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Q&A: Unleashing Your Future With A B2B E-commerce Strategy

April 21, 2014 | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor | Comments

Creating and implementing an e-commerce strategy is a hot topic with distributors. Today we’re asking Linda Taddonio - the e-commerce Strategy Officer at Insite Software and one of the speakers at the Distribution and Manufacturing Profitability Forum - some of the most burning questions we hear from you regarding e-commerce strategy.

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Supply Chain Network Design: Is There Really A Blueprint for Success?

April 14, 2014 10:51 am | by Dale Pickett, Director, Supply Chain Consulting at Tompkins International

Supply chain optimization, like lifestyle changes, do not happen overnight. They are ongoing processes marked by continuous improvement and a few ups and downs. But in both situations, it’s essential to have a blueprint for success.         

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Better On-The-Job Electrical Safety

April 10, 2014 9:46 am | by Christina Chatfield, Marketing Communications Manager, HARTING USA

Electricity is a crucial component in commercial and industrial environments because many business processes rely on electric-powered equipment. The prevalence of electrical equipment in the workplace can become an occupational hazard without safety awareness and precautionary practices in place.

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Protecting Workers From Eye Injuries

April 9, 2014 12:30 pm | by The American Academy Of Ophthalmology

About 40 percent of eye injuries in the workplace happen in construction, mining, and manufacturing, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. All workplace eye injuries cost an estimated $300 million a year in lost productivity, medical treatment, and worker compensation.

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Q&A: How To Leverage The Web And Grow Your Business

April 7, 2014 4:32 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor

Improving the profitability of your digital presence is a hot topic with distributors. Today we’re asking Curtis Alexander - a digital marketing consultant and one of the speakers at the Distribution and Manufacturing Profitability Forum - some of the most burning questions we hear from you regarding online growth.

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A Guide To The Modern Sales Organization Part 3: Hiring & Training For The Future

March 27, 2014 3:14 pm | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor

There are three areas that distributors need to consider when hiring and training their salesforce: company culture, educational opportunities, and keeping salespeople engaged.             

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What Is Your Value-Add-itude?

March 12, 2014 4:03 pm | by Tom Reilly, Author and Sales Trainer, TomReillyTraining.com

From which direction does your definition of value flow — from you to the customer, or from the customer to you? This is another way of saying: Through which lens do you view what you sell — your lens, or the customer’s lens? Do you see your product or services as value-added or value-received?

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A Brief Look At The History Of Vending Machine Technologies

March 6, 2014 9:33 am | by Danielle M., Blogger & Business Student

For most of their history, automated vending machines focused primarily on giving retail consumers quick access to products. Only recently have they merged with inventory tracking software to create more powerful and effective inventory control systems.

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Product Focus: Reeling in Safety

March 1, 2014 2:37 pm | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor

Application-specific reels are a simple solution that can make a big impact on a plant floor or jobsite. Any facility that wants to cut down on purchasing new hoses on a regular basis or work to eliminate accidents that involve tripping should take a step back and evaluate how well they are containing their hoses and cables.

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Product Focus: Bearing in Mind

March 1, 2014 2:31 pm | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor

Substitutions are often necessary on plant floors. Swapping out a hex nut for a square nut in a pinch is usually no big deal, but the same cannot be said of swapping out bearings. Bearings demand attention and accuracy. Luckily, the more technologically advanced the industry becomes, the better the solutions are and the more accurate manufacturers – and distributors – can be.

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Manufacturer's View: Addressing the Problem of Inexperience

March 1, 2014 2:26 pm | by Alan Sipe, President and GM, North America – KNIPEX Tools

With all these changes and advancements, the thing I see at many distributors that concerns me are the untrained and inexperienced employees who are being put in positions of responsibility and the revolving door of position tenure. We have huge distributor customers who change product managers as often as I change my socks!

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When a Reduction in Force is Necessary for the Health of Your business, Do it Right!

March 1, 2014 2:22 pm | by Fred Mendelsohn, Partner at Burke, Warren, Mackay & Serritella, P.C. in Chicago

Without a doubt, reductions in force (RIF) confront business owners and managers with having to make some of the most difficult decisions they might ever have to face. While one may dread the unfortunate effects of a RIF on one’s employees, their spouses and families, such effects can be the least of the challenges, as RIFs are laden with legal pitfalls as well.

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Distribution & Manufacturing Profitability Forum Announces Session Details

March 1, 2014 2:14 pm | by Industrial Distribution Staff

Industrial companies are at a crossroads. Global competition, domestic cost pressures, and the need to service customers faster and more effectively all serve as critical reasons manufacturers and distributors must innovate with profitability in mind — especially in an era where margins are tighter than ever.

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The Tax Planning Tool for Success

March 1, 2014 2:03 pm | by William H. Black, Jr. , Pension Services, Inc.

Running a successful business is fantastic. However, with success comes other issues like how to manage taxes. Many are aware of “qualified plans” or programs like 401(k) and Defined Benefit plans, which allow the sponsoring employer (you) to current income tax deductions for Plan contributions, tax deferred growth on Plan assets, asset protection under ERISA, and the ability to roll your account, income tax free, to your IRA.

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Relationships Are Still Important in Distribution

March 1, 2014 1:58 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor

When I walk into the restaurant, I’m always greeted with a warm good morning, my coffee is poured, and my order quickly entered. The food is good, the service is excellent, but its price is higher than the “new” diner located only a few streets away. Yet I choose to go to “my” restaurant, primarily because of the relationships I have developed.

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AmazonSupply: Two Years Later

March 1, 2014 1:55 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor

Now that some time has passed since Amazon made an aggressive play for the industrial B2B space with AmazonSupply, are industrial distributors any more clear on how they should be positioned to compete?                

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Turtle & Hughes: Innovate, Integrate

March 1, 2014 1:37 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor

In a blend of new and old school, Turtle & Hughes brings core competencies in several product categories to its integrated supply platform, creating a strategic advantage for its customers. Yet this aggressively competitive approach is all wrapped up in a homegrown, ESOP company where it’s not uncommon for an employee to spend a career.

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HVAC Distributor Outsources Billing To Stay Competitive

February 28, 2014 5:26 pm | by Billtrust

“For years we’ve been using mailing machines to invoice our accounts,” noted Mike Anderson, President of S.W. Anderson. “Every time our equipment broke down, the problems just got bigger."           

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How HD Supply Optimized The Efficiency & Agility Of The Supply Chain Governance Program

February 19, 2014 3:11 pm | by Susan Van Houten, Sr. Director of Global Sourcing & Sharon John, Director of Supplier Quality, HD Supply, Inc.

As one of the largest industrial distributors in North America, HD Supply oversees product inventories of more than one million SKUs. As the  company grew their SKU count and supplier base, tracking began to get increasingly complex and emails more difficult to manage.

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Clearing Up The Top Hazard Communication Misconceptions

February 4, 2014 4:15 pm | by Cintas Corporation

OSHA recently revised its Hazard Communication standard to adopt the Globally Harmonized System of Classification and Labelling of Chemicals (GHS). To help organizations navigate HazCom requirements, Cintas Corporation debunks six popular HazCom/GHS myths.

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution Brings Challenges To Big Data

January 30, 2014 2:44 pm | by Mark Watson, Associate Director, Industrial Automation, IHS

The challenge for the fourth Industrial Revolution is the development of software and analytical systems that turn the deluge of data produced by intelligent factories into useful and valuable information, said Mark Watson, associate director for industrial automation at IHS.

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