Distributor's EDGE
In This Issue
The Wholesaler: Resolutions for a Successful 2010
Managing in an Uncertain Economy
Modern Distribution Management: Key Financial Metrics for Distributors to 'Manage the Panic of 2009'
MarketingProfs: Ten Ways to Drive Consumer Action with Online Video
Featured Paper

Capitalizing on Advanced Inventory Management

Warehouse Solutions

Distributors of all kinds are now facing challenges to their survival and success as today's difficult
economy puts increasing pressure on inventories.

As competition intensifies, costs rise, customer expectations increase, and profit margins continue to shrink, the margin for error around inventory management has continuously narrowed. Now,
wholesalers/distributors are forced to confront the dilemma associated with inventory. They must determine how to keep stock levels as low as possible without sacrificing customer service.

As leading distributors have
discovered, new strategies and systems associated with advanced inventory management can
turn an operationally challenged distribution organization into an operationally excellent one.

Continue reading to learn how to capitalize on advanced inventory management.
  Webinar Series

Best Practices
Inventory Management with Grant Howard

Grant Howard

All the great things you expect from a Grant W. Howard seminar
- without the travel.

Increase profits, improve customer service, and support smart growth by learning more about inventory management and replenishment at these Best Practices Webinars hosted by Grant W. Howard Company and co-sponsored by Infor.

Attend Either or Both
Session Sections:

Section 1: Best Practices in
Inventory Management:
February 16 & 17, 2010
11 AM - 1 PM &
2 PM - 4 PM EST

Section 2: 10 Steps to Best Practices Inventory Management:
February 24 & 25, 2010
11 AM - 1 PM &
2 PM - 4 PM EST

Click for more information or to reserve your place at the February webinar series.

Jammin' with Grant

Grant Howard's
Jammin' with Grant Sessions are Back!

Stay tuned for a specific date and time in early Spring to attend the first in our next 4 webinar series!

In the meantime, review with
last year's series now!

  Winter Trivia

2010 Winter Olympics Mascot

What's your
Winter Olympic IQ?

Please e-mail responses to

Question #1:
What are the names of the
mascots for the
2010 Winter Olympic games?

Question #2:
Which country has hosted the Winter Olympics more than any other?

Question #3:
Which country will host the 2014 Winter Olympics?

Good luck!
On the EDGE
Winter 2010, Volume 3, Issue 1
Happy New Year and welcome to the Winter 2010 issue of On the EDGE.

We hope you enjoyed the holidays with your family and friends, but now, it's back to work we go. Hopefully the new decade will lead us to a stronger economy, but for now, take a look at these distribution specific articles to best position yourself to start the year.

And when you need a break from all of the great information, check out our Winter Olympic Trivia!

Have a terrific fourth quarter, and don't forget, we are just a phone call away.

Stay warm,Distributor's EDGE Logo
The DE Team
The Wholesaler:
Resolutions for a Successful 2010

Management Specialist

I still don't think that there will be a magic recovery back to the levels we saw during the boom years. We have all come to understand that a big chunk of the housing boom was based on selling property to people who were never going to be able to pay for their house. In my way of thinking, that means that we never really achieved the levels that we all believed were there. The massive greed in some of our lending institutions was truly amazing. I will say that I remain concerned that a lesser, but similar, situation may face us as commercial property loans come up for renewal in the next couple years.  Some of these situations can best be described as submerged. So keep a careful eye on your business in 2010.

As with the weather, we cannot change the economy, we can only prepare for it and ride it out.

Click here to continue reading.

Managing in an Uncertain Economy

Best Practices-- Process Improvement


Warehouses form a critical component of the supply chain; as a result, their design and management determines the strength of the supply chain and makes the flow more transparent. Warehouses can also be referred to as the backbone of a supply chain. In the 1990s, companies focused on inventory management because inventory represented such a large asset on the distributor's books. With the rise of acquisitions, distributors changed their focus to network optimization, facility consolidation, new location identification, and so on. The emphasis was on getting the right number of warehouses in the right places. The next step was to optimize the internal workings of these facilities (called warehouse optimization). We will see this cycle (inventory, network, and warehouse) repeated again and again as acquisitions rise and fall with business cycles.

The four primary resources to any company are inventory, human resources, accounts receivable, and facilities. Inventory, accounts receivable, and human resources have some flexibility and can be reduced or increased at a quicker pace than facilities or other more fixed assets. Most distributors consider facilities to be the most critical of the four resources, because you need the "space" to support your other assets and sustain your business. Warehouse fulfillment is composed of key inbound processes tied to receiving, staging, and put-away. Cycle counting, product placement, location type, location identification, and storage are all related to these activities. Process improvement can be applied to any of the warehouse processes. Distributors have made little progress in improving most of the warehouse processes, primarily because it's difficult to determine the return-on-investment (ROI) associated with any type of warehouse process improvement.

Click here to continue reading.

Modern Distribution Management: Key Financial Metrics for Distributors to 'Manage the Panic of 2009'


Brent Grover was our speaker on an MDM Webcast this week, and as always with his background as a CEO and CPA, addressed a range of focus points for distributors to review as they manage the panic of 2009, the title of his talk. Brent is far from an alarmist, but he argues that this downturn is structurally different than others most business executives have experienced.
He covered the details, levers and pain points across several financial areas - financing, credit, cash flow, cost control - and how distributors can sharpen their focus in each. As moderator, I felt it offered some benchmarks and tools for distributors of all sizes to form the core of an executive team meeting on how to tighten the seams of the ship, even in the middle of a storm.
Brent is a strong advocate for trailing-twelve-month financials (TTM) to give a much more accurate picture of trends. "Distributors should treat every month as year-end," he said, and not rely on the last calendar year or quarterly data.
One slide that especially caught my attention was a distributor checklist - 15 indicators or danger signs that Brent feels are important to monitor. Here are half of them...

Click here to continue reading.

MarketingProfs: Ten Ways to Drive Consumer Action with Online Video


There's no question that online video is fast becoming a favorite of Internet users around the world. In fact, online video views have surpassed core search queries, and YouTube has become a top search engine.

But this shift in consumption has left marketers searching for the best ways to incorporate online video in their campaigns. The hit-or-miss nature of viral video, the brand quality considerations of user-generated content, and the general disdain for television commercials online have left marketers wondering, "How do I make video work for me?"

Video advertising is known for its powerful branding ability, but it can also be a great direct-response vehicle that drives measurable actions that result in sales when used properly on the Web. And with new production methods, quality online video can be produced for as little as $1,000 to $5,000 per piece, making video a marketing tool that can be used in multiples across Web campaigns while driving high return on investment.

In this article I highlight 10 ways that marketers can drive consumer action with online video...

Click here to continue reading.