New unveilings from Grainger and Amazon had the industry's Internet abuzz over the past few days, while distributor thought leadership pieces on keeping a sales edge and partnering with manufacturers were other big items for ID.
Here's this week's Top 5, a day early in advance of Good Friday:
Grainger Introduces Choice Badge For Exclusive Products: Grainger, No. 3 on ID's 2014 Big 50 List, announced on Wednesday the Grainger Choice badge, which enables customers to quickly identify the right Grainger exclusive branded products to fit their needs. Customers visiting Grainger.com will now see the new Grainger Choice badge featured with exclusive products. Beginning in 2016, this badge also will be included in the Grainger catalog.
No Joke: Amazon's Dash Button Enables One-Push Ordering: On Tuesday, Amazon unveiled yet another service aimed to get consumers products faster and easier: The Amazon Dash Button. The Dash Button is a small, USB drive-sized adhesive button that users can stick, hang, or place anywhere and push to order something via Wi-Fi. The aim of the Dash Button is to hypothetically eliminate running out of household items – what if you never had to run out of coffee again? Laundry soap? Toilet paper? Trash bags? Soda? Now it's possible. If you find yourself running low on those kinds of items, just hit their respective push button, and have it delivered two days later. The way the Dash Button works is simple. The Wi-Fi-enabled button instantly orders a predetermined amount of product when pushed. The order is made through your Amazon account, so it already has your payment information. Through that account, you set up the size and quantity that comes with each product order. Once the button is pushed, a blinking LED light on the button lets you know an order has been placed.
How Does A Distributor Keep A Competitive Sales Edge?: How does one stand out from the pack when competing against independent distributors, wholesalers, and AmazonSupply? Industry veteran and sales guru Jim Pancero shares his thoughts on the keys to staying ahead of the curve.
Report: Builders FirstSource In Talks To Buy ProBuild: A report last Thursday by Reuters said that Dallas, TX-based residential building materials provider Builders FirstSource is in talks to acquire Fergus Falls, MN-based homebuilding supplier ProBuild for approximately $1.5 billion, citing "three people familiar with the matter." Reuters said talks are ongoing and no deal has been reached, noting that other bidders could emerge. Both companies did not comment. Reuters estimates Builders FirstSource's market capitalization to be around $600 million as of the end of December, with a debt of $384 million.
How Distributors & Manufacturers Can Partner To Grow Sales, Value-Added Service: Gary Nuttall, President of Gray Tools Canada, provides four examples of how distributors can take advantage of their suppliers' capabilities to foster closer relationships, which in turn will make them more relevant to their customers.