ASA Insights
Apr. 18, 2013

ASA Education Foundation Board of Trustees Sets Agenda for Future
American Supply Association
On April 16-17, the ASA Education Foundation Board of Trustees convened its spring meeting in Chicago. The group was provided with updates on sales, a summary of marketing activity as well as upcoming marketing plans, a status report on ASA University's colleges, and updates on the new ASA University Advisory Service as well as ASAU Online. The Board of Trustees' next face-to-face meeting is scheduled for Oct. 1-2 in conjunction with NetworkASA 2013 in Washington, D.C.More

ASA Members Report First Quarter Increases in 2013
American Supply Association
March closed the first quarter with more growth on top of the solid high growth first quarters from the last several previous years. But, the numbers are also showing the growth rate is slowing. For American Supply Association members, the quarter closed up 6.9% as compared to first quarter 2012; up 18% as compared to first quarter 2011; up 43.9% compared to 2010; up 66.5% as compared to 2009 and up 71.3% as compared to 2008.More

Tax Day Arrives, Tax Reform Progresses
American Supply Association
This week, as millions of Americans completed their taxes, the committee charged with reforming the tax code also completed one early task. By declaring tax reform to be an open and deliberative process, the House Ways and Means Committee sought the input of stakeholders from the public on what they want to see achieved in tax reform. Taking this rare opportunity, ASA joined with groups as diverse as the Professional Beauty Association to the National Religious Broadcasters and shared their opinions with the committee on what they support in the tax code.More

Keystone Decision Looms, Business Groups Mobilize
American Supply Association
As many people know, government bureaucracy can be a tremendous roadblock to advancing a business' or individual's interest. Perhaps it's to err on the side of caution, gain more information or to deny a project that may be controversial or opposed by a number of special interest groups. It widely is believed that these may be a few of the reasons standing in the way of moving forward with the Keystone XL pipeline, but time is running short on delaying a final decision.More

Beschloss: US Soaring Oil Production Not Guarantor for Reduced Gasoline Prices
The Desert Sun
While the debate over the sensational domestic U.S. oil production increase keeps getting entangled with the antipathy of the "climatological purists," the fossil fuel buffs are countering with the anticipation that gasoline prices at the pump will become the prime beneficiaries of such "oil Americanization."More

Federal Reserve: Economy Expands at 'Moderate Pace'
Modern Distribution Management
Overall economic activity expanded at a moderate pace from late February to early April, according to reports from the 12 Federal Reserve districts in the latest Beige Book report. Most districts reported moderate or modest growth, with New York and Dallas districts indicating slightly accelerated expansion.More

The Most Important Attribute of a Supply Chain Leader
Logistics Viewpoints
Adrian Gonzalez writes, "Last summer, I led a workshop with a group of supply chain executives where we discussed the following question: What skills, knowledge, and expertise must an executive have to lead a supply chain organization effectively in today's increasingly global, dynamic, and risky business environment?"More

Is Real-Time Supply Chain Management Still Just a Dream?
Industrial Distribution
Supply chain management always has been important, and it's a big part of any successful just-in-time delivery system. The dream of true real-time management, alas, has remained elusive. New technology finally may bring the dream to life. The following are some steps to making real-time supply chain management a reality.More

Manufacturing Expands for Fourth Consecutive Month
In March, economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded for the fourth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 46th consecutive month, according to the Institute for Supply Management. However, "the reality is that there are many headwinds this year that are starting to constrain the pace of growth," according to the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation.More

Continued Job Growth for Construction, Architecture in March
Builder Magazine
According to the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy added 88,000 jobs in March. While 2,100 were added in architectural and engineering services, the construction segment gained 18,000 jobs. The BLS released its March employment report April 5.More

Don't Reshore Your Mistakes, Too
Chain of Thought
Many industry analysts have high hopes that shale gas extraction in the U.S. will make a huge supply of cheap energy available to manufacturers, giving them a reason to bring operations that they relocated to cheaper countries back to the U.S. PwC predicts there could be $11.6 billion in energy cost savings by 2025, based on high shale gas recovery scenarios resulting in increased consumption of cheaper natural gas.More

How 'Made in the USA' is Making a Comeback
The U.S. economy continues to struggle, and the weak March jobs report — just 88,000 positions were added — briefly spooked the market. But step back and you'll see a bright spot, perhaps the best economic news the U.S. has witnessed since the rise of Silicon Valley: Made in the USA is making a comeback.More