ASA Insights
Dec. 6, 2012

Affordable Care Act Moves Forward
American Supply Association
A number of voters had hoped that this year's elections might give them renewed optimism that the president's signature law might get rolled back. It should go without saying that is unlikely to happen. While millions of Americans, business owners and beneficiaries of federal programs wait in anticipation as the fate of the "fiscal cliff" is decided, rules and regulations are being written to implement the Affordable Care Act. 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

'Fill this Truck' Hurricane Sandy Relief Effort Update
Security Plumbing & Heating Supply
Several weeks ago, Security Plumbing & Heating Supply, an ASA member based in Selkirk, N.Y., began a drive to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy with their "Fill This Truck" campaign. The result was two full tractor trailers, an $8,100 check delivered to the Community Food Bank in Hillsdale, N.J., and a separate truck of clothes distributed to other charities. Click here for more details. More

Fastenal Reaches Astronomical Growth Despite Pedestrian Image
The Desert Sun
While most stock market aficionados are enchanted with high tech (Apple, Google, Facebook, etc.), the Wall Street crowd hardly pays attention to the multitude of "bread and butter" equities engaged in the dull and dreary preoccupation of making money by distributing the everyday components that are the necessity for every aspect of manufacturing, construction, maintenance, and product adhesion, without which industry, as a whole, would come to a standstill.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

Copper Near Six-Week High; China Recovery Hopes Support
Copper was little changed Tuesday, hovering near a six-week high hit the previous session on optimism that top copper consumer China is on the road to recovery, but concern over U.S. economic and fiscal issues kept prices in check. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was untraded in rings but was bid at $8,010 a tonne in official rings, from Monday's close at $8,005. The metal, used in power and construction, hit its highest level since Oct. 19 at $8,045 on Monday, after data showed the pace of activity in China's manufacturing sector quickened for the first time in 13 months in November, adding to evidence its economy is reviving.More

Executive Wage and Salary Report
Brooke Chase Associates
Brooke Chase Associates Inc. conducted an analysis of compensation levels and practices for selected executive positions in the multibillion-dollar building products industry. Finding the best balance of benefits, salary, bonuses, and stock options and then implementing a compensation strategy are important to attracting, motivating and retaining key employees, and as such this survey can be an instrumental tool.More

Construction Spending in US Increases More than Forecast
Construction spending climbed almost three times more than forecast in October, reflecting broad-based gains that signal the industry is poised to make a bigger contribution to economic growth. The 1.4% rise was the biggest since May and followed a 0.5% advance in September, the Commerce Department reported in Washington. The reading exceeded all 45 estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists, in which the median projection was for a 0.5% increase. Home construction jumped to the highest level since November 2008.More

Manufacturing Sector Contracts in November 2012
Modern Distribution Management
The manufacturing sector contracted in November, following two months of modest expansion, according to the latest Manufacturing Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management. The Purchasing Managers Index registered 49.5%, a decrease of 2.2 percentage points from October's reading of 51.7%, indicated contraction for the fourth time in the past six months. The reading was the lowest level since July 2009 when the PMI registered 49.2%. However, the other indices were still positive, especially in new orders and production, but still reflect concern over the "fiscal cliff" issue in Washington.More

Thomas L. Friedman: If You Have the Skills, She Has the Job
The New York Times
Traci Tapani is not your usual CEO. For the past 19 years, she and her sister have been co-presidents of Wyoming Machine, a sheet metal company they inherited from their father in Stacy, Minn. New York Times columnist Thomas L. Friedman met Tapani at a meeting convened by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to discuss one of its biggest challenges today: finding the skilled workers that employers need to run local businesses. Here's what she had to say.More

A Tale of 2 Companies: Consolidation in the Global Steel Industry
Seeking Alpha
Countries worldwide are scrambling to build new steel mills. It's been reported that by 2016, approximately 100 new mills will be coming online globally. Some of the countries where mills will be added include Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and Vietnam. The governments of these countries, uniformly, see adding steel mills as a way to cut imports, be able to provide steel to their country's manufacturers and stimulate their industrial development.More

Authorities Recover $1.25 Million in Stolen Copper
The Arizona Republic
The Arizona Department of Public Safety seized an estimated $1.25 million in raw copper that was addressed to China after investigating an Arizona company that stole the raw copper and shipped them to a California warehouse, according to authorities. On Sept. 27, DPS discovered about 49 copper ingots in a trailer behind a vehicle at a traffic stop on Interstate 10 according to DPS spokesperson Carrick Cook said. Copper ingots are unrefined copper plates with pieces of gold and silver that weigh about 880 pounds.More