While my St. Louis Cardinals, who always seem to be in the Major League Baseball playoffs, fell short on the last day of a 162-game season, I think about the excitement and promise all baseball fans felt back in the spring that has since faded (as of this writing all but a few teams remain in the playoffs).
I also think back to January and my first article as president when I wrote about the excitement of a new year and outlined all that ASA would set out to accomplish in 2016. Like my Cards, ASA remains competitive and exciting, and presents a compelling product on the field all year, every year.
For the fifth consecutive year, ASA achieved net membership growth among wholesaler-distributors with 22 new distributors joining our ranks. Our distributor membership now represents 4,000 locations across the U.S. And when it comes dollars and cents, 2016 has turned out to be another great year as evidenced by ASA’s balance sheet, which is in great shape.
Your national association’s success is defined by much more than a strong financial position. ASA’s programs and services continue to grow as well. Once again, we conducted a membership satisfaction survey and are excited to see off-the-chart responses about the value companies receive from membership and participation in ASA.
ASA University ranks as the No. 1 value for membership and is recognized as the standard by which all future employees will be trained. We now expect all our members will actively engage in training so their employees will be the best-trained and most professional in our industry.
The quality of information ASA provides with a suite of industry-specific business intelligence reports, peer networking events and our partnership with Supply House Times also are highly valued and relevant to the decisions you make.
Respondents also place a high value on ASA’s role as the industry leader and unrelenting voice advocating for sensible positions on legislative and regulatory issues. This being an election year, ASA has mobilized corporate leaders throughout our industry to voice our views directly with our elected officials by inviting them to our places of business where they can meet our employees and see firsthand how what they decide in Washington impacts the future success of our people and our companies.
For five years, ASA’s full-time presence in our nation’s capital has afforded us with numerous opportunities to provide input on the critical issues facing businesses throughout our industry. Therefore, ASA is extremely proud to have partnered first with the WIT buying group last fall and then with AD this past spring to join us in Washington to lobby members of Congress. In the years ahead, I hope all our industry’s buying groups will follow the tremendous examples set by WIT and AD in partnering with ASA to create an even more powerful voice for our industry.
Lastly, ASA expanded its advocacy role this year with the addition of a licensed professional mechanical engineer to our staff to engage in the codes and standards arena. As a result, ASA will be in a stronger position to not only educate wholesaler-distributors about how existing and updated codes and standards will impact our businesses, but also have direct input on the development process.
It’s been an exciting and successful year and I’m only too pleased ASA’s momentum has continued to build instead of fade like a team falling short of its goal on the last day of the season.
This article was originally titled “Exceeding expectations” in the November 2016 print edition of Supply House Times