Distributor's EDGE
In This Issue
New TWL Enhancements Increase Overall Warehouse Productivity
The Wholesaler: Developing a Culture of Change
Managing in an Uncertain Economy
The Wall Street Journal: Three Best Ways to Get Lean
MarketingProfs: Articulate to Resonate-- Crafting & Communicating Messages That Matter
Featured Paper

Lean Distribution
Warehouse Solutions

Lean is no longer just for manufacturers. Taking a page straight from the lean playbook, forward-looking distribution companies are beginning to embrace the far-reaching value of lean business practices. Hardly surprising, given that every area within a distributor's department and business process-from order entry and processing, inventory control, finance, human resources, and purchasing to supplier management, customer service, customer relationship management (CRM), and sales and marketing-can benefit from lean principles. Proven principles that drive increased quality, reduced waste, and enhanced competitiveness.

Continue reading to learn more about Lean Distribution.
  TUG 2010 U2U

Join us in Colorado Springs for TUG!
The Broadmoor

Wednesday April 21 -
Friday April 23, 2010

SIG Meetings to be held Tuesday April 20, 2010

The User Group's (TUG) User-to-User (U2U) conference is an annual opportunity for Infor Distribution ERP users to meet with each other and brainstorm. Are you looking for ways to better battle the current economic situation, how best to tweak your system for maximum efficiency? Learn how others' best practices are working well while also learning what others' mistakes to avoid.

Check out the agenda and register now!

Not yet registered? Email kgleckner@distributorsedge.com
to receive a discount code for early registration prices!
Jammin' with Grant
Grant Howard
Jammin' with Grant is back! On March 23, 2010, Grant presented the first session in his new series! If you missed it, check it out here.

You need flash to view the webinar, so if you don't have flash, download it here.

Stay tuned for more info on the next Jammin' with Grant in June 2010!

  April Fools' Fun

Stapler in a Jello Mold

In lieu o
f our usual trivia, check out these easy and fun, not your average "Stapler in a Jell-o Mold" April Fools' Day pranks. The holiday has passed, but there's always time for a little fun!

Invisible Ink
Go into the victim's office and locate every pencil and pen in their desk. Paint the tips with clear nail polish. When they try to write, none of them will work. (After the prank is revealed, the nail polish can be removed by dipping the pens and pencils in polish remover.)

Dude, Where's My Car?
Borrow your victim's car keys and make a duplicate. Then, every day or so, move the car a few parking spaces over, or turn it around so it's parked backwards in the space. Eventually start moving it to another part of the lot all together. Classic.

Monkey Trouble
Borrow all the pictures from his desk and office. Scan the photos, and use a photo-editing program to put monkey faces onto everyone's faces. Print them out and place them back on the victim's desk.

Prank at your own risk!
On the EDGE
Spring 2010, Volume 3, Issue 2
Welcome to the Spring 2010 issue of On the EDGE!

Spring has sprung, and for our clients in higher latitudes, it didn't come soon enough! This winter's weather was so intense some argue it contributed to slower business, so let's take some time to review our processes and ensure we are as lean as we can be come summer!

Plus, don't forget to register for TUG 2010 U2U! It's just a few weeks away, and it will be a great educational and networking opportunity to help you sail through the summer! Email kgleckner@distributorsedge.com to receive a discount code for early registration prices!

Check out Lean Distribution, our newest white paper, and read the WSJ's Sarah E. Needleman's simple suggestions for running a lean business. If you missed The Return of Jammin' with Grant, take a look at our new integrated webinar recording! And if you haven't brushed up on recent TWL enhancements, take a look below and give us a call if you have any questions.

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

Distributor's EDGE

The DE Team
New TWL Enhancements Increase Overall Warehouse Productivity

Can you view receipt of shipment of goods at-a-glance and easily make adjustments to your inventory?

Can you quickly and easily identify inventory items that are missing barcodes or labels to proactively manage stock?

Can you manage receipt of items located on multiple lines on your purchase order?

Total Warehouse Logistics (TWL) is loaded with an array of new enhancements to increase overall warehouse productivity and enhance the usability of TWL in the Infor ERP SX.enterprise environment. These new features include the capability to view header and line information for orders and receipts processed in a TWL warehouse from an SX.enterprise graphical interface inquiry. Other features include:

1. RF product look up that provides for an item look up via keyword search from RF.
2. TWL Receipt modifications that provide the ability to change inventory that is already received and put away.
3. Lost business so you can now use RF to cancel a line, or mark it as lost business.
4. Receiving duplicate items on multiple lines to facilitate receiving a product that was on multiple lines of a purchase order.
5. New receiving enhancement to allow a warehouse within the SX.e environment to use the TWL receiving module as an intermediate solution while implementing the entire TWL solution.
6. Full and split case handling is also now available, as well as new facilities to receive duplicate items on a purchase order.

Call us today to learn more about how TWL can improve your operations!
The Wholesaler:
Developing a Culture of Change

Inventory Management Specialist

Does anyone remember when the move to a paperless warehouse was sweeping through the wholesale distribution industry? I am sure that it started when we were following the Total Quality Management gurus of the 80s, and then was punctuated during the technology-driven 90s. Here we are at the end of the first decade of the 21st century and distributors are still churning out paper like their lives depended on it. This isn't the worst news for my friends in the paper distribution industry, but it sure puts a burr in the saddle of the conservation movement.

Having spent a vast majority of my career in and around distribution warehouses, I realize that many of our processes still require a significant amount of printed confirmation. Whether we are printing pick tickets, receiving documents or packing slips, the need for tangible proof of a transaction is still culturally ingrained in our industry.

Click here to continue reading.

Managing in an Uncertain Economy

Best Practices--
Network Optimization


The struggle continues in spite of the light on the horizon. Some are running out of rope, but most have adjusted. One could argue that wholesale distribution was built to overcapacity during the massive expansion associated with the Just in Time (JIT) movement of the 1980s and 1990s and that we've been struggling with adjustments in the 2000s. JIT drove a great deal of new business to wholesaler-distributors as manufacturers and retailers sought to decrease inventories, but it also decreased their net margins through an increase in cost to serve.

The initial impact was the 2002 recession, the first indication that the market would not grow continuously. The upturn from 2003 to 2008 gave distributors some relief but most would agree it was not like the 1990s. If distributor growth was not spectacular at that time, we should not have been surprised by how hard the next recession hit. The financial crisis further demonstrated how vulnerable distributors are when our overloaded services (accounts receivables, inventory) strangled cash flow almost instantly.

Click here to continue reading.

The Wall Street Journal: Three Best Ways to Get Lean


Just about every small business can use a little extra cash flow these days.

Nancy F. Koehn, an entrepreneurial historian at the Harvard Business School, says owners commonly look to boost their bottom line by laying off staff. But this isn't always a wise a strategy because it can mean losing out on opportunities to service new customers, she warns.

"If demand picks up, you can't exploit it because you don't have the resources," says Ms. Koehn. "It's a really big risk." (For more on the pros and cons of trimming headcount, see "Entrepreneurs Prefer to Keep Staffs Lean.")

The good news is that layoffs aren't a business owner's only option for saving. Here are three best ways to lower operating expenses...

Click here to continue reading.

MarketingProfs: Articulate to Resonate-- Crafting & Communicating Messages That Matter


We've outlined in preceding parts of this series how brand-focused research, understanding your constituents, and building your brand foundation will help your organization understand itself and its context clearly, and so establish the basis for communicating effectively--verbally and visually.

The next step is to articulate your ideas, qualities, and capabilities in ways that connect to, and engage, your communities.

Messaging-communicating with a rigorous focus on a system of key ideas-is a fundamental activity of strategic brand development and management. Disciplined messaging helps organizations engage in productive dialogues, especially across social media communities.

Sharpen your pencil and your focus.

Four principles guide good message strategies: relevance, simplicity, clarity, and consistency.

Click here to continue reading.