ASA Insights
June. 24, 2010

ASA wholesaler members report improved revenues, margins in May
American Supply Association
ASA's Monthly Sales Report for May 2010 is now available. Wholesaler members reported a 4 percent improvement in revenues during the month of May 2010 as compared to the same month in 2009. Many of the statistics in the report point to a continued, albeit slow, recovery.More

US economy: Manufacturing holds up as exports climb
Bloomberg Businessweek
U.S. manufacturing grew in May at a faster pace than forecast as factories added workers to meet the greatest export demand in two decades as well as a revival in domestic orders. Stocks worldwide erased earlier losses after the reports helped dispel concern industrial slowdowns from China to Europe meant the global rebound was stalling. Orders at companies including Deere & Co. and 3M Co. are climbing as customers update equipment and rebuild inventories.More

Karl Rove featured speaker at NetworkASA 2010: THRIVE
American Supply Association
Former Deputy Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to President George W. Bush Karl Rove will be the featured speaker during the NetworkASA 2010: THRIVE Future Trends Lunch, brought to you by Kohler Co. Thanks to his former career as the political architect of Bush's two political campaigns, his time in the White House and his current positions as a columnist and television commentator, Rove has incredible insight into the current state of politics and the economy, plus the experience to interpret what it all means for the future.More

The state of US manufacturing
In a 2008 research paper titled "Revised Forecast Advances Date of China Becoming the Preeminent Global Manufacturer," Global Insights predicted that by the year 2016-17, the United States could lose its status as the world's top manufacturer for the first time in more than 100 years, providing a clear call to action for U.S. manufacturers to renew their focus on the development and delivery of new products created here at home.More

Comparing your compensation package to the competition
American Supply Association
Hiring and retaining good employees is essential to the profitability of your business. Whether you need to make comparisons between your company and others in the same market or another in which you seek to expand your market share, the 2010 Employee Compensation Report provides the most detailed look at compensation and benefits for wholesaler-distributors.More

Should you optimize your purchase-to-pay workflows by spend category?
The Hackett Group via SupplyChainBrain
Many organizations define sourcing and supplier management processes by spend category as the basis for understanding how to best source and manage their suppliers. However, they often do not specify how to buy from and pay those suppliers based on the nature of the spend category and the needs of stakeholders. While companies usually have some type of "n-step" sourcing methodology, they may have tens if not hundreds of different ways to buy and pay for goods and services. This can reduce efficiency and customer satisfaction and lead to higher noncompliance rates and greater risk.More

ASA-led W.A.T.E.R. Coalition seeks passage of W.A.T.E.R. Act as part of HomeStar
American Supply Association
Efforts by the ASA-led WATER Coalition to pass rebates on WaterSense products are nearing the finish line. For weeks, coalition members have been meeting with key senators to coordinate inclusion of elements from the WATER Act in HomeStar, a $6 billion energy and jobs bill. While senators find agreement with the benefits to consumers and the environment found in WATER, groups that are shepherding the HomeStar Bill, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council, vehemently have opposed ASA's efforts to gain rebates on water-conserving products.More

New technology makes faster railroads possible
Logistics Today
Norfolk Southern Railway and GE Transportation, a developer of locomotives and technology for the rail industry, have developed technology for the rail industry that could lead to an increase in the average network speed of trains by 10 to 20 percent, or 2 to 4 mph. One mph in velocity improvement has the potential to save approximately $200 million in capital and expense annually.More

What's new in ASAU Online
American Supply Association
The ASA Education Foundation's new online training offerings continue to grow as courses are added monthly to ASAU Online, the online platform delivering quick and highly interactive training modules to the industry. These courses provide valuable information along with engaging exercises, learning games and a final review.More

Do strikes signal end of China as a low-cost manufacturing base?
In the wake of walkouts at several Chinese manufacturing facilities during the past few months, one might start to wonder about China's future as a low-cost manufacturing base. Most recently, the Toyoda Gosei plant, located just north of Beijing, was shut down by a one-day strike. Although short lived, the work stoppage underscores growing employee discontent at the facility, and a strike resolution came only after managers agreed to discuss wage increases, Reuters reports.More

American Supply Association
A robust group of 157 wholesalers, manufacturers and manufacturers' reps participated in the North Central Wholesalers Association annual conference at Sawmill Creek in Huron, Ohio, earlier this month. ASA had an opportunity to update the conference attendees on recent legislative developments and the association's attempts to affect legislation touching industry members.More