ASA Insights
Nov. 29, 2012

Distributor Size Makes Substantial Difference in October
American Supply Association
October 2012 showed quite different YTD performance for those ASA distributor members with annual revenues of less than $10 million versus those with over $125 million. Smaller members are down in revenues, are reducing employment, and have flat inventories and profitability. With this being said, their margins are up. In contrast, large members' revenues are up double digits, with nearly all reporting increased employment. In addition, inventories are up 8.8% and profitability is up; however, margins are flat. It appears those who are investing in people, being aggressive in pricing and growing inventories are taking market share and turning greater profits from those investments. More

PVF Roundtable to Kickoff 2013 at New Venue
American Supply Association
In the wake of record attendance increases for all four of the PVF Roundtable's quarterly sessions this past year, the organization has successfully concluded arrangements with the J.W. Marriott Houston to accommodate further expansion during 2013. Houston-based PVF Roundtable encompasses all aspects of the estimated annual $50 billion PVF sector, including manufacturers, distributors, end-users, turnkey contractors, and specifiers.More

ASA Applauds Introduction of Metal Theft Prevention Act of 2012
American Supply Association
ASA thanks U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., for their introduction of S. 3631, the Metal Theft Prevention Act of 2012. Deterring metal theft, specifically copper, has been a key priority for the PHCP and PVF industry. ASA appreciates the senators' leadership in this critical yet under-addressed area of crime prevention. To see ASA's letter of thanks to Sen. Klobuchar, click here. More

University of Industrial Distribution Delivers Top-Notch Education from Industry Experts
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 more than 30 seminars covering sales, finance, management, leadership, personnel productivity, channel alignment 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. Open to both distributors and manufacturers. There is limited enrollment and space fills quickly, so register early! More

Industry Friend Cassidy Passes
Quad-City Times
Longtime industry friend John Cassidy, 76, formerly of Ferguson Enterprises, passed away unexpectedly Nov. 19. Cassidy began in the industry with A.Y. MacDonald, then throughout his career moved on to work for J.D. Mott and Thrall, then finished his career with Ferguson after the company was purchased by Thrall. Memorial services for Cassidy were held Nov. 23 in Bettendorf, Iowa. Online remembrances and condolences may be expressed to the family by visiting his obituary here.More

2013 Economic Outlook Webcast Dec. 13
Modern Distribution Management
Many distributors are reporting lower-than-expected sales growth in the second half of 2012 compared with a year ago. The culprit? Uncertainty due to the November elections and nervousness over inaction on critical tax issues, defense spending and the deficit. Andrew Duguay, senior economist for the Institute for Trend Research, will take a closer look at what's happened over the past year in the U.S. and Canadian economies and will present his forecast for 2013 in a popular annual webcast offered by Modern Distribution Management.More

New Home Sales Stagnant, Cast Shadow on Housing
New U.S. single-family home sales fell slightly in October and the prior month's pace of sales was revised sharply lower, casting a faint shadow over one of the brighter spots in the U.S. economy. The Commerce Department said on Wednesday sales dropped 0.3% last month to a 368,000-unit annual rate, while September's sales pace was revised to 369,000 from 389,000. The housing sector has been a point of relative strength this year in an economy beset by flagging business confidence and cooling demand from abroad.More

Consumer Confidence Highest in Four-and-a-Half Years
The Associated Press via Industrial Distribution
U.S. consumer confidence rose this month to its highest level in almost five years, pushed up by steady improvement in hiring. The Conference Board says its consumer confidence index rose to 73.7 in November from 73.1 in October. Both are the best readings since February 2008.More

New Orders for Durable Goods Flat in October
Modern Distribution Management
New orders for manufactured durable goods in October were flat at $216.9 billion, compared to $216.95 billion in September, the U.S. Census Bureau announced in its Advance Report. This followed a 9.2% September increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.5%. Excluding defense, new orders increased 0.1%. Machinery, up two consecutive months, had the largest increase, $900 million or 2.9% to $30.9 billion.More

Mary Andringa: US Manufacturing Experiencing a Renaissance
NBC News Rock Center
The United States may have shifted to a postindustrial economy, but that does not mean the manufacturing sector is dead. Far from it. From coast to coast, manufacturers are making more products, but with fewer people, as the sector makes an improbable rebound after a tough recession. "I think it's a time of great opportunity in manufacturing," Mary Andringa, chair of the National Association of Manufacturers, said. "What's really outstanding is the fact that in 2010 the U.S. had an output of $4.8 trillion of manufactured goods. That was up from $4.1 trillion in 2000."More