ASA Insights
Feb. 20, 2014

Chicago to Host Women in Industry Event in April
American Supply Association
ASA is hosting its first ever Women in Industry Spring Conference April 23-24 in Chicago. All women in the PHCP and PVF industry are invited to attend. The conference program will include a panel of accomplished women from the industry who will share experiences of how they built highly successful careers and rose to leadership roles within their respective organizations. Whether you are a woman who is a seasoned industry veteran or you are just getting started, we urge you to join us in Chicago for this very exciting program. View the full program brochure.More

Washington Rumor Mill in Full Swing, LIFO Repeal Looms Large
American Supply Association
Reports are crystalizing that upon return from the President's Day recess, the House Ways and Means Committee will introduce legislation tackling comprehensive tax reform. We have been told to expect a LIFO Repeal in some form, but have not seen the final language. If you are on LIFO, you should be looking into flights right now to get to Washington and attend the ASA and PMI Legislative Fly-in, scheduled for April 9 and 10.More

ASA Joins Effort to Protect Hydraulic Fracking in Colorado
American Supply Association
In the state of Colorado, over forty local and national anti-shale organizations have joined forces to limit the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking); first through a series of municipal bans and then culminating in a statewide 2014 ballot initiative on banning hydraulic fracturing throughout the state. If successful in Colorado, the national groups will move to the next target state. ASA has joined an effort headed by the Energy Equipment and Infrastructure Alliance to oppose this effort.More

ASA Launches New Effort to Build Industry Bench
American Supply Association
ASA recently announced the launch of its workforce career recruitment effort to build a bridge from career seekers to association member firms that have active job openings. From interactive job ad placements to aggressive outreach to job seekers, the new ASA career recruitment program is an answer to a growing need for new labor among its members.More

ASA to Celebrate World Plumbing Day March 11
American Supply Association
World Plumbing Day, an international event recognized on March 11 and initiated by the World Plumbing Council, celebrates the important role plumbing plays in the health and safety of modern society. The safety and abundance of drinking water is, of course, a concern for most people all over the world, but what is not often emphasized is the work the plumbing industry contributes every day to alleviate these concerns. Read more about World Plumbing Day and learn how you and your company can participate.More

Ferric Sulfate is a Safe Coagulant Alternative to Alum
By Hilary Ferrand
Public water systems provide clear, clean water largely because of chemical treatments needed both to kill harmful microorganisms and to improve appearance, taste and smell. Unfortunately, some of these treatments have shown to react with organic and inorganic compounds naturally found in the water. Some of these disinfection byproducts have been proven to cause health conditions, like stomach cancer and early miscarriage. Communities who are looking for alternative treatments to the chemicals they're currently using are forced to consider the potential side effects of those fixes, including the potential for increased corrosion risk.More

Beschloss: Seesaw Global Steel Prices Increasingly Favor Imports
The Desert Sun
The teeter-totter of international basic steel prices is currently heavily tilting toward imports. If this trend prevails, the return of all types of steel will revert back to imports from China, rather than manufactured in the U.S. This has been the trend since U.S. manufacturing recovery gave domestic steel producers a distinct advantage starting with the end of the fiscal crisis in late 2009.More

The Truth about the 'Water-Energy Nexus'
By Lucy Wallwork
Environmentalists campaigning against the accelerating development of U.S. shale will not be heartened by the latest State Department study suggesting a minimal environmental impact for the Keystone XL pipeline. But in a world of highly politicized studies on the unpredictable consequences of hydraulic fracturing technologies, the issue of water use during production is an increasingly contentious one, particularly in arid southern states such as Texas. How can we achieve a more reliable narrative on the "water-energy nexus"?More

January Housing Starts Down 16% from December
Modern Distribution Management
Privately owned housing starts in January were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 880,000. This is 16 percent below the revised December estimate of 1.05 million and 2% below the January 2013 rate of 898,000. Single-family housing starts in January were at a rate of 573,000; this is 15.9% below the revised December figure of 681,000. The January rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 300,000.More

US Manufacturers Expect Higher Revenues in 2014
Material Handling & Logistics
A majority of U.S. industrial manufacturers expect positive revenue gains at their own companies this year according to the Q4 2013 Manufacturing Barometer, released by PwC US. The report states that the world economy has reached the highest level since the fourth quarter of 2010.More