Doing training for training’s sake is not a good use of precious time and resources. You may feel good about training, but in the end you are not where you really want to be. With the new tools and resources now available through ASA University, ASA members have access to the support needed to establish full talent management programs within their companies and a blueprint for real training success.

For years, the ASA Education Foundation has developed top-notch training programs specific to this industry from product knowledge courses to distribution business basics and job-specific programs. Thanks to the Karl E. Neupert Endowment Fund, we are able to continue with this important course development while investing in the training support needed by the industry. Through ASAU, ASA members now can get assistance with all facets of a company training program, from getting started, implementing a company-wide program, working to develop a specific employee or department to the maintenance and continued improvement of an existing program. When a company invests in training, it is important that the program be integrated with individual goals, on-the-job expectations and overall strategic direction of the company. ASAU can help.

Do your employees wake up every morning thinking about how they can perform poorly on the job that day? Some of you may think they do, but truthfully they don’t. In most cases, they do not understand the connection between their job descriptions, their roles in helping to grow the company and their careers.


Implementing a Path to Productivity and Higher Profits

Distributors have struggled for years trying to get more out of their core employees, especially when having to reduce staff. But how do you maximize each employee’s potential? ASAU has identified the path and it starts with sound job descriptions. Does your company have them? Are they up-to-date to reflect today’s job expectations?

The first connection to real talent management is a good job description. ASAU has built job descriptions for each role within a distribution company. The assessment phase takes the foundational job description and offers unbiased insight during the hiring process (are you getting the right person for the job?) as well as identifying development needs of current employees. Objective assessment is the second connection to training.

The third connection is the competencies allowing job descriptions to become more universal on an overall, company-wide basis. Competencies provide for a common and consistent approach to performance expectations across the company, building the framework for required behaviors. Behaviors define the competency areas in terms of expected on-the-job performances and become the fourth connection to learning management. They offer an impartial mechanism that defines success for the employee. It will guide an owner in determining areas of competence and weakness and future growth of the employee. This is core to learning management.

And finally, performance management makes the fifth connection to training. This formal measurement of job performance helps to guide an individual’s lower-level behaviors to more meaningful, aggregate results. This becomes vital in establishing necessary, achievable goals for each employee. Successful performance management happens when an employee begins to take the process seriously and applies training in order to earn a wanted reward. Does this process sound familiar in your company? Most likely it doesn’t, but ASAU offers you help in getting there.


ASA University Provides Needed Support

ASAU is your training solution with a step-by-step plan for performance management that includes tools needed to get started, implement, maintain and improve your company’s plan. With templates for job descriptions, job competencies and expected behaviors, assessment support for more in-depth evaluation and full curricula for every role within your company, ASAU is positioned to help connect training to the five talent management initiatives for your organization. The more connections between these plan components and training you are able to make, the better the return on your training investment.

Ready to invest in your employees but don’t know where to start or who to assign the responsibility of professional development within your company? ASAU can help here, too! ASA members have access to expert staff that can help a little or a lot. Through the new ASAU Advisory Service, ASA offers various support levels from recommending how to customize the tools from ASAU to digging in and making customizations and full recommendations for your company.


Continuing to Remain Relevant

The ASA Education Foundation will continue to improve upon the ASA University model by remaining relevant to the challenges and needs of the industry by expanding and strengthening the tools and resources we have to offer. Five years ago, we rolled out ASAU Online, a learning management system that not only delivers our content online in an interactive and engaging way, but also allows companies to manage their full training program with company-specific dashboards, transcripts and reporting. In the coming year, we will be unveiling a new Master of Distribution Management program that will provide a comprehensive and challenging development track for industry branch managers.


Build Your Plan Today

 ASA University is committed to developing your workforce, both new and seasoned, for a stronger industry. Come see what’s new and how we can help with your training initiatives. Visit for more information.