ASA Insights
July 28, 2011

Gene Simmons in Las Vegas — Brought to You By
American Supply Association
The annual Weldbend IPD Breakfast is fast becoming a can't-miss event at NetworkASA. Last year in Chicago, Hall of Fame coach Mike Ditka got lots of laughs — and two standing ovations. Weldbend has doubled-down for this year's convention at the Bellagio in Las Vegas, lining up KISS co-founder and multimedia magnate Gene Simmons as the star attraction for its breakfast at 6:45 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 15. What can the movers and shakers of the PVF industry possibly have in common with Simmons — a rock 'n' roll icon who for 28 years has been "happily unmarried" to former Playmate of the Year Shannon Tweed? The answer just might surprise you. But one thing is certain: The Weldbend IPD Breakfast will be memorable. And guys, makeup is optional. Click here for more NetworkASA 2011 program details and online registration information. Editor's Note: On page 39 of the July 2011 Supply House Times, the Weldbend IPD Breakfast is inadvertently listed as scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 14. We apologize for this inaccuracy.More

2011 ASA OPR and Executive Summary Now Available
American Supply Association
When you log in to your My ASA page at www.asa.net, you will find your complimentary electronic copy of the Executive Summary from the 2011 ASA Operating Performance Report appearing in the "Benchmarking" section. Among all survey participants overall, after tax return on net worth has gone from 6.3 percent in 2001 to 6.7 percent in 2002, 8.7 percent in 2003, 13 percent in 2004, 16.3 percent in 2005, 15.5 percent in 2006, 10.3 percent in 2007, 7.8 percent in 2008, 2.3 percent in 2009 and 6.1 percent in 2010. A free, one-hour webinar with Tom Noon, principal of Industry Insights, is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Eastern (10:30 a.m. Pacific) on Thursday, Aug. 11. During this time, Tom will review the highlights, answer your questions and offer suggestions on how companies can get the most from the results of this year's study. Click here to register for this free webinar. Click here to learn more about what is revealed in this year's report, including information on how to receive your own copy.More

Can You Really Keep Your Health Care Plan?
American Supply Association
The National Federation of Independent Businesses recently completed an extensive study on the heels of the one-year anniversary of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The study produced some rather unsettling results. Many respondents do not believe that the new law will lower their health care costs. Of the small employers (number of employees under 50) currently offering coverage, 20 percent expect to significantly change their benefit package and/or their employees' premium cost-share the next time they renew their health insurance plans. Most expected significant changes involving a decrease in benefits, an increase in employee cost-share, or both. Employers who even slightly alter their benefits packages to reduce costs likely will be exposed to more regulations and cost increases in the future.More

Aug. 30 Safety Webinar: Hearing Conservation
American Supply Association
Each year, approximately 30 million people in the U.S. are occupationally exposed to hazardous noise. Noise-related hearing loss has been listed as one of the most prevalent occupational health concerns in the United States for more than 25 years. An effective hearing conservation program can prevent hearing loss, improve employee morale and a general feeling of well-being, increase quality of production and reduce the incidence of stress-related disease. On Tuesday, Aug. 30, please join us for a review of the key components of effective hearing conservation programs and the regulatory requirements behind them. This will be a FREE one-hour interactive webinar with Dr. Timothy Rink, CEO of HTI Inc., a comprehensive provider of mobile, on-site audiometric testing, reporting, and record keeping services to businesses and governmental agencies throughout the U.S. Click here for more information and to register online now.More

Copper Falls on Signs of Manufacturing Slowdown
The Associated Press via Google News
Copper prices are falling on more signs of a manufacturing slowdown in China and Europe. Copper for September delivery fell 5.25 cents to settle at $4.3835 a pound, its second day of losses. Other commodities were mixed as investors monitored debt negotiations in Europe and the United States. A new survey showed China's manufacturing production fell in July for the first time in a year after the government implemented measures to slow the country's rapid economic growth and curb inflation. HSBC Corp.'s Flash China Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index fell to a 28-month low. Markit Economics Ltd. said its Flash Purchasing Managers Manufacturing Index for nations that use the euro currency fell to 50.4 in July from 52 the month before.More

Eurozone Manufacturing Output Drops
Financial Times
A closely watched survey of eurozone economic activity dipped sharply in July, adding to the urgency for political leaders to find a solution to the region's debt crisis at their summit Thursday. Growth measured across the eurozone's service and manufacturing sectors in the Markit purchasing managers' index slowed much more than analysts had forecast, suggesting a rapid loss of momentum in the region's economy. Eurozone manufacturing output declined for the first time since July 2009, according to the survey. The PMI cross-sector composite index fell to 50.8, its lowest level in almost two years, from 53.3 in June. Estimates by economists were for a much smaller drop to about 52.5.More

Mark C. Tomlinson: American Manufacturing Needs Skilled Workers
The Christian Science Monitor
Many Americans may think that manufacturing is a dying industry, no longer the backbone of America's economy. But manufacturing employment has accounted for many of the non-farm payroll jobs created since December 2009 — almost 15 percent of them. And though only about a tenth of the nation's total workforce is in manufacturing, recent productivity numbers show manufacturing output per hour is strongly improving — up by 6.3 percent in just the first quarter of this year. Manufacturing remains at the heart of American innovation. But there's a crisis looming: Manufacturers can only sustain such high productivity figures by continuing to develop the sector's current and future workforce.More