For three days last October, the A. O. Smith team updated its industry partners in Chicago at the annual NETWORK2015 conference hosted by the American Supply Association.

ASA’s NETWORK conference is one of the top events for the PHCP-PVF industry, mostly because it brings together leaders
and top decision-makers from the entire
supply channel: wholesaler-distributors, independent reps, vendors and manufacturers.

The A. O. Smith team looks forward to ASA events such as NETWORK because it gives our leaders an opportunity to share new developments with our business and highlight some of the great work our team members are doing in the areas of product innovation and service.

In 2015, we eagerly shared the benefits of our growing Contractor Rewards program, which allows A. O. Smith contractors to sign up and earn rewards for installing A. O. Smith residential and commercial products. The Contractor Rewards program allows us to communicate regularly with plumbing contractors across North America, and participants have earned rewards that range from movie tickets to Caribbean cruises.

As we discussed Contractor Rewards and other A. O. Smith business developments with wholesalers, a common theme started to emerge: many of our wholesale partners want access to the same regular business updates that our contractor partners receive.


Challenge accepted

When the A. O. Smith team left ASA’s NETWORK2015 conference, we did so with actionable intelligence from trusted business partners that contributed to the foundation of our new Wholesale Channel Partners program. Launched in 2016, this new program allows A. O. Smith to communicate product news and updates directly to our wholesale partners through an easy-to-use Web portal.

Today A. O. Smith is a better business partner to our wholesale distributors all because of a simple conversation made possible by a membership in the American Supply Association.

Of course, this is just one instance, but there are hundreds of industry leaders who attend ASA events and through conversations with their contemporaries, discover challenges and start creating solutions.


Industry forecasts

Networking with top industry professionals is only one of many reasons ASA is a leading organization in the PHCP-PVF industry and a great resource. If conversations with customers at ASA events give you a pulse on how you’re doing as a business, it’s ASA’s business intelligence analyses that keep your finger on the pulse of the industry.

At our core, A. O. Smith is focused on designing and manufacturing market-leading hot water solutions for every home and nearly every business application. That’s what we do best. But it’s a big industry beyond hot water so we rely on organizations such as ASA to keep our partners in the supply chain aware of blind spots and opportunities that may be coming ahead. 

The ASA team spends a great deal of time and energy to educate members about industry and market trends and, most importantly, how those trends could affect their bottom line. Best of all, ASA makes sure presentations are accessible and relevant for decision-makers.


Educating the supply chain

For A. O. Smith to be successful, we must offer meaningful support and educational opportunities to installers and plumbing contractors. Well-trained installers who understand the benefits of their water heater products are better for their business — and ours.

That’s why A. O. Smith is an enthusiastic supporter of ASA University, the only resource of its kind built by suppliers specifically for distribution business professionals. These tools make the sales channel much stronger by providing new employees and rising professionals with training and insights they can use in the real world.

A. O. Smith depends on suppliers. We share in their success — and challenges. Whether it’s a member of the purchasing department or a warehouse manager, ASA University programs are producing distribution teams that are more accurate, more efficient and better equipped to handle surprises, be it a missed delivery or lost inventory.

It’s difficult to place a dollar sign on ASA benefits, such as hearing a market trend in time to prepare for it or building a world-class distribution business. But for A. O. Smith, we know the conversations that produce a great idea are worth every penny of a membership to the American Supply Association.