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June/July

2013

We like work. It’s why we are business owners; we value our work/life balance, manage risk and work to our strengths. We like to fight fires – doesn’t it feel good when you are productive and involved in the business? It does and it’s usually a result of the hard fact that business owners wear a lot of hats. You have to sometimes, since there’s only so much time and money to go around in a small business. But here’s the catch: spending too much time in the everyday means less time on the big picture, and that big picture is the vision that you need to drive your business and inspire the people that are counting on you to grow. Look across your key partnerships and services. Evaluating providers such as internet and phone, as well as those that you might have long-standing relationships with, like accountants and lawyers, can result in better service, improved efficiencies and significant cost savings. The NetPlus Alliance website was recently updated with information and links to our business service supplier partners. These programs offer opportunities for our members including technology, executive search, phone and freight audit, business insurance and price optimization. You can even book a golf trip to Ireland! We all want to feel productive; take this moment to pause and consider one change that you can make to work on your business today.

Issue Features P3

President’s Column

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Tool Talk

P 6 - P 7 Osborn

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Group Updates

P 10 DDI


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The NetPlus Exchange


President’s Column -by Dan Judge

ISA 2013 – A Huge Success for NetPlus In early June, Jen, Todd, Shirley, Zach and I went to the ISA Product Show and Conference. Between the five of us we had several hundred meetings with both suppliers and distributors. Before the show began we also had a “combined” advisory board meeting. Ten of our supplier board members, and four from the distributor group, met for a couple of hours so we could update them on planning for our group meeting in March 2014 as well as demo the Partner Portals. As usual we received some solid feedback on what we are doing and how we do it. We had two days during the Product Show to meet with our manufacturers,

Contents Proto.................................................................... 2 President’s Column............................................... 3 ERB Safety........................................................... 4 IPG...................................................................... 4 Tool Talk............................................................... 5 Feature Supplier: Osborn............................... 6-7 Group Updates..................................................... 8 Stanley................................................................. 9 Vega.................................................................... 9 DDI: Lasting Technology & Outstanding Support... 10 Hyde.................................................................. 10 DDI.................................................................... 11

wholesalers, and a few service suppliers. The discussion topics ranged from “how’s business” to discussions about particular products and markets, and how we can work together to grow business. Jennifer and Zach spent a significant amount of time developing marketing plans and programs with the service suppliers to put a focus on their business. As you saw from the press release, Zach Brado joined us full time this month as Marketing Coordinator following his MBA graduation from the University at Buffalo. The ISA Conference was a great launching point for Zach into this industry called Industrial Distribution. He also learned that he could have as much fun with people in this business as with his college buddies. Our Core Values This conference reinforced for me that our number one core value “Value Relationships” is vitally important to what we do as NetPlus Alliance. This industry has a marvelous group of people and we are proud to call many of them our friends. And by linking that to another core value, “Grow Together”, we have developed a business model that will help all of our partners to thrive. Rebate Distribution By now our distributor members should have received their 2012 rebate checks. I am happy to report that this distribution exceeds 2011 by 8%. This year we revised the distribution model to reward commitment and engagement of our best members. I am very pleased at the way this turned out. To improve your performance in 2013, continue to add new NetPlus suppliers and grow your purchases from existing suppliers. It’s as simple as that. And again thanks for being a great partner with NetPlus Alliance.

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June / July 2013


PAINT WITH CONFIDENCE.

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The NetPlus Exchange

800-474-8273

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Tool Talk

-by Todd Washburn Grow Together. It is what we work toward every day at NetPlus Alliance and is a theme you will continue to see throughout our communications. Growing not only consists of year over year top line growth, it includes bottom line as well. You work hard to build on your bottom line, and at NetPlus Alliance, we continually work toward adding new elements to our programs to drive this bottom line growth.

We are continuing to work with suppliers to enhance their overall programs on behalf of our distributors, developing programs with incentives that benefit everyone at all levels of the organization. Criteria may consist of “out of the gate” competitive pricing programs for distributor members, lower minimum orders, lower prepaid freight minimums, limited barriers to entry for a new distributor to add a product line, aggressive marketing campaigns, and one of the most important categories: growth rebate incentives. These programs must be mutually beneficial for all parties. A good program should in turn, create growth, which improves everyone’s bottom line. I want to highlight just a few examples of enhancements to programs that we’ve executed that are effective for 2013. Apex Tool Group has added an aggressive INDIVIDUAL growth program where 100% of the rebate earned is paid back to the qualifying distributor. This program excludes members that have a direct program with Apex. This new program is competitive, and has group advantages that you will earn only by participating through NetPlus. Drillco is also offering a special NetPlus Member Conversion and growth program. A PowerPoint explaining each of these programs is available in the Distributor Resources section in the NetPlus Partner Portal.

Walter Meier (Jet/Wilton) is now offering aggressive overall group growth incentives, which could add 50% or more to your rebates earned. They also added an individual growth incentive where a distributor with qualifying growth can receive 100% of the rebates earned. Mayhew Tools now has a very lucrative group growth rebate program for 2013. Hyde Tools, Thoughtrend, Products For Industry, Bondhus Corporation, Eurolink, Industrial Ladder & Supply, Coilhose Pneumatics, and Airmaster Fan have also added new or renewed incentive programs that include new business or growth incentives. Please make sure you take time to log in to our new Partner Portal to review each supplier’s program terms and conditions. We are continuing the development of new reporting capabilities, and visibility to supplier program information. All of these program details can be found on the portal site along with lots of great tools and resources to help you grow your business, improve your bottom line and help everyone to continue to Grow Together. As we continue to create opportunities to build engagement throughout the group, one of the most important is our regional planning meeting. There are not many opportunities where a distributor can meet with 15 to 20 suppliers in one business day, create new relationships, continue to develop existing ones, and learn ways to improve overall profitability of their business, all for the low cost of just getting there. We strongly encourage all distributors that have the opportunity to participate in our regional planning sessions to take the time to do so. The sessions are designed to create engagement at the local and regional sales levels. Distributors should take the time to support the suppliers that are working hard to earn your business. They are partners in NetPlus Alliance because we have a great model. It’s a simple one: bringing suppliers and distributors together for the mutual benefit of continued growth. Email Todd at todd.washburn@netplusalliance.com for more information.

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June / July 2013


Featured Supplier 125 Years of Industry Leadership, Supported By a Consistently Updated Approach Osborn, the global leader in surface treatment solutions and finishing tools, recently announced a new aggressive sales force strategy for growth while continuing to provide industry-leading support. Aggressive Strategy Osborn’s aggressive sales force growth strategy added 50 experienced industrial sales professionals to promote more coverage and improve market penetration to enable more effective and efficient growth for the company. The 50 new additional experienced industrial sales professionals throughout the U.S. are from JDF Associates, in the Northeastern and Southern regions, Surpless Dunn in the Midwestern region and Clark & Associates in the Western region. The blended sales force is led by Osborn’s veteran sales team leaders in new roles: Todd Reasonover, national director of sales; Brad Smith, northeast regional sales manager; Chris Lyons, southern regional sales manager; Gregg Hohlt, midwest regional sales manager; and Michael Fulcher, western regional sales manager. “This investment in our distribution network further strengthens Osborn’s position in the market,” said Reasonover. “We are excited at the

potential for growth and are confident that we will continue to deliver exceptional performance in everything we do.” The new strategy reflects Osborn’s continued commitment to exceptional performance in all areas including product performance, technical support, customer service and distributor relationships. “The additions to our sales team are known for their technical backgrounds and end user experience,” said Mark Johnson, vice president, sales and marketing, Osborn. “Combined with our seasoned sales team management, this new strategy will continue to give our customers the optimal results that they have come to expect.” 125 Years of Leadership Osborn customers have been expecting optimal results for more than a century in part due to Osborn’s consistently refreshed approach to the market and in part due to its long tradition of excellence. In 2012, Osborn celebrated its 125th year in business. The company got its start making horse and butcher block brushes in Cleveland, Ohio in 1887 and has since grown into an international supplier of surface treatment solutions and finishing tools. Over the past 125 years, Osborn’s product offerings grew through several line expansions and additions from the few original product designs that John J. Osborn purchased when founding Osborn. Early in the company’s history it began to make brushes for use in the foundry industry and for street cleaning. As national and industry needs changed, so did the company’s products. Osborn grew within Northeast Ohio as well as establishing operations nationally, then internationally. Today Osborn serves diverse groups of customers and industries in more than 120 countries with operations in 15 countries.

P6

The NetPlus Exchange

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Osborn One Osborn, One Team Osborn rebranded itself in the spring of 2012 to unify its many divisions and communicate a focused approach to providing the markets that it serves with exceptional performance. Prior to rebranding, different divisions of the company were operating separately, and in many cases, duplicating efforts. With a philosophy of ‘one Osborn, one team,’ all divisions are now one group. Today, Osborn carries more than 10,000 standard products and more than 100,000 customized solutions in several categories, including welding, metal fabrication, automotive and maintenance as well as LoadRunners® idler rollers. Osborn produces a full line of metal finishing brushes, maintenance brushes and brooms as well as sealants, lubricants, coatings and cleaners. Drawing on customer needs and technological innovation, Osborn created a full line of ATB™ (Advanced Technology Brushing) abrasive filament brushes that involve the engineering of abrasive nylon into flexible tools for today’s highly refined finishing processes. ATB products include wheel, disc, end and internal brushes and NovoFlex™ ball hones. This variety of products serves customers in the following markets: metal processing, manufacturing, pipeline/ energy, welding, construction, maintenance and many others. As Osborn’s new tagline, “Osborn. Finish. First.” communicates, the company extends it goals of exceptional performance into distributor programs and support, helping distributors finish first with their customers who choose Osborn products. Technical Support with Real-World Experience “Our support team is composed of people with real-world experience in our customers’ fields,” said Paul Marhefka, manager of the technical services team at Osborn. “Not only do they know

Osborn products, they understand how they are being used and what they are being used to accomplish.” Osborn’s technical service engineers work with end users as well as distributors to solve application problems and help with selecting the appropriate product for a variety of applications. “Distributors have the same goal as Osborn in that they want to fully support their customers,” Marhefka said. “We want to give them the advantage through offering value, quality, delivery and support for them and our shared customers.” Custom Solutions Provide End-User Value “In every category, Osborn customizes a significant number of products,” Johnson said. “The ability to have the solution that customers need created specifically for them is part of the value we bring to the market. The people and technical support along with the products and prices are what create the Osborn advantage.” Johnson reported that after the company’s rebranding and with its continued growth, Osborn is actively adding to its teams that work with distributors. “Putting those people in place is all a part of rekindling that commitment to excellent performance.” As Osborn passes its 125th milestone and moves through 2013, the company plans to continue using its global resources and local support to work with distributors of all types and create solutions that allow the end user to improve productivity. For more information on Osborn, visit: partner.osborn.com or call 800-720-3358

Finish. First.

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June / July 2013 5/10/13 10:34 AM


Group Updates Regional Meetings NetPlus Alliance is moving forward with our newly organized regional meetings. To date we’ve had two successful meetings in Texas and our third is being held in Erie, PA on June 27th. We currently have 18 suppliers on board, and our distributor members are still signing up. The purpose of these meetings is to create engagement between our NetPlus distributor and supplier partners at a local and regional level. Distributors that have already taken advantage of this opportunity found these meetings to be exceptionally productive and beneficial, and well worth the time that was taken out of their busy day at the office. Our last two meetings for this year are scheduled for Cincinnati in September, and New England at a date to be determined. We highly encourage you to seriously consider attending these meetings when they are brought to your area. There is no cost for distributors to participate. If you are interested, please don’t hesitate to contact Todd Washburn or Shirley Weiland for more information. Annual Meeting We are excited for our Annual Meeting which is to be held in Las Vegas March 16 – 18, 2014. Online registration will be open August 1st for suppliers and September 1st for distributors. Please Save the Date and stay tuned for details as they become available. Portal Changes: Supplier Portal Reports New in the portal this month – we have added reports to assist our suppliers in growing their product share among our members. We added monthly sales reports by distributor, including a two year comparison report, to help our suppliers to gauge their penetration of our market. Also included are a distributor list identifying newly joined members and another which shows the product and customer focus for all distributors. This will help our suppliers to locate and contact those members who have the greatest need for their product. On the distributor side, along with the purchase tracking reports, we have added a report showing suppliers listed by their product category and a list of suppliers who offer co-op advertising funds to our distributors.

P8

The NetPlus Exchange

We will soon be adding tools to the distributor portal as well, including a program book which shows pricing and payment terms for all our supplier programs. Look for that release within the next few weeks. Website Additions Business Services Additional to our 125 manufacturing suppliers, we offer business services in the categories of technology, shipping and freight, marketing, insurance, finance & payment processing, travel, and development or business development. Our new Business Services page at www. netplusalliance.com/benefits/business-services provides you with quality, yet cost-efficient, service suppliers. Check it out. Photo Gallery Coming soon to our website will be a photo gallery highlighting our events, including Regional Meetings, Association Meetings such as ISA 2013 – San Diego, and our upcoming Annual Meeting in 2014. Go to www.netplusalliance.com/events to learn more about these events; this is where the photo gallery will be found as well. NetPlus YouTube Channel www.youtube.com/netplusalliance You can now access NetPlus and supplier videos at this one-stop-shop location. With our newest channel of communications, you can visit the page and view our subscriptions and featured channels, making it that much easier for you to find a channel and/or product video that you are looking for. New Supplier: Products For Industry A wholesale distributor of material handling and storage products, offers an excellent opportunity for you to meet the needs of your commercial customers and prospects by offering thousands of material handling and storage solutions. Visit their website at www.productsforindustry.com or contact NetPlus Liaison, Miro Jankovic, Sales Manager, at miro@productsforindustry.com.


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June / July 2013


NetPlus Alliance Members Benefit with the Latest Technology & Outstanding Support Distributors are looking to take advantage of today’s technology advances and improve their ongoing customer service by moving to DDI System’s inform software for industrial distributors. DDI System provides high performance software that will improve nearly every aspect of your business. From inventory and purchasing management, advanced accounting, and flexible pricing to integrated business analytics, real-time ecommerce, CRM and sales tools - DDI’s inform software is the complete solution that includes all of the essential business functions and the latest marketing tools to help you grow. “We love DDI so much that I wish we switched years ago. It has made my life better. I have a clearer picture of my financials, we’ve been able to purchase more accurately, provide a higher level of service, and save money. If we ever have a question, technical support always gets back to us promptly and with a friendly answer.” – Monica DDI’s inform software combined with the DDI Team of experts is dedicated to providing the highest level of service with an unprecedented passion for innovation. We believe no other company can

serve you better. In fact, no DDI Customer has ever switched to another system. Transitions Made Easy – DDI has successfully converted companies from hundreds of applications. Proven hands-on transition methods and data conversion experts ensure a smooth transfer with minimal interruption. Comprehensive Support – Highly-qualified customer care technicians are available to personally answer all of your questions. Ongoing training programs and user conference allow you to remain up-to-date with the latest system features. The Latest in Technology – Programmers with a passion for technology ensure DDI’s inform remains on the cutting edge! Whether it’s integrating with today’s mobile apps, creating a single-system ecommerce solution, or free software enhancements, DDI System’s team will meet your company’s every need. Learn about DDI’s commitment to high performance software and unparalleled customer service. Call 877-599-4334, email sales@ddisys.com or visit ddisys.com.

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The NetPlus Exchange


Software that Delivers Results

learn more at ddisys.com Gain 2% to Your Bottom Line And That’s Just the First Year.... Inform distribution software is a leading choice for NetPlus Alliance members. Inform powers daily operations, real-time eCommerce, business analytics, field sales, CRM, marketing, and much more. In today’s complex environment DDI’s inform business solution organizes your business so you can deliver results!

Call 877-599-4334 www.ddisys.com sales@ddisys.com

P 11

June / July 2013


32 Professional Pkwy ď‚Ş Lockport, NY 14094 Phone: 716.438.2014 Fax: 716.439.4347 www.netplusalliance.com

US Made Couplers & Plugs Available carded or bulk. For more information call customer service at

800.288.1804

SchraderInternational.com We also offer a full line of SchraderAir air compressors and accessories.


The NetPlus Exchange June-July 2013