ASA Insights
Mar. 29, 2012

Step Up Your Game in Dallas Next Week
American Supply Association
Next Wednesday, April 4, ASA is hosting a Spring Networking Reception at the House of Blues in Dallas for manufacturers, distributors and manufacturer representatives in the PHCP/PVF industry covering Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and Colorado (previously the Western Distributors Association). Whether or not you are a member of ASA, this event is designed for YOU to network with the industry. The event is absolutely FREE of charge as long as you are doing business in the PHCP/PVF sector within these states. For those who are new to the industry, this is a tremendous opportunity to establish relationships that can last a lifetime. If you are an industry veteran, this is the time to rekindle old relationships and create new ones. Please click here for registration information and be sure to contact ASA's Ladelia Berger at 630-467-0000, ext. 208, with any questions.More

Share and Compare: ASA OPR Offers Greatest Insight
American Supply Association
Most companies today use ratio comparatives to discover strengths and weaknesses. However, these tools are used only for performance measurement and not to provide remedies to financial problems. It is the use to which you put these ratios that will determine their real value. In addition to the participation and cooperation on the part of the various managers who exercise control over their revenue or cost areas, the company's annual budget process should give considerable attention to setting company norms that are at least equal to those prevailing in the industry. These standards are found in the annual ASA Operating Performance Report.

Companies that participate in the OPR receive details of survey results in primary business segments in all of the PHCP and PVF industries. Participation is now open for the 2012 ASA OPR. Please contact Chris Murin at 630-467-0000, ext. 204, or at cmurin@asa.net for more information. Click here to participate in the survey now.More

Connecting the Next Generation Will Propel Our Industry
American Supply Association
The very success of our businesses is due, in large part, to the relationships we have cultivated with one another over many years. Therefore, to help ensure that there will be a prosperous future for our businesses and the industry, it's incumbent upon "the legacy generation" to help expose "new blood" and encourage them to participate and grow their involvement over time. ASA's Young Executives Division, as well as ASA's independent regional affiliates, including MwDA, NCWA, PSDA, SWA, WANE and WSA, are well-positioned to be our industry's vehicles that bring together the bright, young, new talent from many local marketplaces and begin to expose them to the industry-at-large. The need for those closer to the beginning or middle of their career life cycles to establish peer-to-peer relationships with channel partners is no less important or significant than it has been for those people who are closer to the end of their career life cycles. Please click here to visit ASA's Industry Calendar where you can learn more about the ASA Spring Forum as well as invaluable local events and regional conventions scheduled for this May, June and September.More

ASA Joins New Effort to Challenge Health Care Law's Mandates
American Supply Association
Recently, ASA was invited to join with a number of business groups challenging another provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act mandating that employer's automatically enroll their new employees in a health care plan. Under the law, those employing more than 200 eventually will need to take proactive steps to enroll their new employees into a plan. What hasn't been accounted for is whether that employee receives his or her health care from their spouse's employer, or how an HR department with numerous branches sufficiently will track such changes. In other industries such as the restaurant industry, which has a structure where the employee earns less because they receive tips, they may be in a position of earning a paycheck with a negative balance because the health care has been tacked on and their paycheck is deducted automatically.More

Supreme Court Concludes Historic Three Days of Arguments: How Might They Rule?
American Supply Association
The health care case before the nine Justices is complicated, and the Supreme Court is considering a series of legal questions with interrelated answers. It could uphold or strike down the entire law, but it could also throw the suit out or perform surgery on health care reform. It will be considering much more than a simple yes-or-no question about whether the 2010 health care reform law is constitutional. That might be hard to determine from the public discussion, which has focused on the case's core question: whether the individual mandate to buy insurance exceeds Congress's power. To view NationalJournal's graphical depiction of how the Justices could rule and a few of the possible outcomes, click here. More

Recognize Safety Excellence at Your Company
American Supply Association
ASA Safety Committee Chairman Ricky Bryant, Corporate Compliance Manager at NIBCO Inc., recently announced that ASA is accepting company nominations for its 2011 Member Safety Recognition Awards, to be presented during NetworkASA 2012 in Orlando, Fla., Oct. 17-20. A total of six awards will be presented, three in the distributor category and three in the manufacturer category, based on the number of safe hours worked throughout 2011. The award program was created to elevate awareness in all aspects of the PHCP and PVF industry, and to award ASA members that have had the lowest incident rate of non-fatal injuries and illnesses throughout the previous year. ASA members wishing to participate in the nomination process are encouraged to click here to obtain a form that outlines all award details. Nomination forms will be accepted through Aug. 17. Please contact Ben Stephens at 630-467-0000, ext. 203, or at bstephens@asa.net for more award information.More

Manufacturing, Construction Industries Seeing Job Growth
The Capital
Manufacturing and construction industries were hit particularly hard during the recent recession, as major manufacturing plants throughout the country closed, and construction projects came to a halt. We slowly are recovering from the recession and 2012 has started with economic increases and job growth in both industries. The Institute for Supply Management's monthly report for February showed an increase of 52.4 percent, indicating expansion within the manufacturing industry. The U.S. Census Bureau reported increases in spending on construction over the past four months, holding at $827 billion in January.More

Steelmaker CSN 'Very Worried' About Brazil's 1Q Industrial Performance
Dow Jones Newswires via Fox Business
Brazilian steelmaker Companhia Siderurgica Nacional SA is "very worried" about Brazil's weak industrial performance in the first quarter, a company director said. Weak domestic demand for steel means that domestic steel prices are mostly on a par with the cost of imported goods, with CSN able to charge at most a premium of 5 percent over the cost of imports for higher-quality material, CSN steel area sales director Luis Martinez told analysts on a conference call.More