Take a close look at the 24th annual Premier 150 and you’ll find about 90% of the PHCP-PVF wholesalers listed also are members of the American Supply Association. Ninety percent. Truth-be-told, it’s no coincidence that so many also are ASA members.
“Participation pays dividends,” says Scott Middleton from Robertson Heating Supply. Ted Green and Larry Solomon with PACE Supply and Pacific Plumbing Supply, respectively, readily use “multifaceted” and “robust” to describe how leveraging ASA’s array of programs and services advances their capabilities, their insights, their opportunities and their voices. And Jeff Beaton from Williams Distributing Co. – a relatively new ASA member – agrees, “It is an easy investment for the future of our company and our employees.”
Regardless of size or volume, all ASA members strive to reflect the very best in our industry. Their commitment to continuously invest in their employees, their customers and their operations - their futures and that of our industry - is unwavering. Among them is Steve Cook with Northeastern Supply, “Whether your company is large or small, all of us share many of the same issues, challenges and concerns, and ASA is the single-best industry partner.” For all that ASA membership offers, these members share how participation directly correlates with profitability and success.
“ASA membership provides our executives and key managers with access to opportunities as well as industry-specific information and resources,” says John Orman, III, from Locke Supply – another relatively new ASA member. Why is “access” so important? Jeff New with Mid-City Supply explains. “ASA is survival,” he says. “My company’s success as a mid-sized distributor is directly related to my involvement with ASA. Were I not to connect and cultivate relationships with a lot of peers from throughout the industry and across the country, there are significant, corporate milestones that would otherwise be missed opportunities.”
The camaraderie that permeates throughout ASA lends itself to fostering a truly collaborative forum for the good of the industry and for all channel partners. Many ASA members express their businesses and relationships with one another are more productive, increasingly relevant and propel growth and success as a result of their involvement and participation.
Today, for example, both of New’s sons are active in ASA’s Young Executives(YE). “Like me, they’re meeting mentors, peers and learning about how other successful companies are run,” he says.
Case in point, APR Supply’s Scott Weaver is another member New initially met through YE. “I’ve learned a tremendous amount from my peers that goes well beyond the simple buying and selling of products,” Weaver says.
Jay Bazemorefrom JABO Supply Corp. is another YE who, like New and Weaver, has risen among the ranks of industry leaders. “ASA has helped me to establish an identity in an inclusive and diversified community comprised of the very best and brightest people our industry has to offer,” he says. “The thought of going it alone or leaning exclusively on the peers in my buying group is shortsighted, especially today.”
ASA University is helping employees at all levels to sharpen their skills so they can compete at a higher level and raise the bar for performance. Robert Mannheimer with Blackman Plumbing Supply and Bill Condron from The Granite Group characterize their consistent investment in these resources as “irreplaceable” and “best-in-class” because the content is thorough, on-topic and comes with a measurable and marked ROI. Howard Traeger with Traeger Bros. & Associates insists all employees engage in continuous improvement because it helps to build their confidence. “My company runs more efficiently because our educated employees are better equipped to handle customers with precision and increasingly
close sales,” he states.
Also of the utmost importance is ASA leading the effort to address our industry’s workforce development challenges, which reinforces why leveraging ASA’s resources is increasingly relevant. Barry Portnoy from Aaron & Co., and Tim Arenberg with Columbia Pipe & Supply agree that ASA membership is a competitive advantage.
“We offer careers, not just jobs,” Portnoy says. “ASA University is a big part of our plan because we have a thirst for improvement and we’re building a company that will be sustainable in the face of coming retirements in all of
Arenberg adds: “The companies that continually embrace change and utilize all avenues for improvement will find that ASA has a prominent role to play in their futures. My mentor, Bill Arenberg, instilled that you always support your industry for the greater good, and you leverage everyone and everything that comes with it to make your company and the industry stronger. Just joining ASA will not improve your company. Rather, participating and absorbing and integrating all ASA offers will yield the benefits over the long run. ASA is our industry, and it is a privilege to support it through membership and participation.”