ASA Insights
Aug. 18, 2016

ASA Members Report Median Sales Growth of 5.0%
American Supply Association
ASA’s Monthly Pulse Report provides ASA members with regular snapshots of industry performance for sales, inventories, gross margin and YTD profitability relative to the broader economy and different market areas, sales volumes and industry segments. For the month ending July 31, 2016 vs. 2015, respondents reported a median sales drop of -3.8%. For the calendar year-to-date, respondents reported a median sales growth of 5.0%. Respondents reported a median increase in sales of 4.7% for the trailing twelve months ending July 31, 2016. Inventory rose 0.6% for July, 2016 vs. 2015. The median Three-Months Average Days Sales Outstanding rose to 44.7 days for July. Nearly half (49%) of the participants reported an increase in gross margin percentages for July, 2016 vs. 2015. Company YTD Profit Before Tax increased for 49% of the respondents. Fifty-two percent (52%) of the respondents reported having more Full-time Equivalent Employees vs. a year ago.More

Develop Your Firm's Strategic Plan at NETWORK2016
American Supply Association
What is the vision for your company for the future? These days, companies are almost always focused on the NOW. On Wednesday, September 28 at NETWORK2016 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York, industry expert Brent Grover will help you to shift that mindset. Not only will you learn about organizing a strategic planning project specifically tuned for wholesale distribution, but also how to gather the needed information, build a one-page plan, and accomplish the final step - execution. Grover brings a wealth of knowledge and experience. His book, The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors, is based on his firm’s strategic projects and is the basis for this session. Save $100 Per Company Attendee by Registering Prior to August 29.More

ASA to Develop a Codes and Standards Committee
American Supply Association
In an effort to address many of the critical issues facing ASA members in the Codes and Standards arena, the association is in the process of creating a Codes and Standards Committee. The committee will not only discuss and address the issues directly affecting members at their firms, but also across the industry as a whole. The scope of the Codes and Standards Committee is to review and discuss plumbing, HVAC, hydronics and PVF codes as well as standards and regulatory activities. The Committee will provide a report of underlying issues in the form of proposals or comments for appropriate Committee consideration.More

Why Should Someone Work for You?
ASA Careers
First off, you should absolutely have a link on your homepage to a Careers & Job Opportunities page. This landing page should have everything that a job seeker needs to understand the type of company you are and the options available for them. We’re not talking about your company history. Convince them WHY someone should want to work for your company. Job seekers today are looking for fast-paced environments with room for growth and advancement, which is exactly what the PHCP-PVF industry has to offer. However, you need to spell that out for them, and show them potential positions and career paths. For some additional recommendations for your Careers page, take a look at the article, ‘6 Tips to Improve Your Corporate Careers Website’. For more workforce recruitment resources, visit ASA’s Careers page at www.asa.net/Careers. More

Free Manufacturer Training From ASA-U
American Supply Association
ASA University has partnered with industry manufacturers to offer their product-specific training in ASA-U Online. Now member distributors can expand beyond general product knowledge to the specific products being sold, all in one location. Check out the selection of over 85 courses from 16 manufacturing brands, all at no cost, HERE!

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F.W. Webb's Coutermarsh to Receive ASA IPD Award of Excellence
Supply House Times
The Executive Council of the American Supply Association’s Industrial Piping Division (IPD) recently announced Ernie Coutermarsh, senior vice president for industrial business development with Bedford, Mass.-based F. W. Webb Co., has been selected to receive the IPD Award of Excellence. The award will be presented to Coutermarsh during the IPD Breakfast sponsored by Anderson Metals Corp., on Thursday morning, Sept. 29, at NETWORK2016 in New York City.More

Best Practices for Employers of Choice
American Supply Association
All of us feel challenged when it comes to attracting the best possible new talent to look at the careers and jobs our companies have to offer amongst those from other employers, like the tech companies that we believe are more inviting or attractive. But the fact of the matter is that businesses throughout OUR industry DO provide opportunities and environments that are more in line than any of us think with what younger workers seek. Learn more and be sure to RSVP by August 23rd.More

Do You Know What's Happening in Washington and How it Affects You?
American Supply Association
Join us on Tuesday, August 23rd at 10:00am Central for this free webinar on Updates from Washington brought to you by ASA Women In Industry. With so much uncertainty in the future of the economy and the leadership in D.C., it is now more important than ever to stay informed and prepare for the days ahead. Join Dan Hilton, ASA Director of Government Affairs, as he provides a Preview of the 2016 General Election Landscape and the Battle for the White House, Highlights of Key Senate and House Match-ups, A Review of Key Regulatory Changes Taking Effect in the President's Final Term, and an Update on Outstanding Issues Congress Must Still Tackle This Year. REGISTER NOWMore

Stop Trying to Differentiate to Unleash Your Financial Performance
Dirk Beveridge, UnleashWD
Too often when distributors are looking for that edge or that competitive advantage, our first reaction is to focus on “differentiation.” In fact, my research shows that many distributors attach their definition of innovation to their company’s ability to differentiate itself in the marketplace. It’s important to rethink this. When differentiation is your focus, understand that you are focused on two entities: your own company and your competitors. What’s missing in this equation? Well, the customer is missing. Click here for discounted UnleashWD registration information for ASA members.More

Read the Latest from Morris Beschloss on USA Today
American Supply Association
This week's news: Is regulatory overkill hurting economic growth? (The Desert Sun)

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

6 Surprising Insights of Successful Employee Engagement
Fast Company
Finally, leaders are now convinced one of their last remaining competitive advantages lies with their people. Businesses have begun to signal to workers that their needs will now be honored on a scale only previously reserved for customers and shareholders. Raising employee engagement has become one of the highest priorities for organizations all around the globe, according to a 2015 Conference Board CEO study.

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

Which Candidate Will Cause Employment Costs to Rise? The Answer May Surprise You
Gene Marks
There is no question that the cost of employing someone has increased and will continue to increase in the coming years. Just look at what’s going on ... The average wage increase in 2016 is projected to be about 2.7%, according to a report from the human resources firm Korn Ferry. This trend is likely to continue. A total of 30 states and Washington, D.C., already pay higher minimum wages than what is required under Federal law and data from the Society for Human Resource Management reveals that although the Federal minimum wage remains at $7.25 per hour, minimum wages in individual states have increased more than 6% in 2016. More