ASA Insights
Nov. 18, 2010

Profitability, Inventories Up on Large Sales Growth in October
American Supply Association
For the sixth consecutive month, ASA members have reported growth, showing an 8.1 percent improvement in per-workday revenues during the month of October 2010 as compared to the same month in 2009, and down only 8.0 percent against 2008. The plumbing, heating, cooling and pipe, valves and fitting distributors are now ahead of 2009 year to date by 1.1 percent on a per-day basis. As there was one fewer workday in October 2010 than in 2009, and two fewer than in 2008, the raw monthly revenues for the industry members were up 3.3 percent for the month vs. 2009 and down 17.1 percent compared to two years ago.More

Report Examines Effect of Global Manufacturing, Consumption on Growth of US Ports and Distribution
NAIOP via SupplyChainBrain
Global shifts in manufacturing, consumption trends and international competition are three leading factors that will shape the future of goods movement and the demand for warehouse and distribution space, according to a report issued by the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties Research Foundation. Sponsored by the foundation and prepared by Curtis Spencer and Steve Schellenberg with IMS Worldwide Inc. in Webster, Texas, the full report, "Trends in Global Manufacturing, Goods Movement and Consumption, and Their Effect on the Growth of United States Ports and Distribution," is available for complimentary download at www.naioprf.org.More

Want to Increase Your Profits? Training is the Solution!
American Supply Association
It's a known fact that training protects your profits from profit-killing behavior. Having an informed employee who understands the products you sell, the basics of the distribution business and how their decisions affect your company's profitability is crucial to your success. And as a member of ASA, you have a powerful ally in the ASA Education Foundation, whose courses include profit builders for your company. Whether you are starting from the ground level or working to refresh a current training program, the Education Foundation's staff has been helping ASA members develop and improve employee training programs for years. And with the new learning management system — ASAU Online — now in place, we not only offer the training programs and the expertise, but access to a centralized system that tracks employee progress and performance (another FREE benefit for ASA members!)More

Technologies to Counteract Rising Manufacturing Energy Costs
Factory Maintenance
With the introduction of the carbon tax next year expected to increase energy costs, it is important for manufacturers to seek new technologies to reduce their operating costs and their carbon footprint. What many don't realize is that energy in the manufacturing sector is the single largest operating and maintenance expense. According to Rod Ellsworth, vice president of global asset sustainability with Infor, energy costs are 60 to 80 percent of operating and maintenance expense in many manufacturing sectors, including food, chemical, metal and pharmaceuticals.More

ASA Members Total 33 Percent of UID Registrants
American Supply Association
Registration for the University of Industrial Distribution opened last month, and to date, ASA members represent one-third of the total registrants for this program. "Historically, ASA has led the way in UID registrations, and year after year our association finishes first or second in the number of individuals attending," shares Amy Black, executive director of the ASA Education Foundation. Find out what these ASA members know that you don't, and send your company's future leaders to this outstanding program of concentrated learning and excellent peer-to-peer networking. Be sure to register as an ASA member!More

How to Lead When There's Still No Good News
Forbes
Government economists insist that America is in recovery. The Labor Department tells us that 151,000 jobs were created last month, after four months of steady losses. Wall Street compensation is inching up, we're told. Yet 15 million people remain unemployed, and many who have held onto their jobs are struggling with tough conditions, bigger workloads and pay cuts that look permanent. More bad news seems to lurk in the shadows. How are you supposed to inspire your workers when the economic outlook, at your company as well as in the country as a whole, remains so discouraging? What do you do if you have to deliver still more bad news?More

New Member Spotlight on Wilkinson Supply Co. Inc.
American Supply Association
ASA welcomes Wilkinson Supply Company, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., as one of its newest members in 2010. For more than 40 years, the company has been in the plumbing distribution business with three locations, including decorative kitchen and bath showrooms, serving contractors, designers, builders and homeowners in Raleigh, Durham and Carrboro, N.C.More

Will Clean Energy Manufacturing Create US Jobs?
RenewableEnergyWorld.com
In the U.S., manufacturing jobs have slipped to level not seen since before 1945. From 2000 to 2009, manufacturing in the U.S. shed upwards of 7 million jobs. It's no wonder that politicians across the country are hoping that the promise of the new clean energy economy will result in a restoration of a strong manufacturing base in the U.S. Of course, it's not that easy. In the solar industry, where the potential for millions manufacturing jobs exist, much of the "heavy lifting" is being done in Asia, according to Robert Lahey, a vice president at Ardour Capital. He said that for many clean energy technologies, the U.S.'s competitive advantage forever might be lost to China.More