Sabotage Outsider Disruption by Turbocharging Communities

From the NAW Blog

Distributors may avoid outsider disruption by being human, but only if they make concrete plans to work with customers where they live and work — in communities. A new mindset is required. Segmenting customers is about selling. Serving communities is about collaborating. Relationships are built on trust, and at its core, building trust is a very human endeavor. As distributors transform digitally, they risk losing touch with customers. A distributor’s innovation plan needs to include human-centric innovations, and community outreach is the most powerful place to start.

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Why Setting SMART Goals with Your Employees Is the Way to Go

From the NAW Blog

In NAW’s Optimizing Human Capital Development: A Distributor’s Guide to Building a Sustainable Competitive Advantage through Talent Strategy, my coauthors and I talked about how goal setting is directly linked to profit, performance and productivity. When goals are well set, they can provide guidance and direction, facilitate planning, motivate and inspire employees, and assist with performance evaluation and management.

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Unbundle and Rebuild Your Sales Force

From the NAW Blog

Many distributors are reporting that the Coronavirus crisis is leading to an increase in online ordering and virtual interactions with their customer service reps and inside salespeople. As this trend takes root, it may shift customer interactions away from a distributor’s field salespeople. As a result, salespeople may be defensive or uncomfortable. However, if customer behaviors are changing, there is a huge opportunity for your sales force around creating new value for customers.

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Distributors Must Lead to the New Normal

From the NAW Blog

The conduct of business will change as the coronavirus crisis recedes, but it’s too early to know the new normal with certainty. Just as first reporting in any emergency often proves to be inaccurate and wrong, so too may early predictions about a new normal for doing business miss the mark.

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Staying Competitive in the Face of Disruption

From the NAW Blog

Many distributors have been doing things the same way for years. In some cases, what worked then still works now. Yet, part of preparing for the future is preparing for the unexpected — whether that is economic volatility or other industry disruption, such as the coronavirus.

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Which Multi-Trillion Dollar Opportunity Should You Pursue?

From the NAW Blog

Digital marketplaces were a major theme at the recent NAW Executive Summit, and for good reason; B2B marketplaces are predicted to be a $3.6 trillion boon for distributors in the next few years. This new opportunity is certainly good for distributors, but it does make action even harder. How can AI, e-commerce and marketplaces all be multi-trillion dollar opportunities? Further, which one should distributors pursue first?

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Offering Virtual Over Human Services Is a False Choice

From the NAW Blog

As distributors imagine business after the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a growing consensus that the crisis will lock in a trend toward customer preferences for virtual experiences. While a sustained shift in buying habits is very likely, that outcome does not reflect the full impact on the future of business. Yes, social distancing has forced remote working and online ordering. However, the crisis also reveals that we are all members of cherished communities, and the path forward is about people working with people to solve problems.

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EFC International Announces Expansion with New Warehouse and Office in Chicago

EFC International, a supplier of engineered fasteners, continues to expand. They are moving their Chicago branch office and warehouse to a new 64,000 square foot facility at 4150 Chandler Drive, Hanover Park, Illinois.

Thomas Mansholt, vice president of operations states, “Our move enables EFC to enhance our service level by providing additional stocking programs with increased inventory space to meet both customer and supplier needs. With 4,200 pallet locations, 26-foot clear height ceilings, and a circular flow from receiving to inventory to shipping, we can ship product more efficiently and the facility allows for growth. The increased number of dock doors provides efficient flow for containers to be loaded for export, supporting customers for all EFC Global locations. This is another sign of our commitment to Redefine The World Of Distribution.”

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How to Improve Digital Sales During Coronavirus

From the NAW Blog

Coronavirus has thoroughly disrupted the sales processes for distributors. Not only have customer demands changed, but the process of selling has also been transformed. Social distancing has forced an accelerated digitization upon distributors. Suddenly, businesses that relied heavily on personal interactions and skilled outside sales reps are unarmed. Meanwhile, inside sales, customer service and e-commerce have become key channels. In this post, I’ll explain how distributors can accelerate the digitization of their sales channels to meet the demands of this new market.

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Empower Your First-Line Managers to Survive a Crisis

From the NAW Blog

The defining characteristic of a crisis is uncertainty. First-line managers are a powerful force for surviving a crisis, but only if leaders help them embrace a new role. Every employee wonders how long the crisis will last, which work is most important and if their job is secure. Leaders don’t have all the answers, and employees know it. The role of first-line managers shifts from directing activities that drive performance to gathering ideas that may help the company survive.

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SBA 7(a) Loan Breakdown

From the Center for Financial, Legal, and Tax Planning

On Friday March 27, 2020, Donald Trump signed into law the largest lifeline (the CARES Act) in United States history to combat the most trying economic times for the
United States. As markets react, supply chains strain, and lockdowns ensue havoc, it’s no secret that small business, the self-employed, independent contractors, and sole proprietors are the most vulnerable during these uncertain times. To help the most vulnerable, the Cares Act provides a small business-focused Paycheck Protection
Program (PPP) allowing the federal government to guarantee SBA 7(a) loans up to 100% through December 31, 2020. The SBA 7(a) loans are available to companies with 500 or less employees who are below a gross annual receipts threshold in certain industries. This article will lay out the latest developments regarding the PPP, more specifically, requirements to obtain the loan, the requirements as to how the loan can be used, and the underlying premise of the loan’s “forgiveness.”

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401(k) Under the CARES Act

From the Center for Financial, Legal, and Tax Planning

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES ACT) was passed by President Trump to combat the economic impact of COVID-19. While the CARES Act provides a number of advantageous tax provisions, one in particular may be helpful to those affected by COVID-19 with a retirement savings plan. Under the CARES Act certain participants can take a coronavirus-related distribution up to $100,000 from their retirement plan.

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Coronavirus Stimuli: How Will They Affect Individuals and Businesses?

From the Center for Financial, Legal, and Tax Planning

There’s been a lot of information circulated with regards to coronavirus-related legislation that’s either been signed into law or is currently proposed. However, some of
the information is either inaccurate, a mixture of truth, or just plain false. This article will discuss some of the stimulus packages that have already passed, items that are
proposed, and measures seeking to directly benefit business owners.

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Risk Prediction and Mitigation Are the New Normal

From the NAW Blog

The hard truth about the Coronavirus is that extreme, unexpected events are becoming an essential new requirement of effective supply chain planning. In the current crisis, distributors are doing the crucial work of delivering critical products to essential businesses. As the virus peaks, distributors will play a leading role in rebooting our economy. As industries recover, a new normal will set it. It will be one where customers judge supply chain performance not only on efficiency, but on the ability to predict and mitigate risk.

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How to Succeed in a Customer-Driven Digital Value Chain

From the NAW Blog

Are you ready to participate in a digital value chain driven by customer demands for the virtual ordering of products and services, which provides for instant transparency and ever-increasing benefits while at the same time lowering costs?

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Protect Your Business Name in the Information Technology Era

By Roman Basi, president of the Center for Financial, Legal & Tax Planning Inc.  

There is a popular misconception among many small and closely-held business owners regarding their business name. State law demands that any corporation formed within that state must “have a name unique from others” within the state.  Therefore, many business owners mistakenly assume that their name registration confers unlimited rights to that name.  Unfortunately this is not true and can lead to expensive legal issues.

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What Is the Value of Being Local?

From the NAW Blog

As distributors rush to put up e-commerce platforms that can sell anywhere and anytime without human interaction, they are reinventing their business as one that is digital, virtual and data-driven. But, like a retail mall decimated by online shopping, distributors have failed to reposition their most crucial core offering. Distributors are inherently local businesses staffed by humans. Distributors can’t win by being what they once were, but they will lose if they do not redefine the value of being local in our disrupted and increasingly digital world.

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How To Create a Winning Team

From the NAW Blog

With modern organizations moving away from the traditional hierarchical structure to embracing more project-based operations, working in teams is no longer an alternative choice for employees, but an essential consideration to ensure successful business outcomes. In this article, we’ll look at the five key components that affect team effectiveness, and what types of people you need to bring on board your team.

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Winning in a Post-Amazon World

From the NAW Blog:

Many distributors think they need to look like Amazon to compete in today’s market. After all, more than 197 million people visit Amazon every month to shop the more than 12 million products available, according to BigCommerce. But just because Amazon is a household name doesn’t mean that distributors need to emulate its every move to be competitive in the digital distribution game.

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EFC International Expands Product Line With Air Filter Hardware Components

EFC International is pleased to announce the addition of air filter clips and specialty air filter fasteners, manufactured by Springfield Spring & Stamping, to their product line.

Springfield Spring & Stamping is a manufacturer of standard and custom air filter holding frame clips in the United States. The product line is complementary to EFC’s current HVACR product offerings including wire routing components, caps, plugs, clamps, rivet-nuts, panel fasteners, specialty nuts, bolts and screws.

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