ASA Insights
Sept. 22, 2011

New Sponsor at NetworkASA 2011 IPD Open House
American Supply Association
The Industrial Piping Division held an Open House during NetworkASA 2011 last week at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas. The event, sponsored by leading manufacturers in the PVF industry, was a tremendous success. Assisting in that success was one of our newest sponsors, Felker Brothers. Established in 1903 by two brothers, the company has grown into a premier source of stainless steel piping products and fabricated piping systems servicing major industries throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and elsewhere. Felker Brothers has manufacturing facilities in Marshfield, Wisc., and Glasgow, Ky. They are a strong supporter of ASA and the Industrial Piping Division, with a strong focus on delivery of their company motto of personal commitment to complete customer satisfaction. ASA thanks Felker Brothers for its support.More

No Rest for the Weary
American Supply Association
On the heels of last week's annual ASA convention in Las Vegas, staff members representing ASA and the ASA Education Foundation traveled to Indianapolis this week to attend the 2011 W.I.T. Fall Networking Meeting. "We are very excited to have been invited to attend this annual meeting of the W.I.T. owners and marketing professionals," said Chris Murin, ASA's Executive Director. "It represents a tremendous opportunity for us to recruit new members into the organization and meet directly with many current members to help them make the most of their membership." Also, special congratulations are in order for Modern Supply Co. — the overall WHAM! Award winner for 2011 (W.I.T. Honors Achievements in Marketing).More

ASA Members Report a Bang-Up August
American Supply Association
The fireworks have continued in third quarter 2011 with August blowing the doors off for American Supply Association members with a robust 13.6 percent increase in August 2011 per-day revenues as compared to the same month in 2010; up 21.8 percent as compared to 2009; and for the first time up 4.5 percent as compared to 2008. The plumbing, heating and pipe, valve and fitting distributors are up 9.7 percent YTD and 9.2 percent on a rolling 12-month basis. Geographically, these revenue growths are strong throughout the country, with the Texas market continuing to be the leader with an average growth of 39.0 percent for the month and now 19.4 percent YTD. The only market to report reduced sales is West Virginia where they showed a reduction in the month of 2.4 percent. The industrial PVF sector lit it up in August reporting a national 23.3 percent increase while the PHCP part of the industry came in with a very respectable increase of 10.6 percent.More

Obama Targets LIFO For Repeal
American Supply Association
As mentioned in last week's Insights, President Barack Obama has submitted his latest proposal for deficit reduction. As expected, the plan calls for new taxes on businesses, including the Last-In, First-Out (LIFO) method of accounting used by a number of ASA members. According to White House documents, a repeal of LIFO would bring in about $52 billion in revenue over the next decade. Specifically, under these assumptions, "for many businesses where the price of goods in inventory rise over time, like oil and gas companies, the LIFO approach allows firms to artificially lower their tax liability. The President's proposal would repeal the use of the LIFO accounting method for federal tax purposes, effective for taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2012."More

Copper Edges Higher on Hopes of EU Debt Progress
Dow Jones Newswires via Fox Business
Copper prices inched higher on hopes that a European finance ministers' meeting would tackle the region's debt crisis and a renewed focus on copper production disruptions. The most actively traded contract, for December delivery, was recently up 2.70 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $3.9840 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Thinly traded September-delivery copper was up 2.65 cents, or 0.7 percent, at $3.9715 a pound. Euro-zone finance ministers met last week for two days of talks in Poland in a bid to calm anxiety over the spread of sovereign debt problems in the region. Copper prices edged higher on hopes that the meeting would engender some decisive action among the group.More

US Manufacturers Look to Fast-Growing Laos
AFP via IndustryWeek
U.S. companies, whose investments trail far behind those of China, Vietnam and Thailand in communist Laos, are turning their attention to the poor but fast-growing nation. In May, the World Bank projected growth of 8.6 percent for Laos in 2011, with an average of 8 percent in years to come.More

Manufacturing's Wake-Up Call
strategy + business
U.S. manufacturing is at a moment of truth. Currently, U.S. factories competitively produce about 75 percent of the products that the nation consumes. A series of identifiable smart actions and choices by business leaders, educators and policymakers could lead to a robust, manufacturing-driven economic future and push that figure up to 95 percent, according to a new study. Alternatively, if the U.S. manufacturing sector remains neglected, its output could fall by half, meeting less than 40 percent of the nation's demand, and U.S. manufacturing capabilities could then erode past the point of no return.More