Service Centers

Andrew Gross Takes Over as Association of Steel Distributors President

Written by John Packard

The Association of Steel Distributors (ASD), which in March celebrated its 73rd anniversary, swore in Andrew (Andy) Gross, President & CEO of Alliance Steel as the new President of the ASD during its spring meeting held in Naples, Florida earlier this month.

The new ASD president told SMU that he wants to expand the exposure of their association beyond their traditional flat rolled steel service centers, “We are going to move the ASD in a new direction with emphasis on education, assisting with critical business needs (such as banking technology, insurance, family and corporate issues, etc.) and providing a focus on trying to have real market information disseminated to its membership. We will be looking to expand the membership base by extending into market sectors distributing products other than flat rolled steel. Our desire is to expand our flat rolled distributor base and to also include service centers involved with long products or the red metals industries.” 

The new ASD president and the board has already made a change in the association by adding the FMA (Fabricators and Manufacturers Association) to help manage the group. Gross told SMU, “The FMA provides tremendous synergies to the ASD.  First off they have several publications that can extend our branding to potential service centers which distribute the products our membership supports.  The FMA has a deep base of metalworking members where the networking opportunities are obvious and we see the potential for joint meetings and workshops. This will be both good for the manufacturing and processing companies as well as for the ASD.”

“The FMA manages several scholarship programs which the ASD has become involved in over the last 2 years. They (the FMA) also have a technology /web presence that far exceeds our previous management company. We feel all of these advantages will benefit not only our existing members   but also new distribution companies wanting to align themselves with the Association of Steel Distributors.”

When asked about the differences between the Association of Steel Distributors and similar associations Gross said, “Interestingly I had this conversation with the Membership director from another association shortly after becoming the new ASD president. The two organizations, while sharing certain points, differ significantly in the area of culture. The ASD separates itself from other distributor organizations in the way we approach and covet our relationships with fellow members while sharing germane market information without violating anti-trust laws. The ASD is trying to provide in depth knowledge and has always had the ability to create and extend strong networking opportunities.” He went on to say, “Frankly I see us as vastly different from the other associations, in a world where speed of light access to information is putting significant pressure on the ability for associations to thrive.”

Gross made similar comparisons in remarks made during his acceptance speech at the Association of Steel Distributors spring meeting. The title of his presentation was “The only thing that is constant is change.” He went on to tell the assembled ASD members, “Who remembers when a certain sales person from Bethlehem would call with an offer?  You had to write down every damn coil he read off!  Now nearly 35 years later he is finally doing it on a spreadsheet that he attaches to an email that you read on your mobile phone.  How many of you recall having to pull the car over to find the nearest phone booth?  Now we speak hands free through the speakers in our car or drop an email from our isle seat on an airplane.”

He went on to tell his member companies, “We are at the crossroads of the ASD. It is now time to significantly expand our foot print as an Association, opening the door for new places to learn and relate to the steel industry.  This will be done from AHSS webinars to small educational meetings, to world markets, banking technology, and much more. I want to insure that the value proposition of our Association is to help our individual company members improve their companies.”

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