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ASA Home   Membership   Education   Advocacy   Networking   Benchmarking Feb. 21, 2013


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ASA Wholesalers Report Double-Digit Growth, No COLA
American Supply Association    Share   Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the third consecutive year, the American Supply Association distributor members started the year off with double-digit revenue growth. 2013 has begun with a robust 12.5% improvement in revenues as compared to 2012 and 7.7% growth when calculated on a per day revenue basis. This is up 16.7% as compared to 2011; up 29.7% to 2010; up 16.7% to 2009; and up 7.3% as compared to 2008. More

Darlington, ASA University Showroom Webinar Series Begins March 1
American Supply Association    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
All showroom personnel are invited to join Hank Darlington, author of ASA's popular Essentials of Profitable Showroom Sales© course, as he shares his knowledge on performing as a top notch sales consultant and facilitates a Q&A period during two upcoming webinar offerings. The first webinar series begins March 1 — with two 7-week sessions scheduled for March 1 – April 12 and July 10 – Aug 21. Participants will meet once a week for 45 minutes. Click here for more information.

Health Care Heats Up — Planning for 2014
American Supply Association    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Across the country, businesses large and small are planning for the coming changes as a result of the Affordable Care Act. This year alone resulted in a number of changes, largely through the tax code, which were easier to enact as opposed to establishing new programs as well as necessary to begin paying for the law. Some increases include a new 2.3% tax for medical devices and a 3.8% increase in rates on investment income on higher earners. As every business owner knows, when costs rise in one segment they are at risk of being passed on to other participants in the channel. More

Showroom Managers to Discuss Strategies, Challenges
American Supply Association    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
ASA's Showroom Managers Council is designed to allow participants to learn from "the experts" and network with peers to assist with business strategies and challenges within their own showrooms. The council will meet via conference call at 10 a.m. Central time Thursday, Feb. 28, to discuss plans for an upcoming in-person meeting, most likely to be held in conjunction with KBIS 2013 in April. All showroom managers are encouraged to participate on the call. Please lend your ideas and support to this important peer-to-peer networking council by contacting Ruth Mitchell at or 630-467-0000, ext. 210, for conference call login credentials.

Industry CFOs to Meet in Chicago to Identify Key Industry Trends, Performance
American Supply Association    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
ASA will be conducting a meeting of its CFO Networking Council on Friday, March 15, at the Omni Chicago Hotel. The council is a professional peer networking group designed to engage CFOs and others in like positions within our industry, and allows participants to connect, network, stay informed and ahead of industry trends. At the event, Tom Noon, Principal and Founder of Industry Insights, will be presenting a session titled Don't Leave Profits on the Table – Key ASA OPR Trends and Usage Tips for Profit Improvement. The session also will include an analysis of industry company profit leaders, with an emphasis on what has been learned from their successes. More

MwDA to Host Spring Networking Receptions in March
American Supply Association    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Midwest Distributors Association (MwDA) will host All-Industry Networking Receptions at several locations throughout the region next month.
  • Monday, March 11 – St. Louis
  • Tuesday, March 12 – Kansas City, Mo.
  • Wednesday, March 13 – Omaha, Neb.
  • Thursday, March 14 – Minneapolis
Click here for complete details available on the ASA Industry Calendar at, and be sure to RSVP by March 6.

Do Latest Statistics Foretell a Housing Comeback?
The Desert Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Morris Beschloss writes, "Of the many housing-related statistics pointing to a potential construction/sales comeback in the foreseeable future, the most impressive is the dwindling of existing single-family homes inventory. Since hitting the peak of nearly a one-year backlog in mid-2010, this number has been ratcheting downward, almost uninterruptedly to 4.4 months in December, 2012, at the present sales pace." More

ISM: Manufacturing Grew More than Forecast in January
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Manufacturing in the U.S. expanded more than forecast in January, reaching a nine-month high and showing the industry is starting to improve. The Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index climbed to 53.1 last month from December's 50.2, the Tempe, Ariz.-based group's report showed. Readings above 50 signal expansion. The figure exceeded the highest estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 86 economists. The median forecast was 50.7. More

Supreme Court to Hear Workers' Claims vs. U.S. Steel
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether union workers can be compensated for the time it takes for them to change in and out of safety gear. A group of 800 current and former hourly workers at a U.S. Steel plant in Gary, Ind., say they should be compensated for changing clothes because it is a key part of their job as steel workers. The court will decide what constitutes "changing clothes" under the Fair Labor Standards Act. More

Euro-Area Construction Drops for Second Month on German Slump
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Euro-area construction output declined for a second month in December as activity in Germany slumped the most in 10 months. Construction in the 17-nation euro area fell 1.7% from November, when production dropped 0.4%, the European Union's statistics office in Luxembourg said. From a year earlier, December output declined 4.8%. More

Manufacturing Jobs and the Rise of the Machines
Harvard Business Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Andrew McAfee writes, "The story of how technological progress is affecting employment — whether, in other words, the robots are eating our jobs — is clearly an important one. But who's telling it correctly? I believe that technological unemployment (and underemployment) is a real and growing phenomenon. But since Erik Brynjolfsson and I appeared on '60 Minutes' in January for 'March of the Machines,' a story that examined the labor force implications of advanced digital technologies like robots and other forms of automation, we've been accused of being unclear on the concept." More

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