ASA Insights
Apr. 19, 2012

Back to the Future with ASA Young Execs
American Supply Association
Watts Water Technologies is set to host the opening reception and dinner at the upcoming 2012 Spring Forum, to be held May 21-23 at the New Orleans Marriott. The 2012 Spring Forum, produced by ASA's Young Executives division, is an outstanding opportunity to learn new concepts and skills, cultivate profitable relationships with channel partners from across the country, and enjoy the wonderful camaraderie for which ASA events are widely known. Don't miss your last chance to register for this event! Click here for more information.More

Transform Your Entire Sales Force in Just Three Days
American Supply Association
Distributor sales guru Dave Kahle will be presenting a series of three seminars for distributors in three cities this spring: Dallas on May 7, 9 and 11; Chicago on May 21, 23 and 25; and New York on June 18, 20 and 22. On Monday, a small group of owners, principals and Chief Sales Officers will refine their organization's sales systems. On Wednesday, sales managers and branch managers will gain a set of proven practices to help them unleash the potential of their sales people. And, on Friday, your sales people will have the opportunity to learn the best practices of their professions. These three sessions are designed to transform, inspire, motivate and educate your entire sales force — positioning you to grow your business and take advantage of the improving economy. Space is limited. Enter "3SemASA" to secure a 20 percent discount. Reserve your spot today.More

Sloan Strengthens Industry Bonds with Silver Level Commitment
American Supply Association
Since 1906, Sloan has been the world's leading manufacturer of water-efficient solutions that are built to perform, guaranteed to last, and are designed with the hopes of promoting a healthy environment through water conservation. Each of Sloan's divisions specializes in helping the company offer reliable products that ultimately improve the quality of life of the customers and communities that they serve. Sloan's commitment to reliability translates to their support for the industry by their Silver Level Sponsorship in ASA's Supplier Partner Program. As a result of Sloan's investment, ASA is able to provide industry-leading programming and services that help ASA strengthen industry bonds. "Sloan's commitment to ASA runs deep, as shown by the many years they have been a strong supporter of the association and their consistent representation on our committees and councils," said Mike Adelizzi, ASA's executive vice president. "We welcome Sloan as a 2012 Supplier Partner and thank them for their ongoing support." Please contact Ruth Mitchell for more information on the Supplier Partner program at 630-467-0000, ext. 210.More

Court Rules in Favor of Business Community, Reining in Department of Labor
American Supply Association
Last week, a federal district court in South Carolina struck down the National Labor Relations Board's "Poster Rule" in response to a challenge by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce holding that the NLRB does not have the authority to require employers to post the notice. The NLRB has not yet issued a statement in response to the ruling, and it remains unclear whether it plans to attempt to enforce the rule on schedule on April 30 or delay enforcement as a result of the court's decision. More

Don't forget that during a FREE webinar offering on April 26, prominent Washington, D.C., labor attorney Maurice Baskin will update ASA members on the status of NLRB and DOL issued rules and the resulting legal challenges and outcomes. Click here to reserve your spot today!More

Bonney Forge Corporation Announces Passing of J. 'Rick' Leone
Bonney Forge Corporation
Bonney Forge Corporation regrets to announce the passing of J. "Rick" Leone, the company's Executive Vice President, this past weekend. A 27-year employee of Bonney Forge, Rick was in Atlanta, Georgia at the time of his passing. During his career, he held several senior positions at Bonney Forge in a number of functional areas within the organization. Bonney Forge representatives said: "We are saddened to announce the unexpected passing of Rick, who was an integral member of the Bonney Forge family. Rick served Bonney Forge with distinction in positions of increasing responsibility spanning nearly three decades. He was a substantial contributor to the growth in the company from its humble beginnings to the world class operation it is today."More

Yen Weakens for Second Day, Industrial Metals Gain; Euro Drops
Bloomberg via San Francisco Chronicle
The yen weakened for a second day and industrial metals rallied after the International Monetary Fund raised its economic forecasts. European shares were little changed and the euro declined. The yen retreated against all 16 of its most-traded peers at 9:48 a.m. in London. Copper and zinc gained 0.5 percent. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index fell less than 0.1 percent and Standard & Poor's 500 Index futures advanced 0.1 percent. Shares of Intel Corp. and International Business Machines Corp. declined in German trading. The euro slipped 0.1 percent to $1.311. The Shanghai Composite Index jumped 2 percent on speculation China will ease monetary policy.More

Housing Starts, Industrial Production Drop in March
The Associated Press via USA Today
Builders started work on fewer homes in March after they sharply cut back apartment construction. But builders requested the most permits for future projects in three and a half years, suggesting that many see the housing market improving. In a second report Tuesday, the Federal Reserve said factory production fell in March after companies made fewer electronic products, steel and metals. But the decline followed three months of strong manufacturing gains.More

'Reshoring' Manufacturing Starts to Make Economic Sense
The Associated Press via The Wichita Eagle
When Bruce Cochrane's family furniture company became an empty factory, he wouldn't drive by the building, even though it was just a short ride from home. There were just too many memories of what was — and what he was sure never would be again. Five generations of Cochranes had been furniture makers, starting with his great-great-grandfather, William, who built church pews in the 1850s. By the mid-1990s, though, the long, proud family tradition appeared to be at an end. Like so many other American industries, the furniture trade was moving to China, land of cheap labor.More

Industry Insight: Changing Dynamics of Steel Prices
The Hindu
The amount of steel consumed by a country has a strong correlation with its GDP growth and is a sound indicator of its stage of economic development. Numerous studies that reveal far greater per capita consumption of steel in developed countries compared with developing countries corroborate this. India is no exception to this phenomenon. In the past decade, the rapid growth in GDP has been reflected in an equally vigorous increase in steel consumption.More

Manufacturing Hopes Push Metals Prices Higher
The Associated Press via Bloomberg Businessweek
Metals prices rose recently, helped by an encouraging report about U.S. manufacturing. Copper led prices higher, with May copper rising 9.6 cents to $3.921 per pound. Platinum, palladium and silver, which can trade as industrial metals or as precious metals, all rose. July platinum rose $10.80 to $1,654.90 per ounce, and June palladium rose $4.70 to $658.80 per ounce. May silver increased 61.4 cents to $33.098 an ounce. Palladium and platinum are best known for their use in catalytic converters. Gold also rose, climbing $8.20 to $1,677.50 per ounce.More