ASA Insights
Mar. 28, 2013

Capital Efficiency Reaches Record Levels for ASA Members
American Supply Association
The latest monthly report from the American Supply Association for February 2013 shows ASA distributor members are operating the most efficiently since 2008 on a capital structure basis. Inventory growth rate is below the revenue growth rate, and day's sales outstanding have decreased to their lowest levels making it possible for the capital utilization rates to be at record levels.More

Beaulieu to Provide Members-Only Industry Forecast April 11
American Supply Association
On Thursday, April 11, at 11 a.m. EDT, an ASA members-only industry forecasting webinar will be presented by Alan Beaulieu, President of ITR Economics. Alan is the author of ASA's monthly ASA Advisor forecasting newsletter. This webinar will be the first in a series of two members-only webinars that will be offered in 2013. On April 11, discussion will include information on the macroeconomic and regional environments, and specifically how they affect ASA members. Key industry trends, interest rates, areas of concern and where opportunities can be found will also be discussed. There will be ample opportunity for Q&A and for learning how each company can incorporate rate-of-change into their planning process. ASA members may access webinar login details by sending an email request to

Washington Wraps Up First Quarter on a Productive Tone
American Supply Association
Last week, Congress concluded the first quarter of 2013 by advancing a number of priorities important to many Americans. While not all will play a direct role into the lives of the PVF and PHCP business owner and their employees, they could still play a changing role in our everyday lives. Following his re-election in 2012, President Barack Obama set in motion to reform our beleaguered immigration process, and, following national tragedies, strengthening our gun control laws also has taken a spot on the front burner.More

Regional Webinars to Address Lead-Free Law Compliance
American Supply Association
In early April, John Kirkland, Vice President of Sales with Legend Valve & Fitting, will be conducting a series of FREE webinars to three of ASA's regions regarding the quickly approaching lead-free law. Kirkland will discuss specifics on what companies need to know regarding compliance with the law, and will allow plenty of time for Q&A at the conclusion of each webinar.

Click the corresponding links above to access webinar registration details for each appropriate region. Contact a staff member at ASA at 630-467-0000 or for further details.More

ASA Showroom Manager Networking Breakfast at KBIS
American Supply Association
Are you looking for a showroom sales network that keeps you tuned into current trends in the PHCP industry? ASA is growing that network. ASA invites all showroom managers attending KBIS 2013 in New Orleans to connect with their peers at a fun and casual networking breakfast taking place during the show. Click here for more details. More

FREE 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

Health Insurers Warn on Premiums
The Wall Street Journal
Health insurers are privately warning brokers that premiums for many individuals and small businesses could increase sharply next year because of the health care overhaul law, with the nation's biggest firm projecting that rates could more than double for some consumers buying their own plans. The projections, made in sessions with brokers and agents, provide some of the most concrete evidence yet of how much insurance companies might increase prices when major provisions of the law kick in next year — a subject of rigorous debate.More

'Greenfield' Construction Projects Abound as Year Progresses
The Desert Sun
According to informational news source "Industrial Info Resources," which tracks progress of major construction on a daily basis, this year appears on track for a significant mix of industrial construction projects. After a period of hesitation due to concern with the government's constant regulatory harassment, Morris Beschloss writes, the four key regions benefiting from such accelerated activity are the Great Lakes, the Rocky Mountains, the Southwest, and the West Coast.More

New Orders for Durable Goods Up 5.7% in February
Modern Distribution Management
New orders for manufactured durable goods in February increased $12.4 billion or 5.7% to $232.1 billion, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. This increase, up five of the last six months, followed a 3.8% January decrease. Excluding transportation, new orders decreased 0.5%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 4.5%. Transportation equipment, up two of the last three months, drove the increase, $13.3 billion or 21.7% to $74.4 billion. This was led by nondefense aircraft and parts, which increased $9 billion.More

Sales of New Homes Sink 4.6% in February
Sales of new U.S. homes fell 4.6% in February to mark the biggest drop in two years, the government said, though poor weather likely played a big role.More

U.S. Steel, Slovakia Reach Pact on Steel Plant
Pittsburgh Business Times
U.S. Steel Corp. has told the Slovakian government it won't sell its operations there for at least five years. Bloomberg reported the Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel made the promise Tuesday following November's announcement it might sell the division, its only steel manufacturing plant in Europe. U.S. Steel sold its Serbia operations in 2011 for $1.More

Copper Falls on Strong Dollar, Euro Zone Worries
Copper fell Wednesday due to a stronger dollar and concerns over the euro zone, while data was mixed out of the United States, the world's largest economy. A still modest level of copper buying in top consumer China as the market heads into the traditionally strong second quarter also held back the base metals complex as aluminum and lead touched the lowest levels in four months. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange shed 0.4% to $7,595 a tonne by 14:49 GMT. Although copper has risen from seven-month lows below $7,500 hit last week, it has failed to gather much steam.More

Manufacturing Resurgence in US Possible with 'Modest' Policy Shifts
There is ample potential for U.S. manufacturing to undergo a resurgence that by 2025 would lead to significantly more good paying manufacturing jobs, increase GDP growth and help create the first surplus in the nation's goods and services balance of trade since 1975, according to a new econometric forecast model released by the Aspen Institute and the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.More