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Changes in works for ASC's Long Range Plan

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BETHESDA, Md.—The Adhesive and Sealant Council is moving forward with a sweeping review of its Long Range Plan, based on the responses of more than 400 adhesive and sealant industry professionals to an ASC survey, the council said.

The ASC Board of Directors reviewed and discussed the survey results in detail at a two-day Long Range Planning Committee meeting in August 2013, the council said.

The board agreed with the general outline presented at the meeting and authorized the council to proceed with the review.

The response to the survey was the largest the ASC has had in its 55-year history, according to ASC President Matthew E. Croson. It included 21 in-depth interviews with volunteer leadership, 105 hours of face-to-face discussion in the Long Range Planning Committee and 80 hours of review time with the ASC Board of Directors, he said.

“Now, the efforts move to the next level with the development of a three-year road map that will include planning for new programs and services that can support member responses to these challenges.”

Six objectives will guide the ASC in devising its road maps for the future, according to Croson. These are:

• Professional Education—delivering core educational fundamentals and experiential learning throughout an ASC member's career.

• Community Knowledge Integration—facilitating the sharing of knowledge across the adhesive and sealant community.

• Innovation—accelerating innovation across the adhesive and sealant supply chain.

• Unified Industry Voice—communicating the benefits of the adhesive and sealant industry and creating compelling ways to inform and influence important audiences.

• Accelerating the Adoption of Adhesives and Sealants—promoting the adoption of adhesive and sealant solutions and minimizing barriers to market growth.

• Organizational Effectiveness—providing organizational alignment and enabling infrastructure, leadership and operational excellence to support the ASC.

Seventeen industry professionals form the ASC's road-mapping team, according to Croson. They will work over the next six months to develop the road map to present to the board, he said.

“The team will present the road map to the board in April, and once the board has blessed this, it will become part of our ongoing operational plan,” he said.

In addition to the six objectives, the road-mapping team is considering 17 external and operational challenges as identified by survey respondents, Croson said.

These include such things as staying on top of emerging technologies and innovations; identifying new business development opportunities for North America; new product development and rollout; and managing strategic alliances and partnerships.

All of these objectives and challenges are important, Croson said, but if he had to choose the most important, it would be innovation.

“Innovation is critical to the success of any company,” he said. The ASC seeks to create alliances between suppliers, fabricators and academic researchers to promote and accelerate innovation throughout the adhesive and sealant industry, he said.

A major effort in this direction is the ASC's partnership with the Adhesion Society, a group of 300 academics from universities around the U.S. and the world, Croson said.

These academics are the world's leading experts in adhesion, according to the ASC president.

“We want to connect our members who want innovation with these academics,” he said.

Adhesion Society members deliver about eight of the 45 to 50 papers presented at every ASC annual meeting, discussing examples of adhesion that occur in nature or that are being developed in research, Croson said.

“They might explore spiders or geckos,” he said. “But it allows them to present their scientific and research results and make contact with those who can commercialize them.”