ASA Insights
Jan. 10, 2013

ASA Member Distributors Featured in Supply House Times
American Supply Association
Beginning with the January issue of Supply House Times, the official publication of ASA, six prominent ASA member distributors are featured in a two-part, in-depth panel discussion regarding the PHCP distribution industry. ASA partnered with the publication to facilitate the panel during NetworkASA 2012 in Orlando, Fla. Discussion topics ranged from social media to diversification and boosting sales. Participants included: Barry Portnoy (Aaron & Company, Piscataway, N.J.), Chris Fasano (TORRCO, Waterbury, Conn.), Jay Hults (Progressive Plumbing Supply, Warren, Mich.), Steve Cook (Northeastern Supply, Baltimore), Ryan Tracy (Dakota Supply Group, Aberdeen, S.D.) and Dottie Ramsey (Modern Supply, Knoxville, Tenn.).More

WANE to Host Spring Networking Receptions
American Supply Association
The Wholesalers Association of the North East (WANE) has scheduled All-Industry Networking Receptions during the month of February at several locations throughout the region. Receptions will be held:

All owners, principals and managers who represent member and nonmember wholesalers, manufacturers and independent manufacturer representatives serving the PHCP/PVF industry are invited to attend. Also encouraged to attend are bright and talented individuals who represent the future leadership of these businesses as well as the industry. Click here for complete details available on the ASA Industry Calendar at www.asa.net.More

Lead-Free Law: Are You Ready? FREE Webinar Jan. 16
American Supply Association
Are you and your employees ready for the new lead-free law coming at the end of 2013? Not yet? Beginning in January of 2014, lead-free plumbing products for potable water will be required nationally. The American Supply Association is a founding member of the Get The Lead Out Plumbing Consortium, and has worked closely with allied associations and industry firms to develop information on what you need to know to comply with the new law. What does the law mean for contractors, engineers, distributors and inspectors? Find out during a FREE webinar titled The New Lead Law is Coming - Are You Ready? being offered Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 3 p.m. EST. A new Apple® iPad™ will be awarded to a randomly drawn webinar participant who completes a post-session evaluation form, courtesy of NIBCO Inc.More

University of Industrial Distribution March 10-13 — Register Today and Save!
American Supply Association
Held March 10-13 in Indianapolis, the University of Industrial Distribution is a four-day institute that offers superb concentrated learning and excellent peer-to-peer networking. With more than 30 seminars covering sales, finance, management, leadership, personnel productivity, channel alignment and more, the UID has become one of the industry's most popular training resources. All seminars are presented by recognized experts in the field of wholesale distribution. The program provides an excellent opportunity to align development plans for your management and management candidates with an abundance of learning opportunities. The UID is open to both distributors and manufacturers. Early-bird registration rates end tomorrow, Jan. 11. Click here for more information. More

How (Not) to Negotiate Like Congress
Bloomberg Businessweek
Congress passed a fiscal cliff deal on Jan. 1, but only after what appeared to be a lot of bickering, name-calling, foot-dragging, at least one obscene outburst, and so much procrastination that it made the entire American government resemble a cranky seventh-grader who didn't want to do his algebra homework. According to Robert Mnookin, a professor at Harvard Law School and director of the Harvard Negotiation Research Project, this isn't just an example of buffoonish leadership — it's actually cutthroat bargaining in action. Mnookin talked to Bloomberg Businessweek about the last-minute deal, hard-line Republicans, and why sometimes it's OK to tell Harry Reid to go f-‍-‍- himself.More

Health Insurers Raise Some Rates by Double Digits
The New York Times
Health insurance companies across the country are seeking and winning double-digit increases in premiums for some customers, even though one of the biggest objectives of the Obama administration's health care law was to stem the rapid rise in insurance costs for consumers. Particularly vulnerable to the high rates are small businesses and people who do not have employer-provided insurance and must buy it on their own.More

33% Anticipate Supplier Problems in 2013
@Risk
While more than 75% of suppliers are confident in their ability to meet their customers' needs in 2013, one-third of respondents to the ASQ 2013 Manufacturing Outlook Survey say they anticipate a problem with a supplier next year, resulting in a shortage of parts or services. Of the respondents who anticipate a problem with a supplier, 42.1% say they are working with partners on process improvements to mitigate volume capacity, while more than 26% are working with their suppliers' competitors. Other manufacturers said they are stockpiling parts in advance of the issue and expanding facilities to make necessary parts themselves.More

Manufacturing Employment Rises in December
Material Handling & Logistics
The U.S. unemployment rate didn't budge from its 7.8% mark in December, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number has held steady since September, and represents 12.2 million unemployed people. Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 155,000 in December. In 2012, employment growth averaged 153,000 per month, the same as the average monthly gain for 2011. In December, employment increased in manufacturing, food services, construction and health care.More

New Focus on Shale-Gas Leads to Wave of US Steel Plants
The Associated Press via The Express-Times
The U.S. shale-gas revolution, which has revitalized chemicals companies and prompted talk of domestic energy self-sufficiency, is attracting a wave of investment that may revive profits in the steel industry. Austrian steelmaker Voestalpine said it may construct a $661 million factory in the United States to benefit from cheap gas.More