ASA Insights
May. 16, 2013

Keystone XL Pipeline Vote is Next Week!
American Supply Association
With the summer driving season coming soon, the House is set to vote next week on H.R. 3, the Northern Route Approval Act. The best message that the House can send the Senate is an overwhelming vote in favor of passage. If you support approving the Keystone XL pipeline, then your member of Congress needs to hear from you today. Don't delay; the vote is coming very soon. Please ask them to vote YES on American energy!More

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

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

House Votes to Repeal Affordable Care Act for 37th Time
American Supply Association
While improbable in getting to President Barack Obama's desk, the House is planning to vote once again on full repeal of the controversial healthcare law. With the law coming closer and closer to being a large part of our lives, it is important that pass or fail, members continue learning about its contents. Our Healthcare Hub is updated each week to bring you the resources your company needs to successfully navigate this complicated law.More

Is the United States Ready to Take Manufacturing Back?
Industrial Distribution
Word on the street is that substantial portions of previously offshored manufacturing operations are due to return to the United States. A number of macroeconomic factors seem to have tipped the balance in favor of domestic manufacturing. Among them, for example, are the appreciation of China's currency versus western currencies, labor rate inflation, increased concerns about supply interruption and adulterated product and lowering energy cost in the United States due to prospects of shale gas.More

For Local Businesses, the Internet Threat Isn't Just the Sales Tax
The New York Times
There are many misconceptions about why there are cost savings from buying on the Internet, with some of them stemming from the phrase “bricks and mortar.” There is a common assumption that local retailers charge more because they have to pay more in rent. But that generally is not the case.More

Construction Industry Blasts Immigration Reform Bill
Phoenix Business Journal
Construction advocates blasted the U.S. Senate's immigration reform bill unveiled recently, saying the proposal unfairly singles out the recession-battered industry at a crucial time when skilled labor, particularly in Arizona, already is scarce and demand for construction work finally is taking off. The "Gang of Eight" — the four Democratic and four Republican senators behind the bill — released details of their proposal in a 17-page summary.More

Your Least Engaged Employees Might Be Your Top Performers
Harvard Business Review
Some of the most engaged employees in your organization are your worst performers. And some of the least engaged are your highest performers. This conclusion comes from new research by the consulting firm, Leadership IQ.More