ASA Insights
May. 3, 2012

Register for NetworkASA by May 18 and Save $100
American Supply Association
NetworkASA 2012 - OWN IT – Your Company, Your Industry, Your Future - is set for Oct. 17-20 at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek. Highlighting the speaker lineup this year are Steve Forbes, Weldbend IPD Breakfast headliner and boxing legend George Foreman, political analyst Stuart Rothenberg and Medal of Honor recipient Dakota Meyer. "This year's agenda and speaker lineup are off the charts," said Mike Adelizzi, ASA executive vice president. "With more standing room-only educational events, our enhanced Plumbing and IPD Open Houses and more face-to-face networking opportunities than ever before, NetworkASA 2012 is an experience not available anywhere else in the PHCP and PVF industry." Program brochures were mailed in March, and event details are available online by clicking here. Save $100 by registering before the earlybird deadline of May 18!More

ASA's Regions Begin Busy Spring Meeting Season
American Supply Association
This spring, 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 2012 ASA OPR. Please contact Chris Murin at 630-467-0000, ext. 204, or at for more information. Click here to participate in the survey now.More

Did You Miss Our April 26 NLRB Webinar?
American Supply Association
Last week, ASA members were given the opportunity to hear from a top management attorney who has represented employers before the highest court in the land. Our April 26 webinar focused on a couple of issues that will impact employers, most importantly the "Notice Posting" rule which has been delayed, and the "Ambush Election" rule, which is a blatant form of "card check" that ASA has long opposed. Unfortunately, the Ambush Election rule went into effect on Monday and the federal district court judge in D.C. has not issued a decision yet on the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace's pending challenge to the rule.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

Futures Up Ahead of Factory, Construction Data
U.S. stock index futures edged higher Tuesday ahead of data on the manufacturing sector that could offer evidence on the pace of the economic recovery. The S&P 500 closed April with its first monthly decline since November as economic data pointed to a slowing domestic economy and continued flare-ups in the euro zone highlighted the risks of the region's debt crisis. Investor focus will be dominated by the United States as a number of European and Asian stock markets, including ones in Germany, France and Italy, were closed Tuesday for the May Day holiday.More

Could Steel Production Boom Turn into a Bust?
Crain's Cleveland Business
The Wall Street Journal reports that the fanfare surrounding Timken Co.'s $225 million expansion to boost steel production by 25% — much of it for the energy market — "belies a nagging worry for the steel industry: oversupply." Indeed, steelmakers "are adding production from Texas to Pennsylvania, and foreign producers are boosting exports of steel used in natural-gas drilling just as energy companies are scaling back, due to falling prices of natural gas amid abundant stockpiles of the fuel," the newspaper reports.More

Manufacturers Regain Swagger with Rosy Earnings
The Wall Street Journal
Despite a recession in Europe and slower growth in China, some big U.S. industrial companies are reporting surprisingly robust results for the first quarter and sounding confident about the rest of the year, largely because they are doing well at home. "We're off to a good start this year," 3M Co.'s new chief executive, Inge Thulin, said after the company reported a 4 percent rise in first-quarter net income, beating analysts' expectations for profit and margins.More

Study: Half of Large US Manufacturers Will or Are Considering Returning at Least Some Production to US
Supply Chain Digest
Last year, Boston Consulting Group released research showing that rising wages in Eastern China would lead to near parity with the least expensive regions of the U.S. in terms of manufacturing costs by 2015. The firm also predicted that improved U.S. competitiveness and rising costs in China will put the U.S. in a strong position to add 2 million to 3 million jobs in a range of industries and an estimated $100 billion in annual output by the end of the decade.More