ASA Insights
Apr. 23, 2015

2015 Legislative Fly-in: An Overwhelming Success
American Supply Association

(L-R) John Altepeter (AO Smith), Kim Hardy
(Chris-More, Inc.), Rep. Jim Cooper (D-TN),
Diane Early (American Pipe & Supply),
and Bob Christensen (Chris-More, Inc.)

It’s not an everyday occurrence for stakeholders from outside of the Washington Beltway to serve as educators for their members of Congress and bring them new information that they might not already know, but that’s exactly what occurred at ASA’s Legislative Fly-in on April 15th. One of the issues most important to distributors is fixing the online sales tax loophole, an issue that’s received increased attention this spring. With the stalled passage of a Marketplace Fairness Act, a new version has been drafted by House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT).More

Don't Call Us, We'll Call You
American Supply Association

(L-R) Rick Giannini (Milwaukee Valve),
Tom LaGuardia (Milwaukee Valve),
Rebecca Falish (InSinkErator), Rep. Reid
Ribble (WI), Joe Poehling (First Supply),
Kathryn Poehling (First Supply), and Dave
Prahler (First Supply)

One of the greatest measures of a meeting with an elected official is when they finally realize how important an issue is to their constituent and their office takes the time to follow-up. That’s what happened over the weekend to First Supply’s Joe Poehling after he met with Ways and Means Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and his staff last week in Washington. Poehling was called directly by the staffer that he met with after he and other attendees of Wisconsin’s distribution and manufacturing delegation informed them of their interest to grow their Wisconsin businesses. They made clear the need to finally level the playing field between those that sell online only and avoid collecting sales taxes and brick-and-mortar sellers such as ASA’s members. The staff member wanted to reiterate to Poehling Chairman Ryan’s feelings about the legislation as it moved forward in Congress.
More

ASA University Now Offers FREE Manufacturer Training
American Supply Association
ASA University is providing Manufacturer training free to ASA's Distributor Members only! Just log in to ASA University and pick the Manufacturer training that is right for you – For FREE! Currently we have training from InSinkErator, IPS Corporation and Sloan with more to come soon! View the courses now!More

YTD Profit Before Taxes Reported Even or Down by Half of PVF Distributors
American Supply Association
ASA member wholesaler-distributors reported a median sales growth of 10.7% for the month ending March 31, 2015, compared to the same month last year. Calendar year-to-date, all respondents reported a median sales increase of 7.6%; however, respondents in the industrial PVF segment reported only a 2.1% increase. The median increase for the trailing 12 months is 7.3% for all respondents. ASA's Monthly Pulse Report provides a regular snapshot of performance for the PHCP and PVF industry. For each month, the participation deadline for wholesaler-distributor members to submit data is typically on the eighth business day of the following month. The participation deadline for the April 2015 report is May 12. Log in to your My ASA to view the full report, or learn how to participate.More

Take Your Leadership Skills to the Next Level
American Supply Association
The Master of Distribution Management Program is a Master's Certification Program that is a one of a kind offering. 100% industry focused – the curriculum was designed by industry experts and veterans so you receive the best Leadership Training that the industry has to offer. The flexible approach to training gives candidates, employers and mentors the ability to work through the curriculum as work demands shift.More

At Network2015, Meet a Pro
American Supply Association
Have you ever thought, "If I could pick their brain for just a minute on this topic ..." or "what would you have done in this situation?" If so, we have a great workshop during Network2015 just for you. At Network2015, we are providing insight and guidance through our Meet the Pros roundtable, focusing on universal topics. Our "Pros" are industry executives who have years of knowledge and experience, and we are gathering together a group of them for one-on-one interaction. Attend this session, and you can engage in conversation, roundtable style, to hear the latest on topics that affect your business. This unique and valuable interaction helps you get the answers to the questions/situations you might be facing on many different topics and provide takeaways that can help you in your business. For more information, to stay connected and to register, visit www.asa.net/Network2015.More

2015 Distribution & Manufacturing Software Guides Now Available
American Supply Association
In partnership with St. Louis-based Brown Smith Wallace Consulting Group, ASA has released two software guides for 2015. The 25th Edition of the Distribution Software Guide is the most used directory for wholesaler-distributors looking to replace or upgrade their existing business software. The guide provides detailed vendor information including feature matrixes for enterprise distribution and complementary solutions. Also, and in response to market demand, the 9th Edition of the Manufacturing Software Guide continues to meet the unique needs of the manufacturing supply chain community. This guide includes detailed vendor pages, company demographics, product information and a feature matrix. ASA members can find this information via logging into MY ASA at www.asa.net. A very limited number of hardcopies are also available upon request sent to members@asa.net.More

ESOP Planning: Expand and Grow Your ESOP
Prairie Capital Advisors
Companies with mature Employee Stock Ownership Plans face many challenges that impact their strategic direction, especially as it relates to the impact on the ESOP. This can include balancing competing claims on capital, determining if the ESOP ownership position should change, deciding if the company should make strategic acquisitions and more. For many, they need to know the proper next steps to help expand and grow their ESOPs. More

Read the Latest from Morris Beschloss on USA Today
American Supply Association
This week's news: Is a US Refinery Crisis in the Making? (The Desert Sun)

Want to read more from Beschloss? Click here to go to USA Today for a full archive of past articles.More

How to Help Employees Embrace New Technology
HartfordBusiness.com
Embracing new office technology can be challenging for many. Even for those who aren't apprehensive about technology, automating a manual process that employees have been accustomed to for years can be overwhelming. With profitability and efficiency among businesses' top priorities, and technology a valuable tool for increasing both, how can business leaders help employees to adopt, and even openly embrace, new technology?More

Truckers Want Feds to Move Faster on Speed Limits
The Hill
The American Trucking Association is calling on the Obama administration to move faster to implement a mandate for electronic speed limit devices on the nation's trucks. The Arlington, Virginia-based group said recently that the Department of Transportation is taking too long to put in a requirement that trucks have devices on-board that will limit their speeds to 65mph to reduce the number of accidents that occur on U.S. roads and highways. More

Total Cost of Ownership: The Challenge of Effective Supply Chain Management
By Frank Wilhelm
Companies are always looking for creative ways to reduce costs and expand profit margins. In some cases, new and innovative approaches are employed. In others, proven but overlooked techniques are being resurrected and applied. The impact of total cost of ownership upon cost reduction and profit elevation among capital-intensive industries is quite significant, yet this approach has been largely missed. Many industries would benefit greatly from the adoption of this concept.More