In each of my monthly “Letters from ASA President,” I focus on a particular area (or areas) of benefit enjoyed by ASA members

One of the most underrated areas of benefit I believe cannot be stressed enough is the association’s business intelligence and benchmarking reporting.  

Some of ASA’s benchmarking reports, such as the very popular annual Operating Performance Report, have been around for years without some members taking full advantage of them. This is unfortunate considering the quality of takeaway such reports provide.

In a 2014 survey of the ASA membership by ASA’s third-party marketing firm McKenna Design Group, the association’s business intelligence reporting came up as the second-most valuable member benefit. This alone speaks volumes for the quality of the reporting. 

One of the most valuable business intelligence reports is the ASA Advisor, which provides a macroeconomic analysis of the PHCP and PVF industry at national and regional levels, as well as a forecast on how the U.S. economy may impact the different industry segments served by ASA members.

ASA continues to offer its suite of benchmarking reports, including timely data and relative statistics tailored exactly to each member that participates in the reporting. 

Here is a brief overview of each report:

Operating Performance Report (OPR):This annual study helps companies to pinpoint operational strengths and weaknesses relative to the most applicable industry demographics for a given wholesaler.

Monthly Pulse Report:This survey and report provides ASA members with regular snapshots of industry performance for sales, inventories, gross margin and YTD profitability related to the broader economy.

Materials Market Digest:Each month, this report offers ASA members the most current and qualified market data and analysis on various materials with comprehensive insight on price-influencing actions.

IPD Commodity Reports:Each quarter, members of ASA’s Industrial Piping Division receive an in-depth and comprehensive analysis prepared by industry insiders about select commodities for the industrial and mechanical PVF segment of the industry, including price-influencing actions.

Compensation Report:Every two to four years, ASA, in conjunction with its independent and regional affiliates as well as 28 other industrial distribution organizations, prepares detailed comparisons of compensation and benefits programs for distribution executives and employees.

Confidential Business Valuation Service:Accredited and third-party staff at Industry Insights employs standard valuation methods to accurately and objectively determine the market value of a business for thousands of dollars less than any other provider.

Please visit for more information on any of these valuable reports or contact Chris Murin, ASA executive director, at tor 630/467-0000, ext. 204 for more details. 

This article was originally titled “Make the right choice” in the May 2015 print edition of Supply House Times.