ASA Insights
March 10, 2011

Supplier Partner Update
American Supply Association
ASA would like to announce that Elkay and Gerber have joined as Silver Level participants in the ASA Supplier Partnership program! ASA's Supplier Partnership program offers expanded recognition in a variety of media and events throughout a calendar year. Being a Supplier Partner increases the awareness of a participating company through promotion by ASA and the enhancement of the participant's corporate image. In addition, participating companies show that they are dedicated to the positive development of the industry through ASA. Click here to find out more about the ASA Supplier Partnership program.More

Fixtures and Faucets©-Certificate Course Updated Online
American Supply Association
The ASA Education Foundation recently completed its revision of the popular Fixtures and Faucets©-Certificate course. Revisions include an updated and expanded section on the Americans with Disabilities Act and many new and upgraded course illustrations. Fixtures and Faucets© is now a three-hour interactive, online program divided into eight modules. Each module is 20 minutes or less in length and includes definitions of common industry terms, descriptions of the major types of fixtures, and information about the supply and DWV fittings most commonly specified for the installation of these fixtures.More

Taxes, Health Care and Water Greatest Member Concerns
American Supply Association
Following the energy and productivity generated out of ASA's February Mid-Winter Board Meeting, a government affairs survey was issued to ASA members with the goal of developing insight into their greatest concerns. The ultimate objective is to enable ASA to better position itself in representing the PVP and PHCP industry in Washington. A majority of ASA members identified taxes as their greatest concern, followed closely by health care and water. Additionally, an overwhelming majority believe that communicating and building a relationship with our elected officials is good for our industry, and that our battles in Washington cannot be fought alone. ASA is pleased to join with other businesses and trade associations to advance causes that benefit member companies such as market-based health care reform, the authorization of WaterSense or beating back a repeal of LIFO.More

ASA Spring Forum to Feature CEO Strategist Rick Johnson
American Supply Association
ASA's Spring Forum will be held May 23 and 24 in Kohler, Wisc. The featured speaker for the interactive education program will be CEO Strategist Rick Johnson. Rick is a veteran of the wholesale-distribution industry with more than 30 years of executive management experience, and he knows exactly what it takes to create leaders within a company and how to maximize every sale to its full potential. Rick's presentations will help participants to understand how to create a culture that demands a sense of urgency that goes beyond the power principle of title and inspires active involvement, innovation and creativity among employees with clearly defined missions, goals, passions and values. Be sure to reserve your overnight accommodations and register by April 19. For complete information, click here.More

House Repeals Unpopular 1099 Tax Reporting Requirement
American Supply Association
Last week, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed a repeal of the onerous reporting requirement included in the health insurance reform bill by a vote of 314-112. Both the House and the Senate have voted a number of times to repeal the requirement, but neither side of the aisle has been able to find a mutually suitable way to make up for the loss in revenue. Last month, the Senate passed its own version of the repeal, but House Republicans would not accept the offset that would have used unobligated federal funds to cover the cost. While a repeal of this requirement appears favorable, all sides have indicated a strong desire to work through their disagreements to find an offset that receives bipartisan support. As a member of the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare, ASA has joined with others in supporting the repeal of this reporting requirement.More

After Belt Tightening, Manufacturing Sector Expects Growth in Coming Months
IndustryWeek
After three years of belt tightening, the manufacturing industry is poised for growth according to Grant Thornton's November 2010 Business Optimism Index survey of manufacturing companies across the United States. Despite an incredibly difficult three years, manufacturers are optimistic that the worst is behind them and that 2011 will provide a stable base for growth. Nearly half (49 percent) believe the U.S. economy will improve in the next six months, while only 5 percent think that the economy will get worse in the coming months. The same number (49 percent) say they plan to increase staff during that period, compared to just 13 percent that plan to decrease staff. Manufacturing leaders are also optimistic about their own businesses, with 81 percent feeling hopeful about their companies' growth over the next six months.More

Mark J. Perry: The Truth About US Manufacturing
The Wall Street Journal via AEI
Is American manufacturing dead? You might think so reading most of the nation's editorial pages or watching the endless laments in the news that "nothing is made in America anymore," and that our manufacturing jobs have vanished to China, Mexico and South Korea. Yet the empirical evidence tells a different story — of a thriving and growing U.S. manufacturing sector, and a country that remains by far the world's largest manufacturer. This is a particularly sensitive topic in my hometown of Flint, Mich., where auto plant closings have meant lost jobs and difficult transitions for the displaced. But while it's true that the U.S. has lost more than 7 million manufacturing jobs since the late 1970s, our manufacturing output has continued to expand.More