ASA Insights
Jun. 22, 2017

ASA Keeps Congress' Feet to the Fire
American Supply Association
Leaders of ASA traveled to their nation's capital to learn, network and advocate for issues important to them, their businesses and their industry. As we’ve all witnessed, Congress and the Trump Administration have slogged ahead with promises made on the campaign trail, to limited effect. A repeal of the Affordable Care Act has passed the House, but appears stalled in the Senate. Senators, as well as the president, have openly questioned the House-passed version and vowed to keep it at arm's length. The biggest challenge is getting 51 votes, assuming a loss of either moderate or conservative Senators in the process. ASA's task was to keep the fire lit in the Senate and not allow them to avoid the tough decisions of taking up healthcare reform, because nobody believes the status quo is working for anyone. Fortunately, if reports are accurate, they may soon vote on their variation of the bill in the upper chamber. Stay tuned!More

Working Together in Washington
American Supply Association

ASA Chairman Tim Milford runs into St.
Louis-area homebuilders after visiting
with Rep. Jason Smith.
Naturally, ASA was not the only trade group in Washington last week. Groups representing homebuilders as well as plumbers traveled to Washington at the same time, all speaking from the same page, “Get Americans working again!” Investing in skilled craft education programs, specifically, by passing the Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act was the message all three groups delivered to Congress. If passed, the legislation reauthorizes programs needed to develop the next generation of workers required to meet the demands in the distribution, manufacturing, construction and plumbing industry. Using ASA Education Foundation’s Labor Study as our guide, ASA members reminded Congress that by the year 2025, nearly 50,000 of our employees will have retired, calling for a critical need to hire and train qualified replacements. This will not occur until we return skilled craft training to our high schools and improving career and technical education opportunities in our communities.More

Western Wholesalers Report Higher GM but Lower YTD Profit Before Taxes
American Supply Association
ASA's Monthly Pulse Report provides a regular snapshot of performance for the PHCP-PVF industry. For the month ending May 31, 2017, wholesaler-distributors reported a median sales increase of 13.4% compared to the same month in 2016. Calendar year-to-date, all respondents reported median sales growth of 6.2%, and the median increase for the trailing twelve months is 5.5% and unchanged since last month’s report. Inventory rose 5.0% compared to prior year, and the median three-months average days sales outstanding dropped from 45.0 to 43.5 days. In total, 64.6% of the respondents reported an increase in gross margin percentages for May, 2017, versus 2016, and company YTD profit before taxes increased for 62.0% of the total sample. However, in ASA’s Region 1, which approximates the western third of the U.S., 75.0% of this subset reported an increase in gross margin percentages for the same period, and company YTD profit before taxes increased for 41.7%. The percentage of all respondents having more Full-Time Equivalent employees compared to a year ago decreased from 60.8% in April to 59.0% in May. LEARN MORE More

ASA University Recognizes MDM Graduate
American Supply Association
Larry Davis is a unique individual with an interesting story. He owned his own company for more than 30 years and then decided it was time to sell. He was concerned for his employees and their families who have been loyal and trustworthy for many years, so he made a deal with Hirsch Pipe & Supply to retain all his employees while he stays on to manage the San Juan Capistrano, Calif., branch for a few years. When asked about his experience with the MDM program, Larry said, "As an industry veteran I know how important it is to never stop learning. The MDM program provided me with the opportunity to continue to grow as an individual. I was able to utilize a lot of the information that I received taking the ASA University MDM classes. I have found the information useful in many aspects of my work life."


Safety Award Nominations Now Being Accepted
American Supply Association
The ASA Safety Committee is accepting nominations for its annual Safety Awards program. Designed to recognize manufacturers and distributors with the best records of safety, the award measures a company's OSHA Form 300A: Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses. You work hard to not only comply with the maze of federal and state regulations, but you also to provide a healthy and safe workplace for your employees and customers, and we want you to earn the credit you deserve! Don't delay, submit your company's application and get the recognition that you and your team have earned! The deadline is August 25, 2017.More

Product Knowledge is Power!

Check out ASA University's Top 3 Product Knowledge courses. Introduction to Pipe, Valves, and Fittings©, Introduction to Steel, Stainless Steel, Iron Pipe, and Fittings©, and Introduction to Copper Tube, Plastic Pipe, and Fittings© can be found in the ASA University Store or by clicking on any of the links in the article. There are also Industrial versions available, go to the bottom of the ProductPro® page to see the new options.More

Read the Latest from Morris Beschloss
American Supply Association
This week's news: Has the Federal Reserve Board Gained Over-Extended Importance?

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

Cooney Brothers Raises $10,000 for American Cancer Society
American Supply Association
Thirteen members of "Team Cooney" comprised of employees, friends, and family of Cooney Brothers Inc., a value-added distributor of Pipe, Valves and Fittings, participated in the American Cancer Society’s Bike-A-Thon. Together the team raised more than $10,000 for the fight against cancer. Cooney Brothers participated in its 14th Bike-A-Thon benefiting the American Cancer Society. Starting in Philadelphia, PA at the foot of the Ben Franklin Bridge, all 13 members of "Team Cooney" rode their committed distances, with the majority biking the full 66 miles to Atlantic City, NJ where the ride finished on the boardwalk and beach. More

Distributors Making Informed, Supported Decisions About Software
American Supply Association
In partnership with St. Louis-based Brown Smith Wallace Advisory Services, ASA has released the annual Distribution Software Guide for 2017. For 27 years, it is the most used directory for wholesaler-distributors looking to replace or upgrade their existing business software. The guide provides detailed vendor information, including feature matrices for enterprise distribution and complementary solutions. ASA members can login to MY ASA and access this information, and a very limited number of hardcopies are also available upon request sent to


Benefits of Training & Development in an Organization
Kashmir Observer
Training and development is simply defined as "the formal, ongoing efforts that are made within an organization to improve the performance of its employees." Training and development can also be described as "an educational process which involves the sharpening of skills, concepts, changing of attitude and gaining more knowledge to enhance the performance of employees."

Want help developing your own training program? Go to ASA-U Advisory Service today for more information. More