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Thursday November 10
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Friday November 18
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TUG 2012 U2U

It's never too early to start planning! TUG 2012 U2U is scheduled for February 15-19, 2012 in San Antonio, TX. Mark your calendars. 

Lessons to Learn From Apple's Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Read this article in The Wholesaler to learn a few lessons from Steve Jobs' success. Plus, take a look at the below quotes from Jobs.

"Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

"Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren't used to an environment where excellence is expected."

"But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realized something that shoots holes in how we've been thinking about a problem."
On the EDGE
Autumn 2011, Volume 4, Issue 4
Welcome to the Autumn 2011 issue of On the EDGE!   

November is packed with webinars and educational events, so be sure to check them out. Plus, read the below distribution specific articles to help boost your business as we near the end of the calendar year.

Please contact us if there is anything we can do to help you meet your goals! 

The DE Team
877.887.EDGE (3343) 
The Wholesaler:
Help Your Customers Succeed


Management Specialist


This month, John Messenbrink, editor of Phc News, a sister publication to The Wholesaler that targets contractors, asked if I would write a column from the perspective of the wholesaler. As I was thinking about the wholesaler/contractor relationship and how to make some helpful comments, it occurred to me that wholesalers don't spend as much quality time with contractors these days. Maybe my memory is incorrect but I remember that some wholesalers used to be trusted advisors to their contractors in addition to supplying products.

Now the pace of business seems so fast that I seldom hear of substantive business discussions between wholesalers and contractors. Of course, I may just be out of the loop and it may be happening, but what I hear about are very transactional conversations like the example that follows...

Click here to continue reading...  

Inventory Optimization - Win the War by Enhancing ERP and SCM Systems with Analytics



I'm a history buff, and that comes in handy when looking at the problems of inventory optimization. The whole idea of getting inventory to the right distribution center at the right time bears a strong resemblance to a military's need to get supplies and troops to the right place at the right time.

In fact, modern operations research or decision management, defined as a quantitative methodology for operational management, came out of the WWII British Royal Air Force. Nobel Laureate Patrick Blackett and his select research team optimized the use of anti-aircraft ammunition and other problems. Even farther back, Alexander the Great conquered vast swaths of the known world by optimizing his supply lines. Later the Romans, learning from Alexander, perfected extended supply chains while devising new ways to cripple their enemies' supply lines. Napoleon understood the importance of supply chain management. He famously said that "an army marches on its stomach."  (Ironically he died of stomach cancer.) But he knew a well-administered army is necessary for success...

Click here to continue reading.

Multichannel Merchant:
When to Spend to Reduce Warehouse Costs


Orders for material handling equipment - an indicator of economic growth - are up 17% this year as of August, according to the U.S. Commerce.

That's a good sign, says Bill Kuipers, president of operations consultancy Spaide, Kuipers & Co. "While maybe not robust, the economy had stabilized to the point where most business owners were confident enough to begin to slowly catch up on some badly needed improvements."

What's more, Kuipers says some of his clients realized that they need to do more with less, and that often means investment in some basic material handling equipment that reduces handling and improves efficiency.

The increase in material handling equipment buying is likely due to a freeze on capital expenditures being lifted, says Rene Jones, founder of Total Logistics Solutions, a warehouse consulting firm. Distribution centers are also finding that they need to spend money to save money...

Click here to continue reading.  

Industrial Supply:
The Pond is Getting Smaller (And the fish are getting meaner)



How is the accelerating pace of consolidation in the world of wholesale distribution affecting you and your company? 


1. We're constantly looking at our options and figuring out how to thrive on change!
2. The rate of change is so confusing that we don't know what we're going to do.
3. Huh? Don't know what you're talking about.


First, a bit of history. You have to admire the resolve of the British during World War II. In 1939, under threat of invasion, the Ministry of Information prepared 800,000 of these posters as a morale booster "just in case." Thankfully they were never needed. On another historical note, Kevin Bacon's character Chip Diller came close to reviving this slogan in the movie "Animal House" in 1978 ("Remain calm. All is well!") but the original British poster was long forgotten until it was rediscovered in 2000.


Fast forward to the distribution business world of 2011. Can distributors afford the luxury of complacency about the sweeping changes on our playing field, including the accelerating rate of consolidation of competitors, customers, suppliers and service providers? Should we be preparing a supply of morale-boosting posters in case of "invasion" in the distributor marketplace? I will focus on three specific areas of particular and very current interest to wholesale distributors.  


Click here to continue reading.