ASA moves into 2013 coming off a year that was one of its strongest ever. The organization met and/or exceeded its goals in almost all areas, continued to strengthen its relationships with the various industry buying groups, achieved consistent membership participation by national members and completed its most successful Supplier Partnership year since the program’s inception. On top of these accomplishments, ASA reached net membership growth in 2012 for the first time in more than 20 years.

With the continued focus to expand ASA University from an extensive library of training courses to a comprehensive resource for performance management, coaching and training, the ASA Education Foundation is even better positioned in 2013 to help companies become more efficient, more productive and more profitable. The ASA Education Foundation expanded ASA University this past year with the rollout of the College of Warehouse Management and the College of Purchasing/Inventory Management at NetworkASA 2012 in Orlando. Also introduced was the ASAU Advisory Service, a new benefit to ASA members offering assistance with the creation and implementation of training plans, the sharing of ideas on how to inspire employees to participate, the identification of next steps to maintain progress and more! Watch for much more in 2013.

Throughout 2012, ASA Executive Vice President Mike Adelizzi and association staff made a tremendous effort to personally get out and meet with many members and prospects to discuss new developments at ASA. These one-on-one member visits are a great example of the type of personal service that ASA has made a point of establishing. “All the printed material, articles and advertisements in the world do not substitute for the fact that this is a face-to-face, relationship-based industry,” Adelizzi stated. “Although ASA’s membership growth exceeded our wildest expectations in 2012, we have only just begun. 2013 promises to be an even more involved travel year for us.”

There also has 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. Among the myriad of issues that ASA is advocating for in Washington are: reasonable labor management, water infrastructure funding, relief for metal theft, and protection for those on LIFO as well as those who are organized as S Corps.

ASA also has worked hard this past year to begin developing and introducing a reliable forecasting program to add alongside our strong benchmarking programs. Members will benefit from having monthly reports to try and provide some clarity as to what is happening in the PVF and PHCP markets. By the end of the year, ASA members will have access to information that their competitors do not have.

ASA continues to be driven by strategic governance and long-range planning, which has been instrumental in delivering the many new programs that have led to the association’s resurgence. And after several years of streamlining operating costs and expanding revenues, a financially healthy ASA has emerged quite capable of delivering these programs and with an enhanced ability to lead the industry.

As 2013 will undoubtedly be a very interesting and challenging year, ASA will be at the forefront of helping its members succeed.