ASA Insights
Jan. 14, 2016

Will OSHA's Gain Be Your Loss?
American Supply Association
At the close of 2015, Congress gave the Occupational Safety and Health Administration the authorization to increase their fines, surprising even administrators at OSHA. The fines, which haven't been raised since 1990, will change civil penalties for serious and nonserious violations by climbing to about $12,700, from the current $7,000 maximum. Those for willful and repeat violations could go to approximately $127,000, from the current $70,000 maximum. Congress directed OSHA to have the new rates effective August 1, 2016, giving stakeholders like ASA time to review the proposal and comment.More

Does Dumping Make Economic Sense?
ASA Materials Market Digest©
Chinese finished steel exports surged to record highs in 2015, totaling 102 million tons of finished steel through November, up more than 20.0 percent from 11 months of the prior year and exceeding the 93.78 million tons exported in all of 2014. In response, trade actions took place throughout the world, accusing Chinese companies and its government of dumping, i.e., subsidizing goods sold at less than cost of production. All of which makes anyone wonder about whom benefits from goods sold for less than it cost to make them. Log in to MY ASA for the January installment of ASA's Materials Market Digest©.More

Amazon Faces Government Fine for Failing to Report Injuries
Bloomberg Inc. failed to report at least 26 work-related illnesses and injuries in a New Jersey warehouse last year, a federal agency said, the latest indication that low-wage employees who rush to fetch online orders often bear the pain of the speedy, convenient delivery of goods. The Web retailer faces a $7,000 fine and demands to change its warehouse work environment, according to a citation. The action stems from a July inspection by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which found that Amazon failed to report workplace injuries, exposed employees to amputation risks and didn't provide protective gear. More

Trouble with Tubulars
ASA Materials Market Digest©
Luxembourg-based Tenaris SA is selling many energy tubular products directly from their mills to drilling rigs. Tenaris executives revealed in a third-quarter conference call that 30.0 percent of its U.S. sales went direct, and CEO Paolo Rocca said that "sooner or later, some of our competitors will follow." So far, none has. Evraz North America and TMK IPSCO issued statements emphasizing their commitment to distributors. Many OCTG distributors predictably are up in arms against Tenaris and seeking new vendor partnerships. Log in to MY ASA for the January installment of ASA's Materials Market Digest©.More

Are You Ready to Take Your Training to the Next Level?
American Supply Association
Then look no further, ASA University has the Program for you! The Master of Distribution Management Certification Program is a first of its kind master's certification program designed by industry experts and focused specifically on the wholesale distribution industry. The opportunities offered in this program are both flexible and affordable. The MDM Certification Program is here to help your current and future leaders reach their highest potential for your company. Distinguish yourself from your competition with highly trained, MDM-certified managers. Don’t delay – sign up today and receive 10% off of this already affordable opportunity! Learn moreMore

Join the Top Women in Industry this April in Chicago
American Supply Association
MAKE industry connections for professional and personal growth
CONNECT with a mentor or protégé
BUILD lasting relationships
SHARE AND LEARN valuable tips for success
BRING women in the PHCP and PVF industry together
GET INVOLVED to build a strong support network
INCREASE the visibility of women in the industry

Take Your Career to the Next Level with Young Execs
American Supply Association
Taking place in Memphis, Tennessee at the historic Peabody Hotel, the 2016 Spring Forum looks to continue to grow year after year. The Young Executives Division is a vital piece to develop leadership skills, build key relationships and work together with other young industry professionals. These education and networking opportunities are critical for tomorrow’s leaders in all PHCP-PVF companies across the U.S. and are tailored specifically to the young executives. This year, with generous support from NIBCO, INC. and ASA's Education Foundation, Dirk Beveridge will be leading the educational portion of the event. Dirk is a leader in innovation and specifically focuses on the industrial wholesale-distribution channel. Be sure to register right away for this great event taking place May 23-25, 2016. REGISTER NOWMore

Read the Latest from Morris Beschloss on USA Today
American Supply Association
This week's news: Will House Speaker Ryan Expedite Tax Law Revision? (USA Today)

Want to read more from Beschloss? Click here to go to USA Today for a full archive of past articles.More

What is Employee Training and Development
Employee training and development is a broad term covering multiple kinds of employee learning. Training is a program that helps employees learn specific knowledge or skills to improve performance in their current roles. Development is more expansive and focuses on employee growth and future performance, rather than an immediate job role.

Want help developing your own training program? Go to ASA-U Advisory Service today for more information.More

Oil Plunge Sparks Bankruptcy Concerns
The Wall Street Journal via MSN
Crude-oil prices plunged more than 5% on Monday to trade near $30 a barrel, making the specter of bankruptcy ever more likely for a significant chunk of the U.S. oil industry. Three major investment banks — Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Citigroup Inc. — now expect the price of oil to crash through the $30 threshold and into $20 territory in short order as a result of China's slowdown, the U.S. dollar's appreciation and the fact that drillers from Houston to Riyadh won't quit pumping despite the oil glut.More

Report: US Will Surpass China as Top Manufacturing Country by 2020
By Alan Kelsky
Reuters rang in the new year with a report stating the United States manufacturing and construction sectors can both look forward to "tepid growth." However, another recent report issued by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and the U.S. Council on Competitiveness — "2016 Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index" — predicts the United States will regain its former position as the No. 1 manufacturing producer in the world, surpassing China by 2020.More