ASA Insights
Sept. 8, 2011

REMINDER: Conference Appointment Scheduler to Run Through NetworkASA 2011
American Supply Association
Attention all NetworkASA 2011 attendees! For your convenience, we are keeping the Facetime Appointment Scheduler software live and open all the way through NetworkASA 2011. This will allow you to make last-minute changes up until it is time for your appointments. Also as a reminder, we ask that distributors refrain from making appointments with those manufacturing companies NOT participating in the conference appointments on Thursday. We want to protect the investment of those manufacturers who have invested to see you one on one. As a final reminder, please remember to complete and print out your Wholesaler and Vendor Conference Appointments schedule to take with you to your meetings. We look forward to seeing you in less than one week at the Bellagio!More

'Don't Leave Profit on the Table' Webinar Replay Available
American Supply Association
Last month, Tom Noon with Industry Insights Inc. presented a webinar titled Don't Leave Profit on the Table: Using the ASA OPR. Highlights from this year's study were reviewed, including a variety of key performance measures relative to industry profit leaders. Conclusions from different case analyses were also shared. If you want to understand your company's operating strengths and weaknesses, and identify opportunities for operational improvement, ASA's Operating Performance Report is an easy-to-understand and actionable tool with the most complete, accurate and up-to-date comparative financial performance information available for the PHCP and PVF industry. Click here to purchase a copy of the 2011 edition of the OPR and for a link to last month's webinar replay and PowerPoint presentation. Contact Chris Murin at 312-464-0090, ext. 204, or cmurin@asa.net for more information about any of benchmarking available in ASA's suite of intelligence reports.More

Obama Preparing $300 Billion Jobs Package
CNN
President Barack Obama is preparing to roll out a roughly $300 billion plan to strengthen the shaky economy and stimulate new job growth, Democratic sources said. The plan would be paid for partly by closing corporate loopholes and raising taxes on the wealthiest Americans in the future, one Democrat familiar with the plan told CNN. Obama is expected to unveil his proposal — focused largely on infrastructure spending, targeted tax cuts and aid to state and local governments — during an evening address to a joint session of Congress.More

Report Urges Manufacturers to Rethink Supply Chain Strategies
IndustryWeek
A new PwC report warns manufacturers to rethink their supply chain strategies in the current climate of instability. "Supply chains and the manufacturing industry have been on a roller coaster ride," says Barry Misthal, global leader of PwC's Industrial Manufacturing. Misthal says many manufacturers haven't determined "who their high-risk suppliers are or where the cracks and loose chinks are in their supply chains."More

Does America Need Manufacturing?
The New York Times
You can drive almost anywhere in the state of Michigan — pick a point at random and start moving — and you soon will come upon the wreckage of American industry. If you happen to be driving on the outer edge of Midland, you'll also come upon a cavern of steel beams and ductwork, 400,000 square feet in all. When this plant, which is being constructed by Dow Kokam, a new venture partly owned by Dow Chemical, is up and running early next year, it will produce hundreds of thousands of advanced lithium-ion battery cells for hybrid and electric cars. Just as important, it will provide about 350 jobs in a state with one of the nation's highest unemployment rates.More

Manufacturing in US Probably Contracted for First Time Since July 2009
Bloomberg
U.S. manufacturing probably shrank in August for the first time in two years, raising the risk the slowing recovery may lose one of its biggest sources of strength, economists said. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index fell to 48.5 last month from 50.9 in July, according to the median estimate of 80 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The dividing line between expansion and contraction is 50, a level that the gauge last fell below in July 2009. Slower global growth, volatile financial markets and the debate over government budgets around the world have clouded the outlooks of corporations and consumers.More