ASA Insights
Jan. 31, 2013

ASA's Relevance Reemerges in 2012
American Supply Association
Watch your mail for ASA's 2012 Year in Review. This annual report shares how ASA keeps its members ahead of the curve and advances the success of the industry. Can't wait to read about how ASA is indispensable to achieving prosperity in the industry? Click here to download an electronic copy.More

Hank Darlington to Offer Seven-Part Showroom Training Webinar Series
American Supply Association
Wholesale-distribution, like every other business, is driven by the ability to grow sales. And while wholesalers recognize that showrooms provide a tremendous potential for increased sales and profits, they may not fully embrace the retail model that will generate profits. All showroom personnel are invited to join Hank Darlington, author of ASA's popular Essentials of Profitable Showroom Sales© course, as he shares his knowledge on performing as a top notch sales consultant and facilitates a Q&A period during each webinar session. Two upcoming seven-week sessions are scheduled, with participants meeting once a week for 45 minutes.More

Regulations Issued on Individual Mandate
The Hill
The Obama administration took new steps this week toward implementing the individual mandate on the Affordable Care Act. By stressing the numerous exemptions allowed under the rule, they sought to downplay the scope of the rather controversial provision. The Internal Revenue Service and the Health and Human Services Department emphasized exceptions to the mandate, which were detailed in new regulations that also laid out the process by which the IRS will calculate penalties for going uninsured. The mandate requires most taxpayers to either buy insurance or pay a fine to the IRS.More

January 'Get The Lead Out' Webinar Presentation Available Online
American Supply Association
Are you and your employees ready for the new lead-free law coming at the end of 2013? On Jan. 16, the Get The Lead Out Plumbing Consortium hosted a webinar on the subject. Presentation materials from the webinar are available by clicking here. ASA is a founding member of the consortium, and has worked closely with allied associations and industry firms to develop information on what companies can do to ensure compliance with the new law.More

Hunt for Cash with Leading Expert Jason Bader
American Supply Association
Make plans to attend "Inventory Management for Distributors," presented by Jason Bader of The Distribution Team in Chicago on April 25-26. This two-day program is a unique opportunity for all management personnel to learn more than 30 different "hunting for cash" ideas that can be implemented immediately. All aspects of purchasing, inventory management, warehouse operations, branch operations, cycle counting, dead stock management and practical distribution industry technology will be covered. This class is limited to the first 30 participants. There is a $150 discount to ASA members who register before Feb. 28.More

Bradley Corporation's Advocate Lavatory System Receives Industry Award
Bradley Corporation
Bradley Corporation's new and innovative "all in one" Advocate Lavatory System has received the prominent 2012 GOOD DESIGN™ Award presented by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design in cooperation with the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. The Advocate AV-Series Lavatory System is the first unit designed to provide a sink, soap, faucet and dual-sided hand dryer in one. Click here for more details.More

Report: Divestments Grow More Strategic
Modern Distribution Management
A recent report from Deloitte showed that more companies are using divestitures of assets or business units as part of their core strategies rather than just a way to improve finances. "Portfolio assessment and divestitures that might have been necessary to keep the lights on in recent years can now be more strategic and focused," said Andy Wilson, partner, M&A Services for Deloitte & Touche LLP in the report.More

GDP Unexpectedly Shrinks, Decline Seen Temporary
Reuters
The economy unexpectedly contracted in the fourth quarter, but analysts said there was no reason for panic given that consumer spending and business investment picked up. Gross domestic product fell at a 0.1% annual rate, its weakest performance since it emerged from recession in 2009, the Commerce Department said. If it were not for the hit from slower inventory growth and the deepest plunge in defense spending in 40 years, the economy would have grown at a respectable 2.5% rate. The weight from those two factors is expected to lessen in the first three months of this year.More

US Construction: Steady Upward Momentum
Global Property Guide
The tight inventory supply in the United States has constrained the pending home sales index declining by 4.3% in December from November, according to the latest data from the National Association of Realtors. NAR's chief economist Lawrence Yun said in an emailed statement that though buyers' interest remains solid, the supply limitation holds back the December contract signings. Yun said the slight decline has surprised analysts, who were quite bullish of pending home sales during the end of the month.More

Oil Jumps Above $97 with Economy in Focus
The Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report
The price of oil climbed above $97 a barrel Tuesday for the first time in four months, and analysts said it could go higher if upcoming reports on jobs and U.S. economic growth are positive. Benchmark oil for March delivery rose $1.13, or 1.2%, to close at $97.57 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Oil hadn't closed above $97 in New York since Sept. 14. It is now up more than $5 a barrel this year and U.S. drivers are finding higher prices at the gas pump. This is a big week for U.S. economic indicators. So far investors, both in commodities and stocks, have embraced the positive reports while discounting the negative ones.More