Technology: How It's Expanding What ASA Does for You
By Jerry Burns, AAM, Chairman
ASA now has the capability to bring people together through web conferencing. There are many ways ASA can use this technology, and we have some great ideas in the works. But we also want to hear from you! What do you want ASA to deliver to your desktop when you can't join your colleagues face to face? Industry updates? Local chapter meetings? Training? Send your virtual meeting ideas to me at email@example.com. I believe this is a medium that will afford more people from a single shop to attend "gatherings" when travel is restrictive or when event dates and times are not suitable for everyone.
With web conferencing, you simply log in to a computer and use an external or built-in webcam to "meet" your fellow ASA members during the session for a more personal level of contact. Web pages, presentations and documents can all be shared, so the potential benefits of this technology are endless. ASA's face-to-face gatherings remain a top priority, but technology is allowing us to expand our reach to a broader membership base.
But the technological advancements don't stop there! ASA recently unveiled its Automotive Service & Repair Week (ASRW) website redesign for NACE and CARS. Features include access to all ASRW social networks (including a YouTube video library), videos of key sessions from this year's event (including the new forums and the NACE Town Hall, if you missed it), and a new community section featuring real-time news from industry organizations. You can now get to "all things NACE and CARS" by visiting the ASRW landing page at www.ASRWevents.com. From there you can easily select NACE or CARS info, or any of the other events tied to ASRW.
Now let's talk technology and benefits! I know you've likely heard about the ASA Marketplace that houses all the money- and time-saving ASA benefit programs. But ... have you visited the site yet? I can't say enough about how much you can save. Go to ASA.bizunite.com and log in using your e-mail address and this password: asa (lower case). I can't think of a thing that's not available in the ASA benefits portfolio - and whatever you need, you may as well save money when you get it! The ASA Marketplace contains thousands of pre-negotiated products and services with selected vendors for increased savings. Yes, thousands! Things like insurance, wireless services, shipping, estimating and diagnostics, office supplies and financial services. As an ASA member, you also have access to "Employee Perks," which offers you discounts at more than 25,000 merchants - from restaurants to theaters to stores offering everything from apparel to electronics. This particular benefit can also be shared with shop employees at your discretion.
There's even more technology buzz from the national office ... ASA recently updated its online store, which is packed with educational and promotional items for ASA members and their customers. From labor law posters to ASA lapel pins, find what you need for your business 24/7 at www.ASAstore.com.
From how we distribute ASA press releases to how we conduct our annual surveys, ASA is keeping up with the times by using technology to better serve repair professionals. ASA even has a weekly blog by Ron Pyle. Visit the ASA President's Blog at blog.asashop.org for commentary and discussion about the association and the repair industry.
I hope your year is off to a great start! Tell me how ASA can help you make it even better!
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