Dear Industry Colleagues,

If you are a member of ASA and have been reading my “Letters from the ASA President” throughout the course of 2011, it should be no secret to you that ASA has a great deal of activity happening within its four key areas of focus: Benchmarking, Networking, Education and Advocacy. In last month’s letter, and in my address to the ASA membership at NetworkASA 2011 in September, I outlined the detailed growth that has taken place in each of these specific areas throughout 2011. It has been a phenomenal ride to say the least. If you are not a member, my question to you is, “What more is it going to take for you to stand up, take notice and JOIN the ranks of your fellow industry professionals as members of ASA?” In our ever-evolving marketplace, the time has never been more important than right now for your company to join ASA and take advantage of this time of growth. 

Many of you struggle with predicting what the future of our industry brings. We know how important this is and have acted on the need. As mentioned in this month’s ASA News, a team of industry leaders met at NetworkASA 2011 in September to begin mapping out plans for providing the membership with critical industry forecasting data on a regular basis. This Forecasting Task Group will first work to build participation in ASA’s current benchmarking tools, then develop and customize a forecasting tool specific to member needs.

Speaking of Benchmarking, ASA’s Materials Market Digest was reintroduced to the membership in October 2011. This valuable monthly report provides timely information about important industry trends in a variety of materials sectors including: carbon steel and stainless, alloy steel and principal alloy metals, non-ferrous metals and alloys and much more. The report also has a new author, former Supply House Times editor Jim Olsztynski, and includes price changes by major producers, action in applicable commodity markets, factors affecting supply or demand and other information that cannot be obtained anywhere else. One more valuable ASA member benefit example!

Another ever-evolving area of growth within ASA is Education. Introduced at NetworkASA 2011 was the highly anticipated ASA University and its five colleges, including: the Colleges of Sales, Leadership, Warehouse Operations, Purchasing and General Business. Find out more about how ASA University can be your resource for success in our featured article, The Starting Point, in this month’s ASA News.

The power of Networking within ASA was recently illustrated by our very successful NetworkASA 2011 event, held September 13-16 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. We had a 30% increase in attendance over 2010, boasted overflow crowds at each scheduled event  and received extraordinarily high remarks from attendees. Start making plans now to attend next year’s NetworkASA 2012, scheduled for October 17-20 at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. You won’t be disappointed!

Last, but certainly not least, we have seen a whirlwind of activity in the area of Advocacy throughout the past year. Dan Hilton, ASA’s Director of Government Affairs and our “man in Washington,” keeps ASA members informed of pending industry-related legislation through regular visits to Capitol Hill and maintaining consistent activity in frequent coalition and committee meetings. Dan has really ramped up the Advocacy effort for ASA this past year.

These are just a few snapshots of some reasons why you need to act now if you are not a member of ASA. We will continue to develop these programs well into 2012 and beyond. Please contact a member of the ASA staff today at 312-464-0090 for more membership benefit information. You will be glad you did!

Bill Kenny
Kenny Pipe & Supply