ASA Insights
Feb. 3, 2011

Planning the Future with the ASA Board of Directors
American Supply Association
This week, the ASA Board of Directors will convene its annual winter meeting in San Diego. Nearly 70 volunteer leaders representing as many different wholesalers and vendors from throughout the industry and across the country will make critical decisions about the upcoming program for NetworkASA 2011 as well as the strategic goals and objectives for the association. According to William Kenny Jr., ASA's president from Kenny Pipe & Supply, "I'm excited to attend this meeting because it always brings together tremendous ideas and energy from throughout the industry. The feedback and decisions come from a true cross section of the volunteers who serve on the various committees and executive councils for each of ASA's divisions, including the VMD, IPD, Plumbing, Hyrdronics/HVAC and Young Executives."More

Anvil Joins ASA Supplier Partnership Program
American Supply Association
ASA is pleased to announce that Anvil International has raised the stakes in its support of the American Supply Association by becoming a Silver Level participant in the ASA Supplier Partnership. Anvil has long been deeply devoted to the association and its efforts on behalf of the PHCP and PVF industry, by serving on boards and committees and playing a leading role in building the Karl E. Neupert Endowment Fund. When informing ASA of Anvil's decision, John Martin stated, "Bottom line: We are all in. Our management at the top listens to the industry voice and wants to make a difference by supporting our customer, the wholesale distributor of PVF and plumbing supplies, to the best of our ability. Let's get ready to perform!" ASA Supplier Partnerships not only support the association, but also the industry at large. See what a difference it could make to your company.More

Manufacturing Revs Up in January
CNNMoney
The manufacturing sector started off 2011 with a bang, growing at its fastest pace in more than six years, a purchasing managers' group said. The Institute for Supply Management's index for manufacturing activity climbed to 60.8 in January, up from 58.5 in December. Any reading above 50 indicates expansion, and the index has remained above that level for 18 consecutive months. While January's index is at the strongest level since May 2004, one of its components could foreshadow inflation as a threat to the economy down the road.More

Train Your Sales Team in Six Ways to Help Improve Cash Flow
American Supply Association
Several recent articles on distribution have called attention to the need for a higher level of business literacy by distribution team members. This is especially important for sales team members. Here are six ways that sales team members can help improve cash flow in your operation:

  1. Increase cash and credit card sales.
  2. Reduce overhead expenses by increasing the number of line items per order.
  3. Avoid price concessions to slow payers.
  4. Follow company policy on granting credit.
  5. Reduce the amount of credit given to high risk buyers.
  6. Seek deposits or multi-stage payments in lieu of a single extended payment.
These and several other keys to improving the business literacy and profit orientation of your team members are taught in the second edition of Essentials of Profitable Wholesale Distribution© now available in ASAU Online.More

Obama to Send Multitrillion-Dollar Budget to Congress on Feb. 14...
American Supply Association/Bloomberg Businessweek
Fresh off the heels of last week's State of the Union address, President Barack Obama is making the final preparations on his 2012 budget submission to Congress. Recognizing the message sent by the voters in November, the president addressed his goal of freezing federal spending over the next five years. The president's budget is his opportunity to highlight programs he intends to champion or those targeted for elimination by the funding levels he recommends. That, however, is just the first step in a long process. Nearly every federal program has its own champions as well as critics in Congress who will get their own opportunity to add or cuts funds. There is an old adage inside the Beltway "that it is not always the weakest programs that get cut; it's the programs with the weakest constituencies." While the president has conceded that budget freezes are necessary, House and Senate Republicans are advocating cuts in spending, the challenge now is achieving the appropriate balance to find real savings, while pursuing reasonable and measured reductions.More

...Full Speed Ahead: House Republicans Know They Have a Bitter Struggle Coming Over Spending
National Journal
Feeling emboldened by their gains in the House, Republicans plan to move forward with vigor on their plans to move beyond the president's stated intention of freezing spending. Readying for a rhetorical and symbolic fight for the higher ground and the independent vote, House Republicans are setting the stage to tackle entitlement spending, domestic and foreign, and according to some, military spending as well. As one leadership aide described their goals to enact cuts, "...stuff you like is going to be cut. Stuff everyone likes is going to be cut." The real fight will be in the Senate, where margins are much closer.More

How to Hold onto Talent When You Can't Afford Raises
American Express OPEN Forum
During the worst of the recession, small company owners didn't have to do much explaining to employees if they kept a lid on raises; it was clear that many businesses were in survival mode. But the mood seems a little less dire this year, even with unemployment at 9.6 percent. For one thing, consumer spending is picking up a bit. Many entrepreneurs and executives realize that with business growth picking up, they need to act now to hold onto their best employees. According to the WorldatWork 2010-2011 Salary Budget Survey, while U.S. employers will offer salary raises averaging 2.5 percent in 2010, they will award high performers average raises of 3.7 percent.More

DEADLINE EXTENDED UNTIL FEB 11! Register for Essentials of Warehouse Operations Seminars
American Supply Association
WANE has extended its registration deadline for the upcoming Essentials of Warehouse Operations seminars. The dates and cities for these one-day programs are: Feb. 23 in Syracuse, N.Y., and Feb. 24 in Boston. Led by Jason Bader from The Distribution Team, each workshop will summarize the content of the Essentials of Profitable Warehouse Operations© certificate course developed by the ASA Education Foundation with your employees and business in mind. Participants can expect to also take away a list of 35 different ways to "look for cash" and increase their warehouse's profitability.More