ASA Insights
Aug. 15, 2013

Addressing the Issues at NetworkASA 2013
American Supply Association
At ASA, we often say we're in a business built on relationships. At this year's annual convention, it's time to establish another critical relationship: with your elected representatives in Congress. Two of the engines of America's economy are the ones most prized by policymakers today: manufacturing and small businesses — both of which are the lifeblood of ASA. At NetworkASA 2013 Oct. 2-4 in our nation's capital, we'll put you in touch with your members of Congress and provide you the unique opportunity to share with them the issues that keep you up at night — the high cost of doing business, the uncertainty over our tax code and the looming implementation of the Affordable Care Act. If you have not done so already, ACT NOW and register today.More

New Tax Study Reveals High Effective Rates Paid by Pass-Through Businesses
American Supply Association
Several years ago, under contract with the Small Business Administration, Quantria Strategies, LLC, measured effective tax rates for small businesses by entity type. This effort to measure effective tax rates by business type was the first of its kind and it produced what was an unexpected finding — that S corporations had the highest effective tax rate of any entity type with gross receipts less than $10 million. Last week, Quantria Strategies released a new study on behalf of the NFIB and the S Corps Association, of which ASA is an active member.More

Crunch Time for Keystone XL Pipeline
The Hill
It's crunch time in the fight over constructing the Keystone XL oil sands pipeline. Both sides believe a decision by President Barack Obama could come by the end of the year, making the next few months critical for lobbying and messaging efforts. Opponents plan a burst of demonstrations and other events across the country to rally environmental pressure on Obama to reject the Alberta-to-the-Gulf Coast pipeline.More

'Harvesting Connections' Event to Take Place Sept. 11-13
Western Suppliers Association

Please join WSA in the beautiful Napa Valley for our 55th Annual Meeting. Our meeting is being held at the Meritage Resort & Spa on Sept. 11-13. Please visit our website and click Calendar for our registration and sponsorship form. We look forward to another successful meeting!More

Beschloss: Shrinking Wholesaler Inventories Reflect Increasing Concern with Restrictive Federal Policies
The Beschloss Perspective
According to latest statistics relating to the nation's wholesale inventory values, there has been a notable shrinkage in the amount and value of stocks retained by this critical factor in the national distribution channel, considered the outstanding network of its kind anywhere in the world. In normal times, this would be considered a positive, because it would tend to indicate a bullish demand, to which the wholesale sector was not replacing its stocks fast enough. But in checking out the second quarter 2013 as a whole, it appears that sales have flattened out, as the American distribution system as a whole is pulling in its horns.More

Manufacturing Technology Orders Down in June
Industrial Distribution
June U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $426.83 million according to AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTO program, was down 5.8% from May and down 5.7% when compared with the total of $452.75 million reported for June 2012. With a year-to-date total of $2.54 billion, 2013 is down 5.7% compared with 2012. These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO program.More

Small Business Optimism Index Up Slightly in July
Modern Distribution Management
Small-business optimism sighed in July, as the National Federation of Independent Business's monthly economic index increased just over half a point (0.6) for a total reading of 94.1. According to the NFIB, this month's report continues the historically weak trend of owner confidence which has led some observers to suggest that the index should be renamed the Small Business Pessimism Index. On the positive front, while the two labor market indicators remained weak, both improved and are beginning to push into "normal" territory. But uncertainty about the future remains endemic among jobs creators; only nine percent of respondents think that now is a good time to expand their businesses.More

Manufacturing US Prosperity: A Policy Discussion
Brookings Institution
Manufacturing, its renewed vitality, and the appropriate role of public policy in supporting it have become major discussion points in Washington, D.C., and in regions throughout the United States. Discourse about a significant manufacturing "renaissance" in America has gained force, driven by an outpouring of technical innovations, continued productivity gains in U.S. factories, and the shrinking wage gap between China and the U.S. At the same time, skepticism persists.More

Modern Manufacturing Requires Modern Supply Chains
Advancements in technology coupled with the U.S. economic rebound have created an environment in the U.S. manufacturing sector where many companies are investing in capital equipment and new software at unprecedented rates. According to the Association for Manufacturing Technology, 2012 was the best year for U.S. manufacturing technology orders since 1996. Also, we have entered an era where, for the first time, many of the capital investments that were previously considered out of reach for small and middle-market manufacturers have now become economically feasible.More

The Mobile App Revolution in Construction
The potential for mobile apps in the construction industry is great, offering companies the ability to gather data easily on mobile devices. Still, one of the biggest challenges the industry faces is being able to easily integrate that information pulled in an app with traditional enterprise systems in the office. However, this is all changing, as more construction companies are putting apps to work.More