As ASA completes 2013 with its second consecutive year of net membership growth, ASA members enjoy a renewed sense of excitement having supported the association.
Coming from NetworkASA 2013 in Washington D.C., in October, comments that were shared with ASA staff members included, “This is like the old ASA” and “I can’t wait for next year,” as well as “The speakers and networking opportunities were second to none. “ ASA has regained its leadership role within the industry and there most certainly is a “buzz” as to what it has and will continue to accomplish.
As reported to the membership at NetworkASA, the association is in great financial health, which is a dramatic improvement over just a few years ago. ASA has earned a profit a few years in a row, with a significant profit in 2012 soon to be followed by similar results in 2013. These results were and are a definite necessity in light of some of the very lean years that were experienced not too long ago. ASA has well over a year of operating budget in its reserves, which has allowed the ASA Executive Committee to reinvest in some of the association’s most important programs.
ASA’s industry forecasting program is one of the strongest and most popular membership benefits ASA currently offers. Economist Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics provides his “Industry Forecast” at each NetworkASA event, which is a rolling 12-month industry economic prediction. This annual prediction is supplemented by the ASA Advisor, Alan’s monthly report that provides ASA members with the latest trend information and updates that impact the information provided during his annual predictions. ASA Advisoralso is supplemented by two webinars per year (one in the spring and one in the fall) aimed at keeping members updated on the latest economic trends.
As we’ve mentioned throughout 2013, ASA University is in full swing with the rollout of its five colleges, each complete with its own curriculum and behavioral performance measures. The colleges are:
- College of Leadership / Executive Management(targeted toward branch managers)
- College of Sales /Sales Management
- College of Warehouse Management
- College of Purchasing / Inventory Management
- College of Business Management.
Check out www.asa.net/Education/ASA-University today for more information on all these courses and how they can benefit your employees.
As an added bonus within the past year, the ASA Education Foundation rolled out its ASA Advisory Service. The new program allows ASA University staff to assist members more closely with training initiatives. Service is offered on three different levels based on the amount of involvement and intensity of the training package offered. More importantly, the first level of service is available at no costand is part of ASA membership.
ASA’s advocacy efforts continue to be strengthened through the efforts of Dan Hilton, ASA’s director of government affairs. Dan spent the first half of 2013 meeting with members of Congress and their staffs to familiarize them on our industry and issues of prime importance to ASA’s membership. Topics such as LIFO repeal, the Marketplace Fairness Act, copper theft and the lead in plumbing issue all have been on the forefront in our industry.
New items on the agenda for 2013 at NetworkASA were a legislative issues briefing and Capitol Hill legislative appointments, which allowed attendees the opportunity to speak firsthand with their representatives about issues impacting their ability to run their businesses. More than 150 meetings were scheduled for ASA members with their members of Congress. While chaos ensued when the Capitol and its congressional offices were locked down due to a shooting at the Hart Senate Office Building, most convention attendees found the experience of being on Capitol Hill during the historic government shutdown to have significantly heightened the overall experience of lobbying for the industry.
In addition to continuing its strong tradition of benchmarking reports such as the Operating Performance Report, the monthly Pulse Report, Materials Market Digest, IPD Commodity Report, its Compensation Report and Business Valuation Service, ASA continues to build the association brand by promoting members’ capabilities to their end users through its PVF Outlookand PB Outlook publications. Both magazines are delivered to more than 20,000 customers in their respective markets. From mechanical contractors to plumbing contractors to oil companies and interior designers and builders, these magazines provide ASA member customers with an abundance of information to help them run their businesses.
Last, but most certainly not least, ASA has redesigned its website at www.asa.ne to more closely reflect its new brand. The site is much more aesthetically pleasing and easy to navigate, and provides a wealth of content for the ASA membership and the industry. In mid-October, a new online store launched at www.asa.net/store. In addition, ASA staff currently is working to develop a career and job board to be launched at the beginning of 2014, which will allow jobseekers to search for employment and connect them with ASA members who are searching for qualified candidates. Look for this new development at www.asa.net/Careers after the first of the year.
Watch ASA News to see what’s in store for ASA Members throughout the industry in 2014. There is more excitement to come!