ASA Insights
Apr. 26, 2012

George Foreman to Headline Weldbend IPD Breakfast Oct. 19 at NetworkASA 2012 in Orlando
American Supply Association
George Foreman — Olympic boxing gold medalist, two-time heavyweight champion, successful entrepreneur, ordained minister and noted best-selling author — will be the featured speaker at the annual Weldbend IPD Breakfast, to be held Friday, Oct. 19, during NetworkASA 2012 in Orlando, Fla. Weldbend, the industry leader in domestically manufactured carbon steel weld fittings and weld flange products from 1/2" thru 60", brings to the forefront another larger-than-life personality to headline its annual breakfast. "George Foreman is a terrific speaker who we all know will both entertain and inspire our guests," Weldbend President Jim Coulas said. "Hosting the IPD Breakfast each year is one way for us to let our customers know how much we appreciate them."More

First Quarter 2012 Rocks for ASA Members
American Supply Association
March closed the first quarter of 2012 with continued strong numbers; even as compared to a very solid 2011 first quarter. For American Supply Association members, the quarter closed up 10.4% as compared to first quarter 2011; up 21.9% as compared to first quarter 2010; up 15.7% as compared to 2009 and up 2.9% as compared to 2008. For the month of March 2012, it reports a very good 11.1% increase in per day revenues as compared to the same month in 2010; up 19.8% as compared to 2010; up 18.6% compared to 2009; but down 0.6% as compared to 2008. The plumbing, heating and pipe, valve and fitting distributors are up 11.0% YTD and 9.2% on a rolling 12-month basis. Geographically, these revenue growths are particularly strong in the Midwest (+21.2%), with Illinois (+21.4%) and Metro Chicago (+27.6%) leading the way. The industrial PVF sector also continues its strength in March, reporting a national increase of 19.3%.More

Experts to Address Housing Sector at May Legislative Fly-In
American Supply Association
In case you haven't heard, a slew of brand new housing indicators were released this week, offering mixed signals about the weak U.S. housing sector. Because this sector is so critical to our industry's success, it will be a featured topic May 15 and 16 at next month's ASA Legislative Fly-In. As the reports indicate, new home sales in March fell from their February level, and home prices hit a new low in February and were 3.5% below their year-earlier levels, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index, which tracks home prices in 20 cities. But beneath those disappointing headline numbers, there may be some signs that housing could be slowly improving. To find out where it's improving and more importantly to ask questions of leading experts, you'll need to join us next month in Washington, D.C., where we will have a presentation by the Chief Economist from the National Home Builders Association. Please click the links or contact Dan Hilton today at 703-328-5234 for more Fly-In details.More

Future Leaders Head to Spring Forum in Record Numbers
American Supply Association
Already, 75 people representing more than 30 wholesaler and 18 manufacturing firms have registered to attend ASA's 2012 Spring Forum in New Orleans on May 21-23. "This represents a 27% increase in attendance and more than a 40% increase in the number of wholesaler firms over last year," according to Chris Murin, Executive Director. Dennis Crump of National Wholesale Supply in Dallas and Chairman of ASA's Young Executives, said "We take seriously the feedback we receive from owners and attendees and continuously adapt the program to respond to changing needs. It most definitely helps us build lifelong relationships with one another as well as to learn key skills and concepts that will prepare us for our future roles in the industry." There's still just enough time to register and reserve a hotel room; click here for more information. More

New PVF Publication to Debut in June
American Supply Association
PVF Outlook, a new publication sponsored by ASA, will debut in June 2012. With a total circulation of 20,000, PVF Outlook will reach end-users in the following fields: oil and gas extraction, chemical manufacturing, petroleum manufacturing, oil and gas field machinery equipment, and oil, gas, chemical and petroleum mechanical contractors. For advertising rates and further information on PVF Outlook, click here or contact Scott Franz at BNP Media.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, for more award information. More

Manufacturing States Post Drops in Unemployment
The Wall Street Journal
State unemployment rates were steady in March from a month earlier and the nation's jobs recovery continues to be best in states heavy in manufacturing and worst in places hit hard by the housing bust. The national unemployment rate was 8.2% in March, down from 8.3% a month earlier and 8.9% a year ago. New York was the only state that had a higher unemployment rate this year than last. The Midwest, which was among the hardest hit by the recession but has been a huge beneficiary of the revival in manufacturing, now has the nation's lowest unemployment rate, at 7.4%.More

Italy Steel Exports Up, Imports Down in January
Steel exports from Italy, the European Union's second-biggest producer after Germany, rose 10.9% to 1.387 million tonnes in January, while imports dropped 32.5%, according to data from industry body Federacciai. Steel imports, about 57% of which came from other EU countries in January, fell to 1.063 million tonnes in the first month of 2012, data published on Federacciai's website showed.More

Job Shops Need Marketing, Skilled Workers to Grow
Manufacturing is growing, in part fueled by reshoring, but job shops need to become savvy marketers to attract new business, says Mitch Free, CEO of, an online marketplace that helps companies source custom parts, tooling and other products. In a survey of 259 small manufacturing companies, found that 78% are optimistic about their sales and profits for 2012. Just under half reported they are operating at 70% or more of capacity. The report notes that the rule of thumb in the job shop industry is that companies reach the break-even point when they are running at 75% of capacity.More