Dear Industry Colleagues,
What an interesting time in our industry. I was honored when asked to serve as president of ASA. When I agreed, I did not know what the industry would have in store for us when my time came - that may have been a good thing!
The current situation in our industry can be summed up best by the saying, “Nothing endures but change.” The housing industry has seen a boom and bust and the stock market has seen a boom and bust. We’ve seen a huge consolidation of wholesalers and we’ve seen the buying groups restructure the independent wholesalers. We are now seeing the Internet change communications, affect research and bring forth a new electronic marketplace. I can’t predict what’s going to happen next, but I can say with certainty that change will continue.
The current situation in our national trade association and its regional affiliates is not much different. We’ve seen an executive leadership change at ASA and the ASA Education Foundation. There has been executive leadership change at many of the regional associations as well. The structure of ASA’s annual convention no longer includes a trade show and is now known as NetworkASA, reflecting the fundamental premise of the meeting. ASA has conducted a detailed strategic planning process to redefine itself as an organization and set new goals as the voice of our industry. Finally, ASA has changed its cost structure to the new economic reality. I served as treasurer of ASA before becoming president and I can tell you first-hand the change that has taken place here, much of it positive, all of it to benefit ASA members.
The mission of any organization defines its existence and its purpose. But how does one define these thing when the world around keeps changing? The answer is, stay true to who you are, but prepare to be flexible in how you get there. ASA has defined itself as the single national organization representing the PHCP and PVF supply chain industry. Membership includes vendors, wholesalers and reps. ASA focuses on four core strengths to fulfill this role:
Education: The ASA Education Foundation’s content and delivery is done with such excellence that ASA members’ employees will become the best trained, best educated, and most professional in the industry.
Advocacy: ASA is the voice of the industry, representing every participant on advocacy efforts, and provides leadership in promoting the interests of the industry in legislative and regulatory affairs.
Benchmarking: ASA has established a suite of benchmarking reports that are not available through any other organization, and has become the consolidated resource for industry information, trends and data analysis.
Networking: ASA is a forum for every industry participant to engage with each other - vendors, wholesalers, and reps - across all buying groups, geographies and disciplines.
How does ASA plan on accomplishing its mission? This is the overriding question that will guide my focus for 2011 as ASA’s president. I plan on driving the association to more clearly define and implement its strategies to deliver its core promises of that mission. We will continue to build and balance the relationship between ASA, the buying groups and the national distributors. Through it all, we will examine and refine the structure of ASA to develop one that best accomplishes our mission, and define and implement a funding formula that moves ASA beyond survival mode and allows it to focus on Delivering the Mission. (You’ll hear me say that a lot this year.)
2011 has begun - let’s take this ride together and make it a great one.
Kenny Pipe & Supply