the ASA Education Foundation’s new online training program and learning management system (LMS). For the first time ever, ASA was provided time to address the entire membership at the WIT meeting, with Mike Adelizzi presenting an update on the actions that came out of the recent Board of Directors meeting and some strategies outlined for 2010. During the Embassy meeting, ASA was included in the rotation for the second year and held meetings with over 60 distributor companies. In addition,Wally Gumm, president of Embassy, invitedChris Murin, ASA’s executive director, to the stage during a general session to speak about ASA’s Young Executive Division and the upcoming Spring Forum.
“Participating in the buying group meetings has done a great deal to increase ASA’s visibility with non-members, while at the same time it has given us a new venue where we can connect with our current members,” added Chris. “It allows us to reinforce the value of membership and ASA’s commitment to furthering the industry for all parties.”