No matter whatline of business you’re in, we’ve all heard the saying, “It’s not WHAT you know; it’s WHO you know.”

Every successful business, including A. O. Smith, has benefited from two people forging a meaningful connection at precisely the right moment. In fact, that’s exactly what happened at the turn of the 20th century when Arthur O. Smith met legendary carmaker Henry Ford.

In 1906, Ford asked Smith to build 10,000 steel auto frames in just four months, to which Smith replied, “That’s what we’re here for.” Mind you, at the time the Smith Company was accustomed to producing only 10 frames per day. Undeterred, the savvy businessman and his talented team retooled the entire operation and before long the Smith Company was manufacturing 100 frames per day. Four months later, Ford Motor Company received its 10,000 frames.

Companies have the opportunity to thrive when strategic relationships are effectively cultivated.

Today, the A. O. Smith Corporation is one of the leading water heater manufacturers in the world — a long way from its automotive beginnings. But the company has remained true to the idea that building solid business relationships and delivering on its commitments to customers and partners is a recipe for success.


21st century connections

And where does a business go to build these connections in the PHCP-PVF supply chain in the 21st century? The American Supply Association.

The American Supply Association is the relationship engine of our industry. A. O. Smith is proud to be an ASA Platinum Partner because this organization facilitates meaningful interactions that help its members succeed.


Opportunities to connect

Whether attending ASA’s annual Network convention, networking councils or one of the association’s premier training seminars, manufacturers are afforded the best opportunities to connect with industry decision-makers and build relationships that foster growth.

For A. O. Smith, ASA events provide our team valuable opportunities to listen, analyze and respond to the concerns and opinions of our industry partners. When we invest time in developing new relationships and strengthening existing partnerships with our customers, A. O. Smith is better positioned to effectively address industry challenges and seize opportunities.

While top-notch networking events with our customers in the supply chain held multiple times throughout the year are certainly the biggest advantage, there are a multitude of other ways A. O. Smith benefits from being a sponsor and active participant in ASA.


Educational resources

The ever-growing cache of resources offered by ASA University has resulted in a comprehensive curriculum that addresses a wide variety of subject matter, including product knowledge, industry vocabulary and workplace safety.

These educational resources are designed to complement business plans and explore the many facets of the industry, ultimately resulting in well-trained, fundamentally developed industry employees.


Proper training

Proper training is key to enhancing an employee’s ability to bolster customer relationships. And by way of ASA University, industry professionals are prepped to possess a greater knowledge of wholesale distribution and are equipped with the tools needed to drive performance through customer partnerships. To put it plainly, a positive customer experience with our supply-chain partner equates to a positive customer experience with A. O. Smith.

Another important point: ASA remains the only national organization creating strategic partnerships between leading wholesalers and distributors with the explicit goal of strengthening the industry’s foundation.

Our industry is comprised of hundreds of moving parts and its success relies heavily on the development of a concise communication strategy that is comprehensive among all audiences. ASA works diligently to advance information and training down a long supply chain of individuals to ensure each employee, from manufacturer to contractor, is working succinctly towards our unified goals.