ASA Insights
May. 2, 2013

Hank Darlington to Repeat Seven-Part Showroom Training Webinar Series
American Supply Association
Wholesale-distribution, like every other business, is driven by the ability to grow sales. And while wholesalers recognize that showrooms provide a tremendous potential for increased sales and profits, they may not fully embrace the retail model that will generate profits. All showroom personnel are invited to Join Hank Darlington, author of Essentials of Profitable Showroom Sales©, as he shares his knowledge on performing as top notch sales consultant and facilitates a Q&A period during each session. For those that missed the May session, plan to join us July 10 as Hank repeats this well-received program.More

Q&A on Proposed Internet Sales Tax
The Wall Street Journal
The Senate is considering legislation that would effectively end tax-free shopping on the Internet. Here's a closer look at some of the many wrinkles in this complex debate.More

Free Webinar: How to Use Your Strengths to Fight the Threat of Amazon Supply
American Supply Association
Date: 2 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, May 7
A new 8,000-pound gorilla, Amazon Supply, has taken aim at many of the customers of PHCP supply houses. Amazon Supply is a separate unit — not an extension of the consumer side. It uses its own, business-oriented website and offers many of the same services that supply houses offer. It now sells valves, pipe fittings, pumps, flow meters, hoses, seals, and hand and power tools. Nothing stops Amazon Supply from stocking and selling faucets, sinks, HVAC parts and supplies, and much more. Yet, traditional supply houses can use their strengths to compete.More

ASA Regions Begin Busy Season
American Supply Association
In the coming weeks, five of the American Supply Association's independent regional affiliates will host annual conventions and conferences. All of these programs represent outstanding educational and networking opportunities for local wholesalers, manufacturers, service vendors and independent manufacturer reps. Here is a look at the schedule:

Please feel free to visit the online ASA Industry Calendar for more information or click the links above for specific meeting details.More

ASA OPR: Your Key to Performance Improvement
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 2013 ASA OPR. Please contact Chris Murin at 630-467-0000, ext. 204, or at for more information. Participate in the survey by June 4.More

Time to Check Your Pulse
American Supply Association
Each month, ASA partners with Industry Insights to compile data from wholesaler members that provides a snapshot on industry performance and how it relates to the broader economy. The value of this report is directly related to the number of wholesaler firms that contribute data each month — the greater the number of respondents, the more comprehensive and useful is the report and accompanying analysis. The participation deadline for wholesaler members to submit data for the April report is May 10. Learn more about this FREE and EXCLUSIVE benefit that ASA members frequently use when making key decisions. More

Manufacturing Expands More Slowly in April
Modern Distribution Management
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in April for the fifth consecutive month, and the overall economy grew for the 47th consecutive month, according to the latest Manufacturing Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management. The report was issued by Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.More

Beschloss: Does 'Billionaire Content' Reflect Regional-National Wealth Factor?
The Desert Sun
A fascinating study by Forbes Business Magazine breaks down the world's all-time high 1,426 billionaires by regions, nations, and business/industrial categories, from which such riches were accumulated. Although this personal wealth accumulation geographically reflects the physical locality of these super-rich individuals or families, it provides a remarkable statement as to the extent to which regional/national wealth has been manifested in the world's productive arena.More

Copper Slides on Weaker-Than-Estimated Chinese Manufacturing
Copper fell for a second day in London on concern demand will take time to revive after an official manufacturing gauge was weaker than projected in China, the world's biggest consumer of the metal. A Purchasing Managers' Index was at 50.6 in April, China's statistics bureau and logistics federation said, below the 50.7 median estimate in a Bloomberg News survey of economists. Copper rose in London trading last week after five weeks of declines, the longest streak since November.More

Construction Spending Rate Hits Seven-Month Low
Construction spending dropped to a seven-month low in March as public outlays recorded their largest drop since 2006, which could cause the first-quarter economic growth estimate to be trimmed. Construction spending fell 1.7% to an annual rate of $856.72 billion, the lowest level since August, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. Spending had increased 1.5% in February.More

U.S. Steel Reports Net Loss of $73 Million
United States Steel Corporation reported a first-quarter net loss Tuesday of $73 million, or 51 cents per share, compared to a net loss of $219 million, or $1.52 loss per share a year earlier.More