As the American Supply Association moves into 2012, it comes off a year that was one of its strongest in history. As ASA President Bill Kenny outlined throughout 2011, the association has definitely “delivered” on its four key areas, all of which have experienced tremendous growth: Education, Networking, Advocacy and Benchmarking. ASA’s 2012 leadership team will continue to build on this strong momentum moving forward.
An ever-evolving area within ASA is Education. Introduced at NetworkASA 2011 was the highly anticipated ASA University and the Colleges of Sales and Leadership. Coming in 2012 will be the introduction of the Colleges of Warehouse Management, Purchasing/Inventory Management and Business. ASA University provides the industry with the most comprehensive curriculum of training courses, virtually all at the push of a button. Have you become frustrated trying to come up with a plan to train your employees and keep them up-to-date? ASA University is your answer. Watch for further developments as we move into the new year.
In the area of Networking, an active promotional push, extensive “word of mouth” marketing throughout the PHCP and PVF industry and a strong program allowed for the number of wholesaler companies represented at NetworkASA 2011 to rise 36% from 2010. In addition, the number of manufacturing companies increased an equally impressive 32%, while the total number of attendees rose by 36%. Make plans on attending NetworkASA 2012, to be held at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek October 17-20. The event will feature Steve Forbes as a keynote speaker, and promises to be another impactful meeting.
There also has certainly been no shortage of activity in the area of Advocacy. Throughout the past year, Dan Hilton, ASA’s Director of Government Affairs and our “man in Washington,” has kept ASA members informed of pending industry-related legislation through regular visits to Capitol Hill; and by maintaining consistent activity in frequent coalition and committee meetings. Dan has really ramped up the Advocacy effort for ASA this past year. One of the key benefits that has become very popular is Dan’s Washington Weekly report to the membership. Through this convenient communication tool, ASA members stay up-to-date on the issues affecting our industry in Washington. Watch for Dan’s report to continue to expand in 2012 and for the Advocacy area of www.asa.net to become more interactive with frequent issue updates and commentary.
Perhaps one of ASA’s strongest growth areas has been Benchmarking. ASA’s Materials Market Digest was reintroduced to the membership in October. This valuable monthly report provides timely information about important industry trends in a variety of materials sectors and is now authored by Jim Olsztynski, former Supply House Times editor. In addition, ASA continues to offer its monthly sales reports, the always-valuable Operating Performance Report (OPR) and the popular quarterly IPD Commodity Reports. Watch for additional benchmarking material in the form of industry forecasting in 2012.
All of these programs have flourished under the watchful eye and leadership of the ASA Executive Committee. New to the committee for 2012 are Vice President Reggie Hickman of Brock-McVey Co., Vice President Steve Cook of Northeastern Supply and Vice President Wade Long of Sioux Chief Mfg. Co.