ASA Insights
Mar. 12, 2015

Bipartisan Marketplace Fairness Act Reintroduced in the Senate
American Supply Association
We are pleased to see the reintroduction of legislation in the Senate that would finally level the playing field between brick and mortar sellers such as ASA's members and their Internet-only competitors. We are also pleased with the Senator's timing, with ASA's Legislative Fly-In coming soon, this is an issue our members will be talking about with their elected officials. More

Backlash Forces China to Capitulate on Rare Earths
American Supply Association
Once again, Joseph Smith's invisible hand manifests itself on a global scale. For the last decade, China has imposed quotas on the export of strategically important rare earth metals, sparking trade disputes around the globe. Then at the turn of this year, China dropped its limitations in response to good old-fashioned market economics. Scarcity of rare earths spurred other countries to search harder and develop their own resources rather than rely on China. Log in to MY ASA for the full story in the March installment of ASA's Materials Market Digest©.More

Train Your Future Leaders, Today!
American Supply Association
ASA University is currently offering 10% off the next 15 applicants for ASA-U's MDM Certification Program. The Master of Distribution Management Program is here to help guide employees to take the necessary steps to become the ultimate leader for your organization. The Program is a first of its kind Master's Certification Program with 100% Industry Focused, Comprehensive, and Multi-Format Education. Do you have employees that already have years of experience? They can enroll in the MDM Fast Track and be on their way to receiving an MDM Certification within a year. Don't miss out! Register today!More

Building Change Intelligence and Team Building in Tough Times
American Supply Association
Change is both a mindset and a behavior issue and there is a formula that creates lasting benefits. Learn about your leadership style and how to adapt it to facilitate even stronger working relationships and to build even more effective teams. During this one-day seminar on April 23 in Chicago, led by Barbara Trautlein, Ph.D., you will learn how to build a better team with a mindset to laser focus on vision, strategy, working together and a sharper skillset. Trautlein is a leading authority on change leadership and the author of Change Intelligence: Use the Power of CQ to Lead Change that Sticks, and creator of the CQ/Change Intelligence System. REGISTER NOWMore

Read the Latest from Morris Beschloss on USA Today
American Supply Association
This week's news: Is Labor Force Participation the Real Employment Measure? (The Desert Sun)

Want to read more from Beschloss? Click here to go to USA Today for a full archive of past articles.More

Why 'Good Jobs' are Good for Retailers
Harvard Business Review
Almost one-fifth of American workers have bad jobs. They endure low wages, poor benefits, schedules that change with little — if any — notice, and few opportunities for advancement. The conventional wisdom is that many companies have no choice but to offer bad jobs — especially retailers whose business models entail competing on low prices. If retailers invest more in employees, customers will have to pay more, the assumption goes. Indeed, it is easy to conclude that employee-friendly Wegmans and the Container Store can offer great jobs only because their customers are willing to pay higher prices.More

Imports Still Rising as West Coast Ports Work on Backlog
National Retail Federation
Import cargo volume at the nation's major retail container ports is expected to rise an unusually high 16.9% in March over the same time last year as West Coast ports begin to dig out from a backlog of cargo that built up during just-concluded contract negotiations with dockworkers, according to the monthly "Global Port Tracker" report by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.More

The Critical Importance of Sequence in Warehouses
Ken Ackerman
One aspect of warehousing that is readily overlooked is the order in which tasks are performed. In many warehouses, the sequence is dictated by tradition, or the attitude that "we have always done it that way." In most cases, the sequence is fine and should not be changed. In many others, however, a change in the order in which things are done can have a material effect on warehouse operations.More

Oil Refinery Strike 2015: Steelworkers Union, Royal Dutch Shell Resume Contract Talks in Houston
International Business Times
Negotiations resumed between the United Steelworkers and Royal Dutch Shell to put an end to the first nationwide refinery strike since 1980. Launched Feb. 1 after the union's previous labor contract expired, the job action now involves about 7,000 workers at 15 plants, including major refineries in Texas, Louisiana and California.More

Keeping Supply Chain Operations Running Critical for any Business
Continuity Insights
Global organizations rely on their supply chains to deliver products and services to their customers in a timely and efficient manner. While these complex chains are critical to day-to-day operations, their complexity leaves them open to a wide range of problems, which can result in serious down time. In today's global economy, more and more companies are realizing the importance of their supply chain operations.More