ASA Insights
Jun. 18, 2015

ASA Applauds Latest Efforts on E-Fairness
American Supply Association
This week, House Government Affairs Committee Chairman, Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Representative Steve Womack (R-AR) introduced legislation known as the Remote Transactions Parity Act (RPTA). The RPTA would give states the authorization to impose sales and use tax collection and remittance requirement on remote sellers. As a member of the Marketplace Fairness Coalition's Steering Committee, ASA will be helping lead efforts on Capitol Hill to raise awareness of this newest legislative vehicle, meeting with members of the House supportive of previous editions of the Marketplace Fairness Act. In addition, members of ASA can also be helpful in contacting their members of Congress, be on the lookout for action alerts from Washington. Click here to see ASA's letter to the Hill, here for a summary of the legislation and here to see the letter that thousands of businesses sent to Capitol Hill.More

Even Pipes are Getting Smart
ASA Materials Market Digest©
From Norway via Springwise comes news of a project to develop "intelligent" undersea oil pipes equipped with sensors and electronics that enable them to transmit real-time data about their condition, including wall thickness, tension, temperature and vibration. Norwegian research group SINTEF's SmartPipe project has been in development since 2006 and is ready to move into its pilot phase. In light of BP's Gulf of Mexico disaster and other oil spills around the globe, oil companies have a large incentive to improve pipeline monitoring. Log in to MY ASA for the full story - and more - in the June installment of ASA's Materials Market Digest©.More

Designer Business Driven to Showrooms
American Supply Association
How does a designer utilize the showroom? What makes an interior designer select your showroom? Last week, these questions were answered and discussed at length at ASA's Showroom Managers Networking Council event in Dallas. The event was headlined by industry experts Lisa Barron (Dallas Design Group, Interiors), Bruce Graf (Graf Developments), Kelly Litton (Dream2O), Brett McDonald (The Bath & Kitchen Showplace), Tim Stumm (Morrison Supply Company) and Jenifer Wiley (J Wiley Designs, LLC).

This panel of experts spoke to ASA members for three hours… on topics ranging from perception, inspection, customer service, and CEU credits. For example, did you know that a designer judges your showroom before they even walk in the door? If the showroom exterior doesn’t look as pristine as the inside (no fingerprints on doors, well-lit walkways/entrances, and an overall sense of cleanliness and welcome) they will not bring their clients into that showroom.More

ASA Members Report Median Year-to-Date Sales Increase of 5%
ASA Monthly Pulse Report©
For the first time since September 2012, ASA member wholesaler-distributors reported a median sales decline of -2.0% for the month ending May 31, 2015, compared to the same month last year. Calendar year-to-date, all respondents reported a median sales increase of 5.0%, and the median increase for the trailing twelve months is 5.3%. Inventory rose 1.6% compared to a year ago, and the median three-months average days sales outstanding fell to 45.0 days. Over 55.0% of the respondents reported an increase in gross margin percentages, and company YTD profit before taxes increased for 63.0% of the total sample. 54.1% of respondents reported having more Full-Time Equivalent employees compared to a year ago. More

At Network2015 You Will Have the Ability to...
American Supply Association
Connect with the Top Decision Makers in the PHCP-PVF Industry. During the 2 1/2 days of event programming, one event highlight brings together the wholesale-distributors, manufacturers and vendors together for prescheduled one-on-one appointments. The appointments put you in direct connection with top CEO’s, owners and top sales executives – this is definitely THE INDUSTRY event where partnerships are strengthened and new connections are made. Last year's event had over $12 BILLION dollars of business represented; imagine what will happen this year. No matter your company size, together we represent an important industry. Plan now to attend Network2015 and be part of this powerful event. For more information, please go to www.asa.net/Nework2015.More

The Arithmetic of Ownership Transitioning Planning
Prairie Capital Advisors
For owners of closely held businesses, planning for the ultimate transition of ownership is critical to the long term health and profitability of the organization. One of the most important components of the planning process is the assessment of your company’s internal infrastructure and management team, and the subsequent, necessary additions or adjustments. The strength of your infrastructure and management team, or lack thereof, can greatly affect the value of your business and the outcome of your ownership transition. Having a strong internal infrastructure and management team in place can facilitate a more successful and more profitable ownership transition. Robert Gross specializes in valuation, ownership transition, capital management, financial transactions and more. You will have a chance to see him at Network2015 in Chicago. More

Read the Latest from Morris Beschloss on USA Today
American Supply Association
This week's news: US Workers Widen Productivity Gap over Europeans (The Desert Sun)

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

Developing an Effective Employee Training Program
Houston Chronicle
Developing an effective employee training program is vital to the long-term success of any business. Training programs provide multiple benefits for employees and the company, but only if they are carefully planned and properly implemented. Clear understanding of policies, job functions, goals and company philosophy lead to increased motivation, morale and productivity for employees, and higher profits for your business. Training is a means to a specific end, so keeping goals in mind during the development and implementation stages of your training program will assist in creating a clearly defined and effective program.More

Freight Brokerage: What the Warehouse Manager Needs to Know
Ken Ackerman
A freight broker is a company or individual who serves as a liaison between a buyer of transportation and one or more carriers. The popular vision of this occupation was vividly described by Cliff Lynch: "All too often, the term freight broker conjures up visions of Joe Bob parked in a booth at the Flying Z truck stop with his cellphone, a pad and pencil, and a generous portion of chicken-fried steak." Joe Bob is sitting beside the "posting board" located in every truck stop looking for loads.More