ASA Insights
March 24, 2011

ASA Members Report Growth For 10th Consecutive Month
American Supply Association
For the 10th consecutive month, ASA members have reported growth, showing a 12.1 percent rate of growth in per day workday revenues for the month of February 2011 as compared to the same month in 2010, up 1.9 percent as compared to 2009 and down 6.7 percent as compared to 2008. Plumbing, heating and pipe, valve and fitting distributors are up 11.4 percent YTD and 6.6 percent on a rolling 12-month basis. Gross profit margins are about the same as compared to last year, and there remains no clear distinction on margin trend based upon size of distributor.More

Success, Celebration at Embassy Group Spring Conference
American Supply Association
Last week, ASA and ASA Education Foundation staff met with 67 wholesaler-distributors during conference sessions at the Embassy Group's 20th Anniversary Spring Conference in San Antonio. "Embassy’s Spring Conference affords ASA a tremendous opportunity to meet face to face with members and prospective members alike," according to Mike Adelizzi, ASA's executive vice president. "When you look at everything that ASA has accomplished in the past year, membership presents wholesalers and vendors alike with tremendous value." See for yourself: Click here for a copy of ASA's 2010 Year in Review.More

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Turns One
American Supply Association/The Hill
This week, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act celebrated its one-year anniversary. Signed into law March 23, 2010, the measure put sweeping changes into place for every stakeholder across the spectrum; from employers to providers, insurers, families and, of course, the federal government. Although a number of its provisions will be implemented over time, and many of its impacts remain unknown, employers are beginning to experience the changes this law has brought. While the law continues to be implemented, fought over in the courts, and potentially amended, it is important to be in contact with your elected officials and the ASA advocacy team to navigate this complex law and voice your concerns.More

ASA Files Public Comments, Joins Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare
American Supply Association
ASA recently joined the Small Business Coalition for Affordable Healthcare to fight for changes in Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to reduce the burdens and mandates on employers and higher costs that are expected. Specifically, ASA has submitted comments to the Health and Human Services Administration, along with the Departments of Labor and Treasury, regarding nondiscrimination rules for certain highly compensated employees. ASA and others have asked for more clarification and a delay in implementing this rule.More

ASA Promoting NAOSH Week 2011
American Supply Association
Through an alliance between OSHA and the American Society of Safety Engineers, ASA is participating in the promotion of North American Occupational Safety and Health Week 2011, to be held May 1-7. NAOSH Week occurs every year during the first full week of May and is intended to raise awareness about occupational safety, health and the environment. NAOSH Week presents an excellent opportunity for ASA members to focus, reinforce and strengthen the commitment to occupational safety and health in the workplace. NAOSH Week activities that participating companies have held in the past include: children's safety poster contests, ergonomics awareness events, family safety fairs, roadway work zone safety programs and much more. In an effort to assist member companies in the recognition of NAOSH Week 2011, ASA currently has a limited supply of promotional posters available for distribution to interested member companies. Please contact Ben Stephens at 312-464-0090, ext. 203, for more information, and click here for a link to the NAOSH Week 2011 website.More

OSHA Cracking Down on Record-Keeping Violations
American Supply Association
EMPLOYERS BEWARE. As part of OSHA's new emphasis on record keeping, employers should expect an increase in the number of inspections and heightened enforcement of record-keeping regulations. OSHA recently launched the National Emphasis Program, to ascertain whether, and to what extent, employers are under-recording injuries and illnesses at the work site. The inspections will focus on establishments with low incident rates in high-risk industries, amid concerns that employers may be falsifying records or discouraging proper reporting of injuries and illnesses.More

Manufacturers Brace For Life After Tax Credits
The Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration News
According to the Chinese zodiac, 2010 was the year of the tiger, although in the HVAC industry, it may be better known as the year of the tax credit. The 25C tax credits were a popular sales tool in the HVAC industry, used to entice homeowners into purchasing high-efficiency HVAC systems in exchange for a $1,500 tax credit. However, these residential tax credits were reduced to $500 at the end of 2010, leading many in the industry to wonder if a drop-off in new equipment sales would be inevitable in 2011.More