As evidenced by the ASA member manufacturer and master distributor listings in the “Manufacturers and Master Distributors – Key in Four Consecutive Years of Net Membership Growth” article in this month’s ASA News, membership within ASA isn’t just for wholesaler-distributors. 

As I write this month’s letter, I am getting ready to attend Network2015 in Chicago where ASA leadership once again expects record attendance.  Although it is too early to cite statistics from 2015, one of the most notable numbers from 2014 was an astounding 67% increase in the number of wholesaler-distributor firms and an impressive 47% increase in the number of manufacturer firms in attendance from the 2010 event. 

That speaks volumes for not only the importance of event attendance, but also the value of an overall ASA membership. Although all events held at Network are topnotch, the wholesaler and vendor conference appointments always hold a very special “wow factor” and represent the excitement and “buzz” within the ASA membership. The overall event represents industry networking at its finest.

What else besides networking does an ASA membership have to offer a manufacturer? The answer is plenty.  Exposure to distributors through ASA’s Supplier Partnership program is an example. This program offers manufacturers visibility and recognition throughout the calendar year at all ASA-produced events that they normally would not get through a typical sponsorship. Manufacturers have an abundance of opportunities to be recognized by those at all levels within ASA wholesaler-distributor firms through a Supplier Partnership. Much like Network, participation in the program has more than doubled the last few years. 

As far as education and training, ASA University now offers the industry’s foremost resources that help a manufacturer’s employees understand the fundamentals of wholesale-distribution; allowing them to better partner with their customers and drive performance together. Overall, ASA University provides a variety of ways to tailor training and education so implementation is customizable and manageable for every member. Visit for more details.

With benchmarking and business intelligence, ASA regularly collects and compiles a wealth of data from its wholesaler-distributor members. The statistically significant sample sizes mean ASA’s industry benchmarks and forecasts offer timely and reliable information that provides manufacturers with valuable insights about how they can more closely align strategic goals and objectives with those of their customers. Go to for more information.

Last, but not least, industry advocacy equally benefits wholesaler-distributors and manufacturers. For any given industry issue, manufacturers have the opportunity to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with their wholesaler-distributor customers and help educate our elected officials about the legislative and regulatory issues that impact the industry and their businesses the most.  ASA members can contact Dan Hilton in Washington at or 703/328-5234 to find out more.


This article was originally titled “Continued growth and value for all” in the November 2015 print edition of Supply House Times.