ASA Insights
Feb. 10, 2011

Strategic Planning Drives 2011 ASA Winter Board of Directors Meeting
American Supply Association
This past week, ASA convened its annual winter Board of Directors meeting in San Diego. Nearly 70 volunteer leaders representing ASA's various committees and executive councils for each of ASA's divisions were on hand to assist in program planning for NetworkASA 2011 and to discuss strategic goals and objectives for the upcoming year. ASA President William Kenny Jr., Kenny Pipe & Supply, stated, "This was a successful kickoff to 2011 for ASA. Not only did the group finalize a program schedule for NetworkASA 2011, we also facilitated strategic planning sessions for each of ASA's divisions, including the VMD, IPD, Plumbing, Hydronics/HVAC and Young Executives."

Facilitator Jean Frankel led the strategic planning discussion portion of the event. The following are a few samples of objectives that emerged from group action plans:


A.O. Smith, State and American Water Heaters Join ASA Supplier Partnership Program
American Supply Association

ASA would like to announce that A.O. Smith, State and American Water Heaters have joined as Platinum Level participants in the ASA Supplier Partnership Program! These companies have a rich history with ASA and in the PHCP and PVF industry. Upon informing ASA of their decision to join the Supplier Partnership Program, A.O. Smith Senior Vice President of Wholesale Sales Jim Margoni stated, "ASA's Supplier Partnership program allows us to increase our recognition in a variety of different ways, including through their publications and at their events. This was a great decision on our part for not only recognition purposes, but to also reaffirm our commitment to industry development." An ASA Supplier Partnership not only shows your company's support of the association, but also the industry as a whole. Click here to see what a difference it could make for your company.More

US Manufacturing Profits Suggest Stronger Economy
U.S. manufacturing companies posted higher-than-expected results, as sharply improved margins boosted profits amid strong industrial demand and growth in emerging markets. Companies including Caterpillar Inc., Tyco International Ltd. and Eaton Corp. reported strong sales and earnings, and investors were looking ahead for signs the industrial rebound would begin to affect the wider economy and boost employment. Caterpillar provided an encouraging sign for U.S. jobs but also showed that employment remains one of the main ways companies can control profit margins.More

Coalitions Ramp Up Activity to Stave Off Unwanted Regulations, Pursue Legislative Action
American Supply Association
Whether we are pursuing a legislative fix or fighting pending regulations, coalitions prove that strength in numbers can be beneficial to ASA's goals. Thousands of America's small businesses and potential job creators continue fighting onerous tax increases or changes to the tax code. An example of this is the repeal of LIFO. Many also are working hard to advance common sense water quality initiatives, or strengthening our housing market and opportunities for development. ASA's government affairs office is partnering with a number of stakeholders, and continually seeks others to harness our mutual strengths and advance our goals.More

NAM: Amendment Increases Taxes on the Manufacturing Sector, Will Drive Up Energy Prices and Cost Jobs
National Association of Manufacturers Senior Vice President for Policy and Government Relations Aric Newhouse issued the following statement regarding Sen. Carl Levin's, D-Mich., amendment to increase taxes on the manufacturing sector: "The U.S. manufacturing sector consumes one-third of the nation's energy supply. It is absolutely critical for manufacturers to have access to affordable, reliable and secure energy supplies — which are essential to economic growth and job creation. This amendment will cost good-paying manufacturing jobs."More

ASA Continues Opposition to 3 Percent Withholding Tax
American Supply Association
With the 112th Congress in full swing, a more business-friendly majority has been reaching out to job creators much like members of ASA. As a member of the Government Withholding Relief Coalition, ASA has joined in writing Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee, regarding this burdensome regulation that is working its way through the implementation phase. Included in the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005, the law, as written, would require that all federal, state and local governments withhold 3 percent of almost all of their contract payments, Medicare payments, farm payments and a number of grants. This tax already has proven costly to a number of ASA members who supply various government entities such as schools and medical facilities. Fortunately for stakeholders, this law has not yet been fully implemented. Absent congressional intervention, however, it is scheduled to take effect in January 2012. To view the Government Withholding Relief Collation's letter, click here.More

The Sweet Music of Supply Chain Orchestration
ChainLink Research
The world has changed. For many industries and companies, merely managing their own immediate suppliers is no longer sufficient. Someone has to step in and coordinate key activities across the supply chain. Some progressive companies are managing multiple tiers of their supply chain (e.g., their suppliers' suppliers and further upstream suppliers) to ensure supply continuity, social compliance, and to gain competitive advantage. These supply chain orchestrators tend to be brand owners whose reputation and competitiveness are on the line based on the performance and actions of the whole chain. They are the ones who have the power to influence and direct the whole chain. In some cases the brand owner hires a third party to act on their behalf to execute this function.More