How AI Will Impact Distribution

From the NAW Blog:

Companies like Amazon and Netflix have used cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to drive growth and disrupt business-to-consumer (B2C) markets. Business-to-business (B2B) distributors have been slow to adapt this technology, however. This will soon change. B2B distributors that leverage the power of AI technology have the potential to turbocharge revenue and disrupt their own markets. Those that fail to do so will risk getting left behind.

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Rotor Clip: Celebrating 10 Years of Wave Springs with one TINY announcement

We're celebrating 10 years of manufacturing the world's best Wave Springs this summer with one TINY announcement!
Rotor Clip's proud to announce that we are able to produce wave springs as small as 3mm O.D.!

(That's .118 inches)

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Amazon Faces Liability for a Third-Party Vendor’s Defective Product

On Wednesday, July 17th, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Amazon can be held liable for defective goods sold on its site by third-party vendors. This decision could be significant for Amazon which continues to face criticism for counterfeits and dangerous items being sold through its platform. Amazon argues that it does not count as a "seller" because it simply provides the platform, but the appeals court said it disagrees. The court’s opinion states that Amazon may be liable in part because its business model “enables third-party vendors to conceal themselves from the customer, leaving customers injured by defective products with no direct recourse to the third-party vendor.”

Previously, two federal appeals courts have ruled that Amazon cannot be held liable for products from third-party sellers, but the federal appeals court decision on Wednesday reversed the latest lower court decision. The case will now be sent back to the federal district court for trial.

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Can You Innovate If Your Employees Don’t Believe You Can?

From the NAW Blog:

A recent article in MIT Sloan Management Review, “Grow Faster by Changing Your Innovation Narrative,” provides essential insights for distributors around culture and innovation, starting with an insightful definition. Innovation narratives are what a company’s employees believe about a company’s ability to innovate. It turns out that four levers are most often used by innovation leaders to drive growth and stay ahead of competitors. We share the four levers below, followed by insights from our ongoing Facing the Forces of Change research. Our goal is to provide insights to help distributors get started on improving their innovation narrative, and the entire article is an essential read for developing fully actionable plans.

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Risk – Shiny Shiny Pretty Pretty

From Elm Sustainability Partners:

Of all the shiny new objects in ESG/sustainability, “risk” is the shiniest and newest.  ESG is seen as risk management, implying that ESG is more downside than upside (I’ll come back to that).  But here is a big problem with linking ESG to risk: most ESG professionals don’t really understand risk management. 

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EFC International Provides Light-Weighting Solution For Attaching Carbon Fiber & Composite Panels

EFC International’s offering of the BCT Rivet nut is a best practice light-weighting solution for attaching carbon fiber and composite panels in automotive.  The rivet nuts are manufactured by BBA with BCT® (Bulge Control Technology).

BCT Rivet Nuts are ultra-high strength and engineered to prevent cracking or delamination of carbon fiber panels. The patented design enables an engineered yield point on the body of the rivet nut ensuring the bulge formation always begins beyond the panel and is drawn back on the panel. BCT rivet nuts can be placed near the edge of the panel without fear of inducing a crack in the panel.

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Distribution Is at a Watershed Moment

From the NAW Blog:

The wholesale distribution industry is at a watershed moment. Technological advances are creating massive upheavals, with industries converging, new forms of competition surfacing, and new business models emerging as never before. Wholesaler-distributors must navigate these uncharted waters and position their organizations to prosper in this disruptive age—a time when distributors are being bombarded by forces threatening to disrupt the way they conduct daily operations, serve customers, and interact with suppliers.

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Thriving in the Age of AI

From the NAW Blog:

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has existed for more than 20 years and its impact on the workplace has received more attention in this digital era. Because AI promotes deep learning and predicts human accuracy, it has drastically transformed the way we work and accelerated growth in ways humans could not.

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Pac-West Hosts Mel Kirsner Memorial Golf Outing

Aaron Dollenmeyer and John Shields (Long-Lok Fasteners), Brett Brown (WireTech), and Mike Weishaar (Parker Fasteners) partnered to win first-place honors at the Mel Kirsner Memorial Golf Outing, held Friday, May 10, 2019 at the Westridge Golf Club in La Habra, California.

Second place honors went to Skip English (All-Spec Fasteners), Dave Kujanek and Mark Jojola (Vertex Distribution), and Jim Moir (Pencom).

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Obituary: Jim Pokracki

We are saddened to learn of the passing of Jim Pokracki on April 19, 2019.

Jim Pokracki had been the owner of Construction Tool & Threading Company since the early 1990s and previously worked for Sullivan Bolt.

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Do You Have What It Takes to Be a Disruption Survivor?

From the NAW blog

Retail isn’t distribution, but lessons from Best Buy as a “disruption survivor” offer essential insights for distributor leaders. As reported recently on Inc.com, Best Buy was nearly killed by losing business to Amazon, but turned things around through a combination of corporate strategy and emotional intelligence. Best Buy was terminally ill, but has become healthy through smart, assertive leadership and real-world innovations around people, relationships and physical space. Five powerful insights are revealed in the Inc.com article, three enumerated as a list, and two revealed in other paragraphs and an attached video. All are important and relevant for distributor leaders.

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Conflict Minerals Season 2019: So Far, Being First Means Being Wrong

From Elm Sustainability Partners

For conflict minerals reporting year 2018, we may see a bigger impact of last year’s SEC announcement that they will not seek enforcement for conflict minerals filings. Perhaps more “devil may care” attitude reflected in reporting. The real question for many companies this year may well be – “Who cares?”

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Are Suppliers Your Most Important Customers?

From the NAW Blog

In our recent Facing the Forces of Change® challenge paper, Creating Innovations and Shaping the Future of Business, we identified a growing movement in wholesale distribution, in which leading distributors are innovating business services as a means of fighting disruption. Since the publication of our challenge paper, our continuing research has revealed evidence of distributors striving to identify and align with market trends to find willing buyers of new service offerings. While most distributors focus on end customers for service opportunities, it may turn out that suppliers are a target-rich environment.

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Introducing the New and Improved Sherex Website!

We are pleased to announce the launch of our brand new Sherex website! It has been completely overhauled from top to bottom with additional product listings and a completely new navigation system, designed to help you find the optimal fastener. For more information, go to our website via the link below, or call us at:  (866) 474-3739. 

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Your 2018 Audited Conflict Minerals Smelter Percentage Will Go Down. Here’s Why.

From Elm Sustainability Partners

Those of you in the middle of (or done with) conflict minerals due diligence have probably noticed a lower-than-normal number of RMI-audited smelters/refiners. It’s not just you – there really are fewer smelters/refiners obtaining or renewing their audits.  READ MORE

Nautic Partners Announces Acquisition of LindFast Solutions Group in Partnership with Management

Nautic Partners, LLC (“Nautic”) is pleased to announce that it has completed the acquisition of LindFast Solutions Group (“LindFast”), in partnership with LindFast management.

Headquartered in Blaine, MN, LindFast is a master distributor of specialty fasteners in the North American market serving a broad base of national, regional, and local distribution customers through its metric (Lindstrom) and imperial (Stelfast) product brands. As a master distributor, LindFast provides an important link in the fastener supply chain by offering a deep inventory as a “virtual warehouse” of approximately 130,000 low volume, slow moving SKUs that distribution customers need quickly but are non-economical to inventory and source themselves. These SKUs represent high‐touch, specialty products that can be difficult to source due to their unique length, diameter, thread pitch, metal choice, or finish. In addition to sourcing unique product and providing virtual warehouse services, LindFast provides its distribution customers a range of value‐added services such as break bulk, packaging, kitting, plating, coating, and guaranteed stock programs, among others.

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Rotor Clip Product Spotlight: Flat Wire Single-Turn Wave Springs

Infographic: Single-Turn Wave Springs vs. Stamped Wave Washers

One of the most common questions our Engineering team gets is customers wanting to know the difference between Rotor Clip's Single-Turn Wave Springs and traditional Stamped Wave Washers.

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Speaker Submissions Being Accepted for the 2019 International Fastener Expo

The International Fastener Expo (IFE), the largest and most established business-to-business tradeshow of every type of fastener, machinery and tooling, and industrial-related products in North America, is now accepting speaker submissions from fastener industry professionals and motivational and team building presenters for the Sept. 17-19 show conference schedule. The annual conference schedule features experts on technology, key laws and regulations, business solutions, testing and inspecting, management and leadership, and many more topics affecting the fastener industry.

New at IFE 2018, the conference schedule was expanded to include an additional day and featured 18 educational sessions; IFE 2019 plans to be just as jam-packed. Among the most popular sessions in 2018, Vanessa Sciarra, vice president for legal affairs and trade and investment policy, National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC), presented “U.S. Tariffs and Trade Policies - What to Expect in 2019,” a rundown on current trade policy, to a full house of engaged attendees. Video of her presentation is available for purchase at https://www.fastenershows.com/2019/02/12/us-tariffs-trade-policies-fastener-industry/.

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Working Capital – What Is It and Why Is It Important?

Working Capital is an important concept for every business to understand. From Amazon or Apple to a small locally owned business, business owners need to understand the importance of working capital. At its heart, working capital is defined as, “the amount of a company’s current assets minus the amount of its current liabilities,” or simply, a company’s available capital for daily operations at any given point in time. Thus, working capital provides a measurement to determine a company’s operational efficiency and short-term financial health.

At the basis of working capital is the calculation, which is generally the difference between the current assets and the current liabilities. Current assets are assets that can be converted into cash within one year or less. This would include assets such as cash equivalents, marketable securities, accounts receivable, inventory, and prepaid expenses. While current liabilities include short term debt such as accounts payables, accrued liabilities, and other similar debts.  Subtracting the current assets by the current liabilities will provide the working capital figure. The working capital is positive when there is an excess of current assets compared to current liabilities.
However, a working capital calculation not only plays a role as a financial measuring tool, but it can play a large role in Merger and Acquisition (M&A) transactions.

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Semblex Senior Management Changes

ELMHURST, IL - Semblex Corporation has announced the upcoming retirement of Don
Cunningham, the company’s President since 2010. Mr. Cunningham’s retirement will be
effective at the end of the first quarter, 2019. Mr. Cunningham will then continue as a member
of the Semblex Board of Directors and as a part time advisor to the company.

Jinsoo Kim will succeed Mr. Cunningham as president of Semblex. Mr. Kim has served as Chief
Operating Officer at Semblex since the company’s acquisition by Jinhap Company, Ltd in early
2014. Previously, Mr. Kim was a Senior Vice President at Jinhap in South Korea.




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