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We Are In The Post-Industrial Economy

April 21, 2014 | by Mike Collins, Saving American Manufacturing | Comments

From the point of view of economists, owners, and managers of the Fortune 500 companies, manufacturing is growing. For them, profitability has been good, stock prices are up, and they are producing almost as many goods and services with 5 million fewer workers. Life is good!

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Today in Distribution

The complete daily resource for distribution professionals

3D Printing, Digital Execution, & The Manufacturing Renaissance

April 21, 2014 10:20 am | by Kimberly Knickle, Practice Director, IT Priorities & Strategies, IDC Manufacturing Insights

Given the fact that the companies we call manufacturers today do less and less of their own manufacturing, and are in many cases more like general contractors, will 3D printing change the way they work with their suppliers?         

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Can Wal-Mart's Supplier Sustainability Index Translate To The Industrial Segment?

April 18, 2014 9:29 am | by Robert Kravitz, AlturaSolutions Communications

Nearly 10 years ago, Wal-Mart launched a major sustainability program impacting the majority of its stores. While good for the environment and helping to promote sustainablity, Wal-Mart also found these changes lowered the company’s costs. Wal-Mart realized that if its vendors and suppliers could take similar steps, they too might be able to reduce operating costs.

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Lean And Beyond: Increasing The Awareness Of MRO

April 16, 2014 5:00 pm | by George Krauter, Storeroom Solutions, Inc.

The recognition that a world-class MRO operation is a necessary component of reliable equipment is essential. Subsequently, awareness is not enough; the ability to actually implement change is critical to produce a competitive and reliable product.

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MSC Sees Improvement In Manufacturing, Government Sales

April 16, 2014 9:36 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor

Jack Keough weighs in on MSC Industrial Direct's second quarter earnings, including MSC's President and CEO Erik Gershwind's comments to financial analysts that manufacturing, particularly the metalworking sector, has “improved considerably” from what had been occurring during the past 18 months.

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Why Distributors Need Sales & Operations Planning

April 11, 2014 10:07 am | by Herb Shields, Partner, The Distributor Board, LLC

Sales and Operations Planning, as its name implies, is a process that brings all the departments from sales at one end to suppliers at the other together in a way that allows for significant improvement in company results.                   

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Why Should You Invest In A Cloud ERP System?

April 10, 2014 9:58 am | by Pat Garrehy, Rootstock Software, Founder and CEO

There have been a series of articles on this subject and the topic is covered in almost every software manufacturer’s PowerPoint presentation to a new prospect. The truth is that every company has a unique set of circumstances and will require its own way to justify a major project. In general, a good approach is to look at the investment from both a quantitative and qualitative perspective.

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How Booksellers Are Competing With Amazon

April 8, 2014 5:55 pm | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor

I attended a panel this past weekend where independent bookstore owners discussed the book-selling in today’s economy: what it looks like, the struggles they face, and the overall feel of the marketplace. Throughout the hour-long discussion, I couldn’t help but think how similar the situation was to what distributors are facing today.

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Where Is Your Organization With Regard To Item Stratification?

April 7, 2014 3:18 pm | by Brad Vance, Senior Business Process Consultant, Epicor Software

Most companies stratify their items in some shape or form, but few apply more than a single or dual data point methodology. Stratifying the items that your company stocks can help create focus on the products that are currently carried and are doing well, versus the ones that have fallen into the “black hole” of slowmoving and dead inventory.

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Just How Bad Are America’s Infrastructure Problems?

April 7, 2014 2:48 pm | by Mike Collins, Saving American Manufacturing

Ever since the Great Recession, there has been a debate about investing in rebuilding our infrastructure to create new jobs. But just what is infrastructure and how much of it needs to be repaired or replaced?            

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Back To Life: An Innovative Approach To Moving Dead Inventory

April 7, 2014 10:55 am | by Ron Nuñez, President & COO, IBC

Every industrial distributor deals with the looming problem of dead inventory at the end of every period. Yet, even though they know that the less inventory they have the better off their business is, the task of actually moving dead inventory is easier said than done.

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Getting More Entrenched In Your Supply Chain Is A Few Clicks Away

April 3, 2014 4:01 pm | by Steve Leavitt, General Manager of U.S. Cloud Solutions, ExactOnline

An entrenched distributor, for example, would likely be in the driver’s seat, capable of straddling manufacturers and customers and calling the shots to their strategic benefit. The stuck distributor, on the other hand, probably has fewer options and is at risk of being marginalized or, even worse, being squeezed out of the supply chain altogether.

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The Lies That Hold Us Back

April 2, 2014 4:22 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor

Executive Editor Anna Wells discusses the lies we tell ourselves that ultimately hold our businesses back.                                 

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Jack Keough: A Talent For Management

April 1, 2014 12:08 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor

It’s a waste of time for many companies to hire a manager who isn’t cut out for the job or try to adapt them to the role without proper mentoring and training.                

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7 Online Marketing Ideas To Embrace Now

March 31, 2014 1:10 pm | by Bob DeStefano, President of SVM E-Marketing Solutions

Online marketing represents a tremendous opportunity for growth for your company, as more business is conducted online now more than ever before. Here are seven online marketing ideas you should embrace to be successful.          

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Going Green Can Put Your Business In The Black

March 17, 2014 2:59 pm | by Dan Labell, President & Owner, Westfalia Technologies, Inc.

Efforts at reducing carbon emissions, recycling and purchasing green products serve as common examples of ways in which many businesses try to be more eco-friendly. However, more and more firms are finding that automating their warehouses and distribution centers offers a great way to go green while adding efficiencies and savings to operations.

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Case Study: Improved Efficiency On The Home Front

March 17, 2014 2:19 pm | by Michael Schratz, VP of Marketing at Dialight

Earlier this year, Huron strengthened their commitment to reducing energy consumption by converting interior and exterior lighting in their heating and cooling facility from traditional HID to LED fixtures – the most efficient technology available today.

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3 Inbound Shipping Challenges Logistics Executives Face Which Impact The Entire Supply Chain

March 17, 2014 12:45 pm | by Adam Robinson, Director of Marketing, Cerasis

If you’re looking to save costs on shipping, take a look at inbound shipping. Depending on the industry and size of the company, a business can spend more than 40% of its annual freight budget on inbound shipping, according to the Aberdeen Group.

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Rebuilding U.S. Manufacturing Jobs

March 14, 2014 4:23 pm | by Jon Minnick, Associate Editor, Manufacturing Business Technology

There were two big announcements last week in the push for the creation and reshoring of American manufacturing jobs.                                          

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Millenials Want To Ruin Everything

March 14, 2014 4:15 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor

Do Millennials really wield the power to tank every business with their reported anti-consumerism? Are they really as entitled and indifferent as we’d like to believe? My bet is that they’re just broke.         

Helping Distributors Unleash Innovation Amidst A Storm Of Disruption

March 13, 2014 5:16 pm | by Ranga Bodla, Director of Industry Marketing, NetSuite

When you combine all the factors, it’s easy to predict that traditional “feet on the street” distributors will need to evolve to survive. The sooner they innovate, the better the chance to prevent irreversible customer churn that is typical when disruptive technologies like AmazonSupply.com hit their stride.

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