ASA Insights
Mar. 21, 2013

ASA's Young Executives: Our Industry's Future
Suppy House Times
A company's affiliation with associations will help to cultivate the best of today's middle managers into tomorrow's most complete business leaders in the industry. "For many years, ASA's Young Executives Division (more commonly referred to as Y.E.) has helped the next generation of industry executives learn from one another, collaborate and build trust to help make us and our companies better," Sioux Chief Manufacturing Co.'s Ed Ismert says.More

April Safety Webinars to Address Revised OSHA Hazard Communication Standard
American Supply Association
Join Louisa Mayers, Director of Regulatory Services at MSDSpro LLC, for a one-hour presentation on how OSHA Hazard Communication Standard 2012 affects U.S.-based employers, the wholesaler and distributor in particular. This webinar, scheduled for 2 p.m. Eastern on Tuesday, April 9, covers a variety of informational topics. An additional webinar will be held at the same time the following day for manufacturers. Click here for more details. More

Tax Reform Update: Corporate CEOs Make Move
American Supply Association
This week, following on the Ways and Means Committee's recent introduction of small-business tax reform, the Business Roundtable announced their intention to spend millions on corporate tax reform, raising the stakes on pass-through entities that make up a large portion of employers in this country — including ASA.More

The Greatest Insight into the PHCP and PVF Industry
American Supply Association
For more than 30 years, participating ASA member wholesalers have been putting ratio comparatives to use through the association's annual Operating Performance Report. Companies that participate in the OPR receive detailed survey results for primary business segments in the PHCP and PVF industry. Participation is now open for the 2013 ASA OPR. Please contact Chris Murin at 630-467-0000, ext. 204, or at for more information. Click here to participate in the survey now.More

MwDA & WANE Executive Leadership Conferences Building Momentum
American Supply Association
At various industry hospitality receptions held throughout the Midwest and Northeast over the past month, the Midwest Distributors Association (MwDA) and Wholesalers Association of the North East (WANE) have unveiled the programs for their respective Executive Leadership Conferences taking place this June. Speakers include Chad Hymas, Dan Coleman and Gene Marks as well as James Anderson from NAW and Jeff Pope and Dan Hilton representing ASA. The registration deadline for both events is May 24; visit the Industry Calendar at for complete information about these and other regional events.More

US on Verge of Topping the World's Underlying Values
The Desert Sun
With the constant hammer blows of troubling economic news hitting the communications media daily, it is muting the fact that America is approaching the world's leading position as the ultimate repository of natural resources. While it's long been known that no world nation can match the U.S.'s reserve of coal, this country is quickly developing into a potential top producer of oil and natural gas.More

Innovations in the Welding Industry
By Archita Datta Majumdar
Recorded instances of welding go back to as far as the Bronze Age. Welding has been an intrinsic part of our development. Every age has seen more and more use of welding methods as lives progressed to being increasing complex and advanced. However, these were merely the extension of the age-old method of forge welding that involved heating and hammering to join iron and steel together. Major innovations in the welding industry were only seen in the latter half of the 19th century when methods like arc and oxyfuel welding came into being. When electric resistance welding was discovered, the industry geared itself up for better and faster innovations.More

US Pending Home Sales Rise to Highest Since 2010
U-T San Diego
A measure of the number of Americans who signed contracts to buy homes rose in January from December to the highest level in more than 2 1/2 years. The increase suggests sales of previously occupied homes will continue rising in the coming months. The National Association of Realtors said that its seasonally adjusted index for pending home sales rose 4.5% last month to 105.9. That's the highest since April 2010, when a homebuyer's tax credit was about to expire. There is generally a one- to two-month lag between a signed contract and a completed sale.More

US Manufacturing Bright Spot Amid Global Weakness
The Wall Street Journal
An unexpected uptick in U.S. manufacturing activity in February contrasted with a slowdown in Asia and continued weakness in Europe, helping U.S. stocks bounce back from earlier losses. The U.S. Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index rose to 54.2 in February, its highest level in 20 months. The Dow Jones Industrial Average recently traded up 21 points, or 0.2%, to 14076, after earlier falling as much as 117 points.More

Experts: Manufacturing Should Ratchet Up Recruitment of Women
Women make up about a quarter of the manufacturing industry's workforce, according to a recent report by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute. The same report suggests the industry should actively focus on recruiting women to fill hundreds of thousands of empty positions.More

Is China the World's Next Rust Belt?
According to a growing number of media and analyst reports, China's days as the world's largest manufacturing nation already are numbered — only two years after ending the United States' 110-year reign. Labor costs are on the rise, the demographic dividend is dissipating, and rising oil prices are making long-distance transportation costs to China's major export markets in the U.S. and Europe unsustainable. At the same time, U.S. firms are developing a new respect for the art of manufacturing.More

Improving Links Between Supply Chain and Sustainability
Get the right product to the right place at the right time. That is the mantra for supply chain operations. But as a profession, supply chain management has only been around for the past 30 years. Early adopters such as Walmart and Dell were able to leverage supply chain expertise for competitive advantage. Will the same happen for sustainability?More

Europe Lead Premiums Drop as Scrap Resurfaces, Panic Eases
Premiums to secure spot lead deliveries in Europe have dropped by close to 30 percent as the panic buying seen late last year has subsided, with refiners finally able to raise production due to cheaper and more plentiful scrap supply. Premiums are paid above the London Metal Exchange cash price to cover delivery costs for physical lead, such as transport and insurance, but they also vary according to supply-demand dynamics. More