ASA Insights
Nov. 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving from the American Supply Association
American Supply Association
The staff of the American Supply Association would like to wish all of our industry friends a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday. In recognition of the holiday, ASA offices will be closed Thursday, Nov. 22, and Friday, Nov. 23. Normal office hours will resume Monday, Nov. 26.More

Weak Economy: Midwest Distributors Told How to Cope
American Supply Association
Better learn how to tack against the wind because a gale-force economy is nowhere on the horizon. That was the gist of a presentation from Chairman & CEO of NIBCO Rex Martin (pictured right) at the 2012 Annual Meeting & Fall Industry Dinner for the Midwest Distributors Association (MwDA) on Nov. 12 in suburban Chicagoland, which was also, coincidentally, NIBCO's 108th anniversary.More

Registration Open for 2013 University of Industrial Distribution
American Supply Association
Registrations are now being accepted for the 2013 University of Industrial Distribution. Held March 10-13 in Indianapolis, UID is a four-day institute that offers superb concentrated learning and excellent peer-to-peer networking. With distribution-specific seminars covering sales, finance, management, leadership, personnel productivity, and more presented by recognized experts in the field of wholesale distribution, the UID has become this industry's most popular training resource. The program provides an excellent opportunity to align the development plans for your management and management candidates with excellent learning opportunities. Enrollment is limited and space fills quickly so register early!More

HHS Releases Rules Requiring Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage
The Hill
The Obama administration released new regulations Tuesday that require insurance companies to cover people with pre-existing conditions. The new rules represent one of the first steps taken by the Health and Human Services Department to implement some of the most popular — and most expensive — provisions of President Barack Obama's signature healthcare law.More

Housing Starts Hit Four-Year High in October
Housing starts rose to their highest rate in more than four years in October, suggesting the housing market recovery was gaining steam, even though permits for future construction fell. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday housing starts increased 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 894,000 units — the highest since July 2008. September's starts were revised down to show a 863,000-unit pace instead of the previously reported 872,000 units. Economists had expected groundbreaking to slow to a 840,000-unit rate last month.More

Industrial Production Down 0.4% in October
Modern Distribution Management
Industrial production declined 0.4% in October after having increased 0.2% in September, according to the Federal Reserve. Superstorm Sandy, which held down production in the Northeast region at the end of October, is estimated to have reduced the rate of change in total output by nearly 1 percentage point. The largest estimated storm-related effects included reductions in the output of utilities, chemicals, food, transportation equipment and computers and electronic products.More

PwC: Industrial Manufacturing M&A Activity Rebounds
Industrial Distribution
Overall merger and acquisition (M&A) activity soared in the industrial manufacturing sector during the third quarter of 2012, according to Assembling Value, a quarterly analysis of M&A activity in the global industrial manufacturing industry by PwC US. Total deal value reached $25 billion, up 32% from $19 billion in the previous quarter, and up 150% from $10 billion in the third quarter of 2011. It was the highest total transaction value for the industrial manufacturing sector in four years.More

Manufacturers Waking Up to Potential of 'Dream It, Do It' to Attract Younger Workers
The Buffalo News
Manufacturers are determined to close the "skills gap" they say exists between the job openings they have and the job seekers who are not qualified for them. With an aging manufacturing workforce, the drive to close the gap has taken on greater urgency. Enter a program called "Dream It, Do It," coming soon to some Buffalo Niagara, N.Y.-area high schools. It's designed to expose young people to careers in advanced manufacturing, knock down stereotypes about those jobs and, ideally, attract employees of the future.More

Nonprofit Helping Manufacturers Rebuild from Devastation of Sandy
New Jersey manufacturers slammed by Hurricane Sandy are finding relief from the nonprofit New Jersey Manufacturing Extension Program, which is connecting companies with crucial resources — from roofers to electrical engineers — who can bring heavy machinery back online. John W. Kennedy, NJMEP chief operating officer, said emails initially went out to 6,900 New Jersey manufacturers and, so far, NJMEP has worked directly with about 500 of them.More