Reboot the Real World and Win by Being Human

From the NAW Blog:

Over the last many years, distributors have faced down one challenge after another including the emergence of big-box retailers, disintermediation by manufacturers, the financial crisis of 2008 and more. Distribution survived because of the strength of their customer relationships and an ongoing commitment to gain efficiencies by investing in business systems and information technology. Faced with new disruptive threats, this trend is continuing as distributors invest in e-commerce platforms and a wide range of digital tools.

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Quick and to-the-point Conflict Minerals News

From Elm Sustainability Partners:

There have been no changes to the US conflict minerals law status or requirements for the SEC filing.  Rumors that the law has been repealed are false and the non-enforcement statement is limited in its applicability.  Companies subject to the disclosure should proceed as in previous years. Country of origin information is still not freely available (as far as we know).  Stakeholders (including media and regulators) are carefully reviewing Form SD filings to see if US sanctioned entities are in company supply chains.  Disclosing companies should expand their smelter/refiner due diligence to include this.  The EU conflict minerals directive is not yet in effect.

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Joe Greenslade in Memoriam

We were all shocked and saddened to learn that Joe Greenslade passed away suddenly on Wednesday, October 23, at age 71.

Joe served as IFI’s Technical Director from 2007 until 2015. He was a fastener industry icon and highly respected and admired. Joe had a refreshing “can do” approach, an ability to build consensus, a knack for simple solutions, and a gentle, kind and jovial personality that endeared him to all. Joe thoroughly enjoyed working in the fastener industry and was always fully committed to completing anything he set out to accomplish.

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Fastener Fair USA Heads to Charlotte Convention Center May 18-20, 2020

NORWALK, CT - Fastener Fair USA, North America’s fastest-growing exposition for the fastener industry, will hold its third annual trade show and conference in May in Charlotte, NC, a major manufacturing hub. The event for the entire fastener supply chain runs May 18-20, 2020 at the Charlotte Convention Center.

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Nix Data Silos to Cash In on AI

From the NAW Blog:

Data silos have always been bad for business. They limit employee performance and sow dysfunction among different teams by restricting access to information. As Big Data and AI become major forces in business, the negative effects of data silos will become even more severe. Distributors should integrate databases now and employ comprehensive AI to avoid the data silo trap.  

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Joe Greenslade Memorial Service

We were shocked and saddened to learn last week that Joe Greenslade passed away suddenly on Wednesday, October 23.

Service Details
Saturday, November 2, 201912:00 Noon
Unity Church of Fort Worth 5051 Trail Lake Drive #2045
Ft. Worth, TX 76133


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Suzy Cravens of Advance Components competes in Food Network’s Christmas Cookie Challenge

With the arrival of Fall and the turning of leaves, it’s time for Suzy Cravens to start thinking about cookies. “Not just any kind of cookies, but highly decorated cookies,” says Suzy.

It all started back in the 1990s, when Suzy, a self-professed crafter, sewer, baker, and all-around handy gal, decided to venture into the world of cake decorating to satisfy her creative whimsy. After taking several classes she started teaching cake and cookie decorating in her spare time. She also began a home cake decorating business which eventually led to her becoming quite well known in the area as the Cake Lady.

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Sad News – Joe Greenslade

We were shocked and saddened to learn this morning that Joe Greenslade passed away suddenly last night. 

Joe served as Technical Director for the Industrial Fasteners Institute from 2007 until 2015. He was a fastener industry icon, having started his career in 1970 working for various fastener manufacturers before founding Greenslade and Company in 1978.  He sold the company in 2007 and came to work for the IFI.  In a recent conversation with IFI managing director, Joe said that working for IFI had been his dream job.  You could tell he thoroughly enjoyed working in the industry, and he put 100% of his effort into anything he set out to accomplish.

Joe retired from IFI in 2015 when Salim Brahimi took over as Technical Director.  Joe stayed on as a special consultant to IFI, maintaining the upkeep of the IFI Technology Connection software that he had developed and is relied upon by many companies today.

Please keep Joe’s wife, family and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers today.  We will notify you again once we know more details about services or charities for donations.

Attend Free NAW Institute Webinar: “Welcome to the Age of B2B Innovation”

Washington, DC (October 21, 2019) — Wholesaler-distributors are invited to join the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence and our sponsor PROS on Thursday, November 14, from 2:00 to 3:00 p.m. ET, for a live webinar: “Welcome to the Age of B2B Innovation.”

Anyone who has a calendar conflict and won’t be able to attend this live webinar, should register anyway. PROS will send registrants a link to view the webinar on demand. Register here.

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How Is Your HiPo Program Working For You?

From the NAW Blog:

Many distributors have initiatives aimed at developing high-potential employees. However, identifying the employees with high potential (HiPo) can be challenging and is highly subjective. This is partially because different organizations may define high potentials differently. As a result, the characteristics and abilities that an employee must possess to be classified as a “HiPo” is largely up to individual interpretation. How can your HiPo program truly benefit your company and your employees?

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NAW Request for Anti-Trust Investigation of Amazon

NAW has just sent letters to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) requesting that their agencies open an investigation into the General Services Administration’s (GSA) proposed e-Marketplace platform (Section 846) and Amazon’s unfair and anti-competitive practices and processes.

NAW believes that GSA should be fostering maximum competition at this stage of Section 846’s implementation.  Even though GSA identified three credible e-commerce purchasing channels, GSA’s latest Request for Proposal (RFP), Commercial e-Marketplace Acquisition (October 1, 2019), confines its pilot test to only one model, that of the e-marketplace portal, the Amazon platform.  All other e-commerce models have been excluded.

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Do Your Customers Trust You to Provide Real-time Service?

From the NAW Blog: 

In a recent Forbes article, “Moving Beyond On-Demand To The Real-Time Economy,” Kyle Jackson predicts, “In the near future, we’ll see the demand for instant gratification and access to information intensify even more. On-demand is no longer just a gimmick; it’s a reality. As the dust settles on these changes, a new real-time economy will emerge.” This prediction is consistent with our work for Innovate to Dominate: The 12th Edition in the Facing the Forces of Change® Series, arriving in mid-November, and the Forbes article is an essential read for innovation-minded distributors — especially since Jackson highlights a connection between data, artificial intelligence and trust.

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5 Questions to Ask Your AI Vendor

From the NAW Blog:

AI will create trillions in business value within the next few years, but that cash won’t be distributed evenly. Not all AI is equal, and only distributors who invest in the right AI will profit. Knowing what questions to ask your AI vendor will put you in the position to capitalize on the AI value boom.

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NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence Announces Optimizing Channel Profitability: A Playbook to Align Manufacturer– Distributor–Customer Relationships

(October 10, 2019, Washington, DC) — The NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence is pleased to announce its newest, groundbreaking research study, Optimizing Channel Profitability: A Playbook to Align Manufacturer–Distributor–Customer Relationships, based on a consortium conducted by Texas A&M University’s Global Supply Chain Laboratory. Please go to www.naw.org/ocp or call 202.872.0885 to learn more and to order copies.  Quantity discounts of 15–50% apply when ordering two or more copies.

As manufacturers face new competitive challenges, distributors alter their capabilities, and customers change their requirements, the path forward keeps shifting.

Many manufacturers have not updated their channel policies in a decade, while wholesaler distributors have undergone significant changes in terms of online disruptions by non-traditional competitors, multi-generational workforce dynamics, digital transformation challenges, evolving salesforce structure, and so forth.

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Final Overtime Rule Released

A NAW Legal Advisory:

After several years of rulemaking, and successful legal challenges by NAW and others which resulted in a second round of rulemaking, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the Department of Labor (DoL) on Friday published a final rule “Defining and Delimiting the Exemptions for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees” – the EAP or so-called “White Collar exemptions” from minimum wage and overtime pay requirements – under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA.).

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EEOC Extends Deadline for Filing Compensation Data

A NAW Legal Advisory:

As we first reported in a Legal Advisory in April, the EEOC was ordered by a DC District court to begin collecting compensation data from all covered employers (this data is in addition to the demographic data already required to be filed).  Click here to see NAW’s Legal Advisory.

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New Consumer Data Privacy Law

A NAW legal advisory:

As you may know, the California legislature recently enacted a new and expansive consumer data privacy law.  This new law will require covered businesses to comply with strict requirements on the collection, use and disclosure of “personal information” on California residents.  The law was enacted in late June and will take effect on January 1, 2020.

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The Key to Defensibility in the Digital Age

From the NAW Blog:

The problem with most new technologies is that they quickly become obsolete. This is frustrating for distributors who are always trying to keep up with the newest thing. But AI should be viewed differently. Unlike other developments, it won’t be swept away by accelerating waves of innovation. AI does not merely endure: it adapts and becomes better over time. Using AI is an investment in the future, and one to make today.

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How to Unlock Profitable Growth in Today’s Market

From the NAW Blog:

For many distributors, growth has been stagnant. The question is – why?

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EFC International Launches Power BI, Linked to SAP and CRM

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI. September 12, 2019 - Engineered fastener and components distributor, EFC International, continues to “Redefine the World of Distribution”, exhibited in part by the company’s recent implementation of Power BI (from Microsoft). Power BI is linked to their internal SAP operating system and CRM software.

EFC has been at the leading edge of the industrial distribution industry, embracing and implementing advanced innovative technology and digital transformation. Matt Dudenhoeffer, CEO, stated “EFC’s implementation of Power BI provides our team with a powerful business analytics tool that delivers real-time interactive dashboards customized to our business strategy and performance metrics. Our SAP and CRM systems are incredibly versatile in enabling customized reports for our suppliers and customers, and now we can take that a step further with interactive visualizations through a simple interface.”

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