In each of my monthly letters I focusprimarily on one area (or areas) of benefit members of ASA are able to take advantage of with their membership in the association. One of the most underrated areas of benefit is the association’s business intelligence and benchmarking reporting.  

Some of ASA’s benchmarking reports, such as the popular annual Operating Performance Report (OPR), have been around for many years without some members even knowing they exist.

In the last ASA member satisfaction survey conducted in 2014, the association’s business intelligence reporting came up as the second-most valuable member benefit overall. 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. Since December 2012, industry economist Alan Beaulieu’s firm, ITR Economics, has put together this monthly report specifically designed for ASA members. ITR also provides ASA members with an annual 18-month forecast update in the fall at the annual NETWORK event. 

This is just the “tip of the iceberg” when it comes to the benchmarking reports offered by ASA.  The following is a brief overview of each report offered to ASA members:

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. This is the single-best source for comparative financial information about the PHCP-PVF supply chain.

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 and different market areas, sales volumes and industry segments.

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,or 630/467-0000ext. 204 for more details.