Distributor's EDGE
In This Issue
Understanding the "Simple Strategy of Wholesaling"
Inforum 2008: To Go or Not To Go?
Recap: Jammin' with Grant
Steels' Simple Solution: "A System That Works"
 Featured Event

Inforum 2008

Register now for Inforum 2008.

The Venetian Hotel and Sands Expos and Convention Center
Las Vegas, Nevada

Date: October 14-16, 2008

Featured Article

Recap: Jammin' with Grant

A Sign of the Times: Being the Distributor of Choice

Grant Howard

DE Customers Get Down with Grant Howard. E-mail us at JamminwithGrant@DistributorsEDGE.com
to request the recording and slides.

Upcoming Events
September 2008:
Jammin' with Grant

September 7-9, 2008:
Progress Software PSDN Live 08
Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, Boston MA

October 14-16, 2008:
Sands Expo, Las Vegas, Nevada

November 11-12, 2008:
Building the Bridges to Operational Excellence with Grant Howard
Toronto, Ontario

March 11-13, 2009:
TUG 2009 U2U
The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado

Inforum: Frequently Asked Questions

Below, we have compiled some frequently asked questions about Inforum to help you in the planning process.

Q: What is Inforum?
Inforum 2008 is Infor's user and partner conference. It brings the world's most enterprising customers and partners together for a three-day learning and networking experience focused on Infor business-specific solutions. Infor experts, customers, and partners will present an agenda offering more than 700 sessions of training, discussion of best practices, case studies, and business strategy. Inforum 2008 is designed to maximize networking and engagement among attendees, with dedicated areas and programs to connect people with the colleagues and topics most relevant to their interests.

Q: When is Inforum 2008?
A: Inforum will be held Oct. 14-16, 2008 with optional computer-based training on Oct. 17, 2008.

Q: Where will Inforum 2008 be held?
A: You'll find us at the The Venetian Hotel and Sands Expos and Convention Center in Las Vegas.

Q: Where can I find more information about Inforum 2008?
A: www.Inforum2008.com

Q: Who should attend Inforum?
A: Users of Infor products who want to optimize performance on their current Infor products and learn how new Infor business-specific solutions will make them even more successful.

IT professionals and managers
who appreciate intense technical training, product demos, and will have an opportunity to interact with developers to make suggestions and address challenges.

Business decision-makers
who want to learn how an optimized relationship with Infor across a multitude of Infor's business-specific solutions can lead to increased competitive advantage and profitability through lower cost of ownership.

: What is the cost for Inforum 2008?
A: Early registration: $1275 until August 22, 2008
Regular registration: $1475 beginning August 23, 2008

Q: I'm bringing a guest. What activities can they attend with me?
A: The guest pass provides visitors with access to Inforum 2008's opening reception as well as the entertainment evening on Wednesday. Guests must be 21 years of age or older. The guest pass cost is $250 and can be reserved through the online registration process and form at the time of conference registration or purchased on-site.

Q: Is there a group discount available?
A: Yes, when six full conference registrations are purchased from the same company at the prevailing registration rate, the seventh conference registration is FREE.

Q: What is the attire for the conference?
A: Business casual.

To view more FAQ, visit the official Inforum 2008 website.

Attend DE's Customer Event at
Inforum 2008

Western Water Works Company Photo

DE Cocktail Party

Stay tuned for more details to follow.

SX.e Users Play Jeopardy

Each quarter, we will pose an SX.e related jeopardy question. The first respondent to answer correctly will win a prize and be featured in the next issue of our newsletter.

Please e-mail responses to

How can the order terms type be added to the banner on the Order Entry screen?

Good Luck!

Spring 2008 SX.e Jeopardy Winner

Congratulations to last quarter's winner, Matt Piatt, from Ohio Transmission Corporation.
Spring 2008 Question and Answer:
Q: How can profit be distributed to the income statement by product category in SX?
A: Setup ICSEG records for each product category with the appropriate general ledger accounts.

Steels Industrial Products Ltd.
Steels Industrial

Steels Industrial

Steels Industrial

Steels Industrial

Steels Industrial

Interested in sharing your success story? E-mail us at OntheEDGE@DistributorsEDGE.com.

Summer Recipe

Heading to a summer BBQ and don't know what to bring? Impress the host with this tasty and healthy salsa.

Avocado & Black Bean Salsa


4 Ripe Avocados
1 White Onion
4 Fresh Ears of Sweet Corn
1 Can Black Beans
3 Limes
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Drain black beans and set aside to dry. Dice onion into small pieces and place in large bowl. Slice corn kernels off  uncooked ears of husked corn, and add to onion. Add black beans to onion and corn mixture, and mix well.
Chop avocados into 1/2" cubes and add the avocado to the onion, corn, and bean mixture. Be careful to preserve the shape of each individual ingredient when mixing. You should still be able to identify each individual ingredient-- this is not a mash. Juice limes and add to mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Note: This must be prepared close to serve time.

On the EDGE
Summer 2008, Volume 1, Issue 2

Welcome to our second issue of On the EDGE. We hope you enjoyed the first and continue to do so.

As summer is moving along too quickly, we want to remind you to schedule some time for fun, but don't forget the sunscreen! If rising gas prices are holding you back, click here for five helpful gas saving tips. Or get back to the basics. Play a card game like Gin Rummy from the comfort of your living room. And be sure to reward the winner (and the losers) with some cold ice cream!

After you've relaxed some, continue reading as we prepare for Inforum and recap our first complimentary Jammin' with Grant session -- on June 19, Grant Howard spoke about being the distributor of choice as an introduction to his four part series.

In this newsletter, read what Management Specialist Rich Schmitt says about the "Simple Strategy of Wholesaling." Similar to Grant, Rich speaks to the importance of being the primary distributor. Continue reading below to learn more.

As Inforum 2008 is quickly approaching, we have a busy quarter ahead. Don't forget to register before August 22 and save $200! Stay tuned for more details regarding DE's Customer Event at Inforum.

Enjoy the remainder of summer! We look forward to seeing you in Vegas!

The DE Team

If you are having trouble viewing this e-mail, click here.
Understanding the "Simple Strategy of Wholesaling"

Management specialist

Over the years, we have been privileged to work with and observe some really top-notch wholesalers. We call them high-performance wholesalers. In studying these top performers, we have noted that many operate using a very similar strategy. Some have professional-looking bound books that describe this strategy; for others, it's just the way they have always operated. Whether it is an explicit strategy or not, its simplicity often causes some to wonder whether it can really work. We call it the "Simple Strategy of Wholesaling." (We call it simple not because it is easy to do but because is it easy to understand and explain.)

In short, the Simple Strategy of Wholesaling means: Become the primary supplier to a group of selected customers.

Click here to continue reading.

Note: This article is reprinted with permission from The Wholesaler.
Inforum: To Go or Not to Go?

Texas A&M University LogoSX.enterprise users are invited to two dedicated networking and educational opportunities each year -- TUG and Inforum. Back in March, TUG 2008 was a huge success. It will be challenging to surpass, but Inforum 2008 is prepared to be the best yet.

Did you miss Infor's "Get the Most From Inforum 2008?" Continue reading to learn the top 10 reasons you should attend Inforum 2008.

10. Location! Location! Location!
Inforum 2008 is being hosted in Las Vegas, Nevada, America's Playground, at the Sands Expo. During Inforum registration, make arrangements to stay at the Venetian or Treasure Island at a discounted rate!

9. The Early Bird Gets the Worm
Register by August 22, 2008 and save $200! Or benefit from Inforum's group discount -- purchase 7 registrations for the price of 6!

8. "Have a Ball in a Small Town"
Attend Pembroke Consulting, Inc.'s President Adam Fein's Distribution Opening Address, listen to Infor's CEO Jim Schaper's Keynote Address, and watch John Mellencamp perform "Small Town" and many more of your favorites!

7. Mad About Distribution
Inforum is focusing on distribution. SX.enterprise users will have access to SX.enterprise training sessions, general distribution sessions, computer-based product training, and more. These sessions will be centrally located within a distribution specific area so SX.enterprise users can network more easily with other users.

6. So Many Choices, So Little Time
Attend sessions about SX.enterprise's core functionality. Learn SX.enterprise tips and tricks. Or learn more about SOA from Progress. Missing TUG right about now? No worries, attend TheUserGroup.org's session!

5. Up Close and Personal
View product demonstrations and hear from partners and suppliers.

4. Snake Eyes: One on One
Meet with Infor and DE executives one on one. Discuss development and product management, professional services management, or Wayne Newton's management. Danke Shane!

3. Going the Extra Mile
As per your feedback and requests, Inforum sessions have been lengthened to 75 minutes to allow for longer Q & A sessions. Plus, expect more "live" examples and less PowerPoint presentations. Hear from fellow users about their experience and view roadmaps providing product direction detail.

2. Have Your People Call My People
Inforum offers an exceptional networking opportunity. Meet up with fellow SX.enterprise users in Enterprise Square. When your people call my people, "Let's Do Lunch" with fellow distributors - Tuesday through Thursday! Attend Birds of a Feather roundtable discussions to exchange ideas with your peers. You can even request different topics.

Still not convinced? Need that last push?

1. We'll Be There!
Distributor's EDGE will be at Inforum 2008, and we will be hosting a DE Customer Event to kick off the festivities. We want to see you there! Stay tuned to learn more about DE's Customer Event.

Contact OntheEdge@DistributorsEDGE.com with any questions.
Recap: Jammin' with Grant

Grant Howard is an internationally recognized expert and major contributor in the design and implementation of "Best Practices" Inventory Management and Replenishment Systems, Operational Excellence, and Systems Utilization. He has multiple company experience in inventory management, purchasing design, operations, problem solving, procedure preparation, and systems administration. Mr. Howard has assisted a number of multiple branch distributors and distribution software houses in the design, education, and implementation of procedures, software packages, and the use of current technology concentrating on inventory management, replenishment, operational efficiency, and system utilization, which result in fantastic customer service, bottom line, and growth improvements.

On Thursday June 19, 2008, distribution expert Grant Howard hosted Distributor's EDGE customers for an hour-long webinar. Entitled "A Sign of the Times: Being the Distributor of Choice," the complimentary session was the first in a four part series to run quarterly. The next session, which will focus on Inventory Management, is scheduled to air in September. Stay tuned for more details.

During his presentation, Grant discussed balancing short and long-term goals in a slower economy. He focused on the three main goals:

    1. Profitability: Grant advised to sell at a    
        premium price -- no low market prices
        because customer service is extremely
    2. Longevity: The key to longevity is very simple.
        You need to keep your customers happy.
    3. Growth: Keep your existing customers and
        bring in new ones. Always look to optimize
        the price, and with profitability and longevity,
        you will grow.

During a recession, assess your inventory levels, Accounts Receivable, and your team to determine where you can tighten up.

Distributors of Choice understand areas of excellence. They understand building bridges to excellence so your customers and prospects want to do business with you. Most importantly, they are consistent, efficient, and accurate. Finding the balance will lead you to becoming the Distributor of Choice.

DE Customer Reviews:
"Attending Grant's session was very worthwhile. His tips about when and where not to cut in this economy were extremely helpful." - Marsha Jackman, Atlas Welding Accessories

"Good. Very Good. The length was perfect." - Suzie Alsen, The Hartfiel Company

"The session was great. We had eight or nine people listening together. I really like what Grant said: 'It takes a dollar to do it the first time, and six dollars to fix it.'" - Lynne Corwin, Phillips Plywood

Did you miss Jammin' with Grant, Part 1? E-mail us at JamminwithGrant@DistributorsEDGE.com to request the recording and slides.

Steels' Simple Solution: "A System That Works"

As Western Canada's leading supplier of construction materials, Steels Industrial Products Ltd. simply sought "a system that works."

Steels Industrial

Distributing goods since the late 1800s in Great Britain, Steels, who relocated to Canada in 1955, is a dedicated company seeking to provide their customers more value. Initially, the Steels family stocked a diverse inventory built of everything from their now standard construction materials to the Queen's favorite staple -- tea. However, after a management group purchased the family owned company in 1988, Steels discovered and capitalized on their natural niche -- construction materials.

Under the same ownership since 1993, Steels has continued to focus on providing commercial and industrial contractors their necessary supplies, including industrial insulation, commercial roofing materials, general contractor supplies, and masonry products for commercial and industrial buildings.

In the 1990s, Steels, continually growing, completely abandoned their old ERP solution because it was geared more towards the manufacturing industry and thus no longer, if ever, responded to their distribution needs. Unfortunately, Steels failed to find a solution that met their business needs, so they resorted to designing their own solution.

Fast forward. After too many headaches with their own remedy, Steels resumed the search in Spring 2001. By February 2002, Steels' partnership with Distributor's EDGE was 6 months old, and their new ERP solution was in place.

Steels Industrial Partners with Distributor's EDGE
Disheartened by their design, Steels' request was reasonable. They just wanted a knowledgeable software partner to provide a user-friendly solution, appropriate to their business model, which could efficiently manage inventory, replenish stock, improve fill rates, and perform other distribution centric tasks. According to Steels' President Jim Sidwell and Vice President Wayne Wood, Steels also preferred that the solution offer near seamless integration and breed deep integrity.

In the past, Steels had worked with boutique-sized software providers, but now, as a growing company, they wanted to find a more balanced partner -- not too large, not too small. Someone who could be there to provide the support and technical knowledge when necessary, but also someone with whom they could communicate on a personal level.

DE presented demos for Steels, proving their technical and professional support teams would meet Steels' needs. Additionally, the large community of SX.enterprise users promised many user conferences. After speaking to almost two dozen pleased SX.enterprise users, Steels was completely satisfied with the Infor, formerly NxTrend, product and excited about the avenues for the potential exchange of ideas. In the final buying stage, Steels evaluated only the software, and ultimately, SX.enterprise won because it met Steels' needs and was therefore the best investment.

Business As Usual
After Steels signed with DE in August 2001, DE guided Steels through a 6-month implementation process to help them understand the software. Once Steels selected a team of 10 employees to learn the product, they almost immediately confirmed that DE is a solid, medium sized technical and professional services provider supporting a strong ERP solution. DE's consultants worked to familiarize the initial ten users with the solution so they could in turn act as on-site experts once installation was complete. In the meantime, Steels held an internal contest to coin a unique name for the new software; to this day, SX.enterprise is known as "RADAR" at Steels. While DE consultants are available to Steels at all times, Steels users learned SX.enterprise in and out, starting with the basics like what something does when turned on and off. More importantly, DE taught Steels how the Best in Class utilize the solution, so Steels was prepared to not only remain at the top, but also climb higher. After the 6-month implementation process, Steels was prepared to Go Live with their new solution. Sidwell nonchalantly describes this day as "uneventful. It was business as usual."

Tangible Success
Immediately after Going Live in mid February, Steels further realized the value in their recent investment. They were able to run their month end statements on March 1, whereas on the old system, the statements were not available until the third or fourth day of the month. Above all, this achievement was a morale booster; it was very much a psychological victory.

Quickly adjusting to the new system, Steels needed to implement a centralized stock replenishment system and push inventory from one centralized location to all branches. Julie, a DE consultant who Sidwell and Wood recall as having exceptional industry and product knowledge, taught them how to capitalize on their investment to achieve this goal within 12 to 24 months. Wood praised DE, saying, "Without SX.enterprise, without DE's support, we would never have been able to do that. That was an expectation we had going into the software system that we were able to quickly realize."

Steels was hoping to centralize their business, but they did not necessarily set out to increase professionalism within the company, which SX.enterprise encouraged by default. Even after doubling business since introducing SX.enterprise, Steels has been able to maintain and improve upon procedures and customer service. SX.enterprise has introduced a common language that affords more efficient conversation among individual branch managers. Sidwell and Wood say they "would hate to see where they would be without DE and SX.enterprise."

Steels and DE Survive the 2010 Winter Olympics
With the 2010 Winter Olympics set to take place in Vancouver, Steels' business is booming. In addition, there is a lot of activity in Alberta's oil industry. Steels feels fortunate to have a strong system like SX.enterprise in place to help with the growing demands -- all of Vancouver is rebuilding in preparation for the games. At 120,000 sales orders per year, Steels has three hubs and ten branch locations to manage. Recently, Steels has terminated leases on several of those branch properties in favor of buying significantly larger properties from which to distribute. Wood says, "If we didn't have a software system that was robust enough, that had the capability to support that growth, we wouldn't have been able to get here. DE and the foundation we have with SX.enterprise is really an essential part of being able to get to the kind of growth that we are really enjoying here."

Steels Industrial and DE
After increasing inventory turns significantly and growing continually, Steels is beyond satisfied with their investment in DE. Steels describes SX.enterprise as a stable, reliable system, and they have upgraded three times in the last few years, pleased with each one. Again, Sidwell and Wood claim, "Without SX.enterprise, we wouldn't have been able to achieve the growth that we have achieved." Steels' SX.enterprise users know the DE team on a first name basis, and they define their relationship with DE as very good because DE keeps them very informed. Asked whether they would recommend DE and SX.enterprise to a fellow distributor, Sidwell and Wood agree, "Based on our experience, you would be making the right choice to go with DE and SX.enterprise."

For more information on Steels Industrial Products Ltd., visit www.Steels.com.