ASA Insights
Aug. 4, 2011

All In and On Track: Are You?
American Supply Association
Already, 80 wholesaler firms are ALL IN (registered) to attend NetworkASA2011 Sept. 13-16 at The Bellagio in Las Vegas. With six weeks until the event, this compares to a total of 63 wholesaler firms that attended last year's annual ASA convention in Chicago. "The fact that we already see a 27 percent increase in the number of wholesaler firms registered to attend NetworkASA this far in advance is an important measure of success for ASA members," said Mike Adelizzi, ASA Executive Vice President. "The tremendous support from ASA's Supplier Partners for the event, as well as the organization's many other programs and services, are key measures that demonstrate we are doing the right things to motivate participation. In addition, there are other important measures that our volunteer leaders continue to monitor closely to ensure ASA moves in the right direction to engage the industry." There is still time to GO ALL IN. Click here to learn more and register now.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

Appointment Scheduler Now Open for NetworkASA 2011
American Supply Association
Distributors attending NetworkASA 2011 please take note: Manufacturers participating in our Wholesaler & Vendor Conference Appointments on Thursday, Sept. 15, soon will be contacting you to set up meetings. ASA's appointment scheduler is designed to facilitate meeting requests and provide distributors with email notifications when appointments have been requested. Upon receipt of a notification, we ask that you please take a few minutes to accept or decline the request. Please note that ASA Platinum, Gold and Silver Level Supplier Partners will have the first opportunity to request appointments. Appointment scheduler login information has been distributed via email by Ruth Mitchell, ASA Director of Meetings. Please contact Ruth directly with any questions at 312-464-0090, ext. 210, or at ruth@asa.net.More

ASA Continues Fight Against Card Check
American Supply Association
Last week, ASA joined with others in the business community to support H.R. 2587, the Protecting Jobs from Government Interference Act. The legislation would support an employer's right to manage their operations without fear of government influence or reprisal. In today's uncertain economy, businesses have to make difficult decisions to survive. Many continue to remain hunkered down as the recovery slowly takes hold. What they do not need is an overly aggressive Department of Labor or National Labor Relations Board undermining their rights to make business decisions, or remove their responsibility to do so.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

ASA, Others Advocate Debt Ceiling Increase
American Supply Association
As employers have watched in exasperation along with millions of their fellow Americans, they have become fed up with Washington's indecisions and inability to work together. The time has come to restore confidence in our economy by assuring that a default does not happen. Joining with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other advocates of a strong economy, ASA wrote members of Congress on Monday about this need. As the letter states, "a default on the obligations of the United States would result in immediately higher interest rates, a likely decline in the dollar, a drop in the stock markets, potentially higher oil prices and a loss of economic growth and jobs."More

Minority Report: Supplier Diversity Must Become a Strategic Priority
Material Handling & Logistics
U.S. companies must make supplier diversity a strategic priority and stop viewing it as simply a corporate citizenship obligation, according James Lowry, senior adviser of Boston Consulting Group and co-author (with Dartmouth's Leonard Greenhalgh) of a new book, "Minority Business Success: Refocusing on the American Dream." "U.S. companies need to do a better job of supporting and developing minority businesses," Lowry says. "Minorities will become the majority of the U.S. population by 2045. Therefore, minority businesses need to deliver the value that American corporations expect — at every level of the supply chain. Right now they do not, as they are relegated to low-value or peripheral work that does not directly support the corporate value chain."More

Supplier Financial Health Improving, But Risk Remains
@Risk
North American manufacturing suppliers are generally healthier than they were in 2009. But, they're not out of the woods yet. BBK, a business advisory and performance improvement firm, says that among the private companies it analyzes, 65 percent now rate as financially stable, compared to only 46 percent that earned that rating back in 2009. However, nearly one-quarter of those in the latest BBK ratings still are showing signs of financial distress. As a result, many manufacturers remain concerned that their suppliers' financial health can deteriorate quickly and potentially disrupt their operations. "BBK Ratings requests are up this year, indicating there's still a lot of uncertainty about the economy and that more companies want to proactively evaluate their suppliers to eliminate surprises," said Michael Wagner, BBK director of proactive services.More

What's the Cost of Addressing Supply Chain Risks?
The 21st Century Supply Chain
Recent natural disasters are forcing supply chain executives to take a hard look at their supplier relationships. There always has been a risk of natural disasters, but the frequency is increasing with more substantial consequences. The global nature of the supply chain creates more risk as the consumer is much more likely to buy elsewhere. Companies can't rely on customer loyalty. In the article, "Boeing and Sharp: Addressing Different Types of Supply Chain Risk," the two companies speak about their changes in strategy. How do you define critical parts that require a second source? The article talks about the effectiveness of focusing on the 80 percent of your spend that typically comes from 20 percent of your suppliers. Does that work?More