ASA Insights
Aug. 26, 2010

Effective HR Practices Can Lead to Profit Building Behavior
Every day, industry companies state that "our people are our greatest asset." This is especially true in today's economic climate, where you depend on your employees more than ever to build profit. But we understand it's not always easy to make the time and resources to develop, train and set measurable goals for your valued employees. Thanks to an exciting profit-building tool from the ASA Education Foundation, it is not as difficult as you may think. The Employee Performance Improvement Tool Kit© will help you to tie your business goals to performance goals, allowing your employees to be focused, efficient and working profitably for your company. More

Have You Registered for NetworkASA 2010: THRIVE?
This year’s NetworkASA program is packed with speakers to inform and entertain. In addition — and not to be missed — are the one-on-one opportunities placing distributors in front of vendors in both formal and informal environments. Work has never been this much fun! Take time today to register for NetworkASA. The earlier your company is on the attendee list, the greater your return on investment. More

Distributors and Vendors: Are You Getting the Most Out of Your NetworkASA Registration?
How to make the most of your convention experience, Part 2 of 3

This week's convention highlights is the IPD Open House, being held on Wednesday, October 13. Why is this event important to IPD Members? Because it is the premier industry networking opportunity that caters exclusively to wholesalers and manufacturers operating in the industrial and mechanical PVF markets. This is the one place where IPD vendor members can meet with their IPD member wholesaler from across the United States. The Open House provides a great venue for conversations about products, services and business opportunities in a relaxed and productive setting — and everyone is together at one place, at one time with nothing else competing for your time. IPD member distributors know the convenience and value of seeing all their vendor partners at the same event. IPD vendor members know the value of saving time and travel costs by having their customers together at the same place.

Bottom line: IPD Distributors: plan on attending to support not only your bottom line but also that of your vendors that are paying to participate in the event. IPD Vendors: A concentration of customers in one place at one time. You must select this Vendor Add-on to take part in the event. Remember, if you are not there, your competitor will be. More

A Green Supply Chain Takes a Systems Thinking Approach and Patience
The Energy Collective
When working with organizations on environmental issues, some have discovered many things about supply chain management — contractors and suppliers often create environmental impacts, sometimes related to the nature of their product or work, sometimes by accident. Most organizations for some reason feel "powerless" to control their suppliers products, and many companies are constrained by cost factors. So when considering how to effectively manage and influence contractors and suppliers, raise expectations and take control of your supply chain, it may be valuable to take a "systems thinking" approach. Those that do realize that doing so may unlock significant revenue and cost savings potential.More

Supply Chain News: Are Manufacturers Really bringing Back Work to US?
Supply Chain Digest
It remains mostly anecdotal, but a growing number of major US companies seem to be repatriating some work sent offshore in recent years back to America. Enough to signal a real trend? That is unclear at best. But rising labor costs in China, threats to intellectual property, concern about the future value of the US currency, a desire for greater supply chain flexibility and other factors do seem to mean more than a few manufacturers are rethinking global production strategies.More

US Renewable Energy Developments to Double, Solar Costs Halved by ARRA Funding
Power-Gen Worldwide
The White House unveiled a new report, "The Recovery Act: Transforming the American Economy through Innovation," which says that because of the Recovery Act's $100 billion in investments, the U.S. is now on track to achieve four major innovation breakthroughs, including cutting the cost of solar power in half by 2015 and doubling U.S. renewable energy generation and manufacturing capacity by 2012. Recovery Act funds also help companies scale up manufacturing and deployment, both of which help to bring down costs of new technologies.More

Crown Unveils Fuel Cell Powered Forklift with In-dash Controls, Gauges
DC Velocity
Crown Equipment Corp. said it has rolled out the industry's first hydrogen fuel cell-powered lift truck with the fuel cell controls and gauges integrated into the truck's dashboard. Typically, controls and gauges like fuel-level indicators and start/stop buttons are located on the fuel cell. The traditional configuration requires the operator to stop the truck to access the control box and check the cell's condition and status. The new integrated design eliminates the need to stop the truck, thus boosting productivity by keeping the vehicles in operation, Crown said. More

DHL Pursues Lighting Retrofit to Reduce Carbon Footprint
Logistics Today
Logistics company DHL has launched a coordinated Lighting Retrofit Program at its Global Forwarding unit in the Americas region, as part of an interim target of reaching 5 percent carbon efficiency improvement by the end of 2010. The program will initially be rolled out in the United States before expanding to Canada and Mexico. As part of Deutsche Post DHL and its GoGreen climate protection program, DHL Global Forwarding has committed to improving its carbon efficiency by 30 percent by 2020.More

Freight Rates Rise to Two Month High
Financial Times
Freight rates surged to a two-month high as the global scramble for grain imports combined with resurgent demand from Chinese steelmakers. The Baltic Dry Index of shipping costs for dry bulk commodities — including iron ore, coal, grains and cement — has risen 67 percent in just over a month after it slid to its lowest since early 2009. Recently, it gained 3.1 percent to 2,841 points, the highest since mid-June. As uncertainty over the strength of the economic recovery is making investors wary, the BDI's rally will be seen as a bullish factor by some, who view it as a barometer for the health of the global economy.More