Cyber criminals seek opportunities to disrupt businesses like yours every day. Today's businesses are magnets for criminals trying to hijack, steal or destroy personally identifiable information, medical records and credit card numbers.
The increasing frequency and severity of data breaches proves these cyber-thieves are highly motivated and sophisticated, knowing exactly where and what to target.
That’s why knowing how to protect your business information and customer credit card data from the bad guys is critical. Tribute’s partner, 3Delta Systems, is a provider of secure internet-based payment systems that has a variety of solutions to meet the needs of your business.
Tribute has integrated 3DSI’s Payment WorkSuite Solution into their Tribute and TrulinX software, which enables users to process credit cards utilizing an innovative credit card tokenization and payment processing solution.
This secure payment system called CardVault helps remove the risk and threat to businesses by removing card data from their environment.
This also allows companies to comply with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Conforming to PCI requirements and federal privacy laws, even with state-of-the-art technologies, can be difficult and expensive since every touch point where data is handled must be secured.
This is why utilizing a service like 3DSI’s secure data tokenization solution should be on the top of the priority list for all companies that do business via credit card.
3Delta Systems has a good blog with a regular series of handy articles on PCI Compliance, Accounts Receivable, Card Storage, Internet Security & Security Breaches, and Tokenization. Here are a few of their recent posts:
For more information on 3Delta Systems products and services, visit www.3dsi.com. You can also find 3DSI on LinkedIn and Twitter (@3DeltaSystems & @CardVault) and If you’re an industrial distributor looking for software to run your business, check out our software and services at www.tribute.com
The 2013 Eaton Distributor’s Meeting (EDM) was one of the most successful with over 1,100 in attendance. The theme of Power in Partnership was in evidence as Eaton colleagues, vendors, distributors, and customers had the opportunity to come together for training and networking.
Tim Reynolds, Susie Hopper and Bill Horrigan attended and all deemed the show a success. “EDM is a wonderful convention and a great vehicle for Tribute to learn and understand what types of new programs Eaton will be rolling out to their distributor network, which helps us better serve our Eaton distributor base. We enjoy catching up with many of our customers and meeting new distributors in need of ERP software,“ stated Bill Horrigan.
One of the most popular sessions, What's it Take to be a Successful Industrial Hose Distributor, was presented by Joe Mika, Business Manager of Eaton’s industrial hose business unit and several successful hose distributors, including Tribute customer Buzz Hooper of Rubber and Accessories and Tribute vendor partner, Scott Jones of Dixon Valve & Coupling.
Tribute partner, WarehouseTWO, powers Eaton's Inventory Sharing Network and was also in attendance, giving a presentation on The Basics of Inventory Management. Click on this video link to get highlights of the meeting including Mark Tomalonis of WarehouseTWO and Tribute customer Kristin Reukauf of G.A. Miller Company.
The following are some Highlights from the Eaton Distributor Meeting as reported by Mary Gannon in Mobile Hydraulic Tips.
Eaton continues to expand one of its most unique products, LifeSense Hose, which is the hydraulic market’s only real “smart” hose. It can predict failure and let users know it’s time to replace a hose before a catastrophic failure.
Eaton revealed this product in 2011, and it continues to add to the line, announcing new sizes for the hose and offering more wire-braid sizes. Eaton is making a push for its distributors to get certified in designing, installing and maintaining systems that use LifeSense.
Introducing a new product for the industrial hydraulics market, Eaton is taking on lone competitor Bosch Rexroth’s Hägglunds division with its new Hydre-MAC motor, a low-speed, high torque motor for applications such as conveyor systems in mining, marine winching applications, oil and gas, and more.
Click to read this overview by Rubber & Plastics News of Eaton CEO Alexander Cutler's speech at EDM and his vision for the company's growth. "This is not a time to be discouraged by slow global growth. This is a time to get in the game and partner up and take ourselves to a higher level."
In the mobile controls area, Eaton highlighted the company’s Pro-FX controllers and displays as well as its online configuration software, designed to empower distributors and customers to take the management of their control system into their own hands.
Another product highlighted was the updated Axis Pro proportional valves, which will be available by the end of the year. To read the more complete article, click here.
Eaton utilizes Tribute software for the counter operation at their pilot project: the Eaton Van Wert Aeroquip Store. Click here to see how Tribute software benefits Eaton distributors and here for the benefits for Dixon Valve distributors.
Online security, fraud detection and prevention are getting more difficult by the day in the business world.
A recent FireEye Advanced Threat Report examined data from 89 million malware incidents and found that organizations experienced a “malware event” an average of once every three minutes. These events ranged from malicious email file attachments to an infected machine making callbacks to a command-and-control server so as to evade traditional corporate defenses, including next-generation firewalls and security gateways.
Cyber criminals are clever, patient, organized and global. They’re masters of social engineering, skilled in targeting the most vulnerable businesses, governments and individuals with the highest potential for gain. They focus on their targets with methodical precision, studying victims’ digital personas on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social media channels, piecing together bits of information to help them more easily penetrate systems and lure unsuspecting targets into clicking on links in seemingly genuine emails, unleashing malware that compromises computers or allows keystroke logger robots to collect user login IDs, account data and other personally identifiable information.
Malware that embeds itself in a browser application can then divert, modify or manipulate data that a user submits on an online log-in page. This type of attack – known as a “man-in-the browser” or “man-in-the-middle” attack -- scans a computer for information that can then be used by cyber crooks as secondary authentication for logging into a user’s bank account.
Online criminals are also persistent, probing a system until they penetrate its perimeter, then continue attacking its vulnerabilities in hopes of hitting the right target. Once inside a system, many attackers become entrenched. They lie low, undetected for months or even years, using advanced malware and bots designed to fly under the radar of security software, all the while surreptitiously stealing funds and/or data. Often, they and their accomplices are well-funded by crime groups from rogue nations where security and enforcement are lax and financial fraud is difficult to prosecute.
The Holy Grail for cyber attackers is a “zero-day exploit.” Malicious programmers create a worm or virus that exploits unknown or undocumented vulnerabilities in browsers, software applications or operating systems, then often use email phishing to trick computer users into visiting a web site where the Trojan resides. Once triggered by clicking on a link, the worm can quickly infect the user’s PC and spread to other computers.
Most companies can’t field full-time security defense teams with the same intensity and focus as cyber thieves. So, the odds of a successful intrusion are in the perpetrator's favor.
Why CIOs & CISOs Can’t Sleep at Night
According to a recent poll by ThreatTrack Security, enterprises are facing an unprecedented surge of highly targeted and sophisticated threats that are designed to evade traditional malware detection technologies. As a result, there’s broad concern among C-suite executives about the vulnerability of their networks against cyber attacks and their ability to withstand those attacks.
In the survey, a whopping 97% of enterprise executives with annual security budgets over $1 million admitted they were concerned about their vulnerabilty to malware attacks and cyber-espionage tactics. More than two-thirds (69%) of those surveyed also said their biggest fear was that their companies would not be able to stop cyber threats. One in five (21%) said their number one concern was not knowing whether an attack was even underway.
Despite these fears, however, the study also found that most executives had not yet adopted cyber defense best practices, technologies or trained staff to protect their systems and confidential data against attacks. Similar findings are borne out by Verizon’s 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report. In that study, 69% of breaches were discovered by external parties and 66% took months or years to discover.
The Verizon report also noted that cyber criminals rely most often on social engineering and phishing attacks to gain a foothold into corporate networks so that they can steal valuable account credentials.
According to the Ponemon Institute’s "The 2013 Cost of Data Breach:Global Analysis,” the United States is the costliest country to suffer a data breach, with the total cost per data breach incident registering at $5.4 million.
What’s a CIO or CISO To Do?
For starters, chief information officers and their security counterparts should recognize that, even though no system on earth is 100% hack-proof, every business can and should manage the risk of a possible breach by putting data protection best practices in place and planning for ‘graceful failure’. This approach, which minimizes economic or corporate harm, assumes that at least one element of your network’s security defenses will fail at some point, allowing perpetrators to gain access but that multiple countermeasures will detect and respond to an attack in case one system safeguard fails. A deep, multi-layered security approach like this remains the best breach defense for protecting confidential data, whether you’re a large enterprise or a small business.
An alert mind is also one of the best defenses against fraud, and stopping cyber crime begins and ends with individual computers and their users. Train all employees, not just IT administrators, to keep an eye out for unusual behavior – unexpected account usage, for example – and to sound an alert in case of anomalies. Warn employees against clicking on pop-up windows or suspicious links in emails – even from people or businesses that appear legitimate – which can be tricks to install spyware and steal confidential information.
Ensure all employees, contract personnel and business partners know your company’s fraud policies, practices and fraud-response processes. Given the growing role of organized crime in perpetrating credit card fraud and theft, make sure anyone with access to important intellectual property and trade secrets is trained on the latest cyber criminal breach tactics, such as phishing, man-in-the-browser attacks and other social engineering schemes. Merchants who accept credit or purchase cards should also set up their payment systems so that access is limited to key staff on a need-to-know basis.
For enterprises engaged in e-commerce, the best defense is to eliminate storage of credit card data or personally identiable information on company networks altogether using tokenization, a technology that 3Delta Systems pioneered a decade ago.
3Delta Systems’ CardVault® tokenization service lets businesses easily accept and process customer card payments while eliminating the risk of storing their card information on internal systems, thereby protecting data from hackers, promoting faster and easier PCI compliance and cutting costs.
CardVault safeguards confidential credit card information by first securely tokenizing that data, then eliminating it completely from a company’s internal systems, much like emptying a warehouse so that a thief has nothing to steal. The process involves replacing credit card purchase data with randomly generated reference keys that safely convert real 16-digit card numbers into a string of characters that become useless to a cyber criminal.
Today, CardVault tokenizes the data on millions of credit cards at more than 4,100 merchant locations throughout the United States and has become a formidable tool in a CISO’s defense arsenal. With CardVault in place, information security officers can sleep better at night, knowing that their customers’ payment and transaction data is safe and secure.
At 3Delta Systems, we’re continually investing in fraud-fighting solutions that deliver the ultimate in payments peace of mind and educating our customers about the latest fraud threats and countermeasures.
We invite you to download a free white paper about CardVault entitled, Stopping Data Cyberthieves In Their Tracks.
You may find this free checklist of the Top 10 Best Practices for Fighting Credit Card Theft and Fraud handy, too.
Click here to Read Part II: Cyber Attacks: Shoring Up Your Enterprise Defenses
A recent report by Forrester Research, Inc. states that three key forces are reshaping the enterprise resource planning (ERP) market: the growing demands of global businesses; the increasing need for industry-specific functionality; and the expanding use of newer technologies like mobile apps.
This understanding is crucial to an informed application strategy as ERP becomes much more modular and achieves a balance between a core set of standard functionalities and a variety of plug-in functional components, each of which will focus on one or more elements of a particular ERP business process.
Tribute, Inc. has long adopted this strategy, focusing on engineering features for the fluid power, power transmission, rubber product, automation and motion control marketplace and partnering with experts in their fields to provide customers a wide range of complementary tools.
One of these partners is Rubber Tree Systems, a provider of sales force mobilization for ERP systems. Tribute and TrulinX software is integrated with Rubber Tree System’s MoBI-ERP solution so customers can easily view their sales dashboard with sales, order, quote, PO and vendor data in one place.
This integration (Tribute Mobile and TrulinX Mobile) provides comprehensive customer detail on your mobile device, enabling customers to view customer detail in one screen - addresses, tasks, contacts, phone numbers, AR, sales, open order and quotes, as well as item history. With the comprehensive customer overview screen, you can walk into a customer and know the status on every transaction in your back end ERP system.
With their detailed order and quote screens, you can answer your customer’s questions about orders, quotes, shipments, AR and more face to face instead of calling the office and making your customer wait for the answer.
You can use the easy Mobile Alert Setup function to setup specific alerts based on dollar amounts, margins, customer inactivity and more. Not only can the user manage their global alerts for all named accounts, but they can also manage individual customer alerts for accounts that may need more detailed attention.
The Universal Search function allows you to instantly search all customers, prospects, orders, and quotes in one simple box.
Rubber Tree Systems also offers Customer Connect, a service that allows a distributor’s customers to access a secure web portal to view their account information such as: Open Orders, Open Quotes, Purchases, & A/R Information.
Tribute, Inc. will be attending our vendor partner’s annual distributor meeting and hope to see you there. The 2013 Eaton Distributor Meeting (EDM) is a unique-to-the-industry event that showcases valuable tools and resources to grow your business, give you the opportunity to network with industry peers, and influence product and program offerings from Eaton.
Sunday, September 15, 2013 3:00 PM - Wednesday, September 18, 2013 4:00 PM
Peabody Hotel - 9801 International Drive, Orlando, Florida
Technical workshops led by our Eaton experts will include detailed product overviews and hands-on demonstrations. The invaluable insights gained as a result of attending one these sessions will allow you to implement what you have learned to make an immediate impact on your business results.
Workshops you don’t want to miss!
13119C - The Basics of Inventory Management for People NOT Responsible for Inventory Management by our vendor partner WarehouseTWO
1306 - Demystifying Eaton Rebates & The Advantages of Pricing Programs
1333 - PowerSource Web
1356 - There’s Power in Your Marketing Tools - Maximize your ROI on Marketing Investments
1360 - The eFiltration Mobile App Unfiltered
Winning in Segments
1313 - Put More Wind in Your Sales - Eaton’s Post Warranty Wind Program
1325 - Winning Sales Strategies for the Ag & Forestry Market
1329 - Grow Sales through Service in Mining
1341 - Partnering to Win in Construction & Material Handling
Register today! Deadline for discounted rates is August 30, 2013. Come by and visit the Tribute crew at Booth #18. To read about the benefits of Tribute Software for Eaton Distributors, click here. Check out the wrap-up of last year's conference.
September 22-25, 2013
Loews Coronado Bay Resort, Coronado, CA
The FPDA Motion & Control Network and the International Sealing Distribution Association have combined forces for the third year in a row to provide an extraordinary program with an educational program lead by industry experts. The Summit will include programming back by popular demand as well as new and invigorating opportunities for learning and networking.
In addition to the UID-in-a-Day Workshops, the conference will feature some great guest speakers:
What in the World is Going On? A Global Intelligence Briefing by Herb Meyer, host and producer of The Siege of Western Civilization and former Special Assistant to the Director of Central Intelligence and Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council.
The Business of You – Double Your Productivity, Reduce Your Stress and Balance Your Life by Steve MClatchy, Founder of Alleer Training & Consulting
New Process of Distribution Sales Management by Joseph C Ellers, Business to Business Sales Management and Strategy Consultant
Interpersonal Leadership: Building Trust, Communicating Effectively, Resolving Conflict & Leading Your Relationships by Steve McClatchy
Improving Profitability through Joint Sales Calls by Joseph C Ellers
Tribute, Inc., a member of FPDA and ISD, will be at the supplier showcase – stop by and say hello! Click here to check out the brochure with complete details and registration form. Deadline for early-bird discount is August 5th, 2013.
John Shelton, 2013 NIBA Program Chair & Tribute customer, states that the theme of this year’s show, “Make it Happen”, is born out of the challenging business times we have all been experiencing for the past many years.
“We have all learned how to adjust to the new normal and find our ways to ‘Make it Happen’ each and every day in both our business and personal lives,” says Shelton. He believes that leadership is the core to success and with that in mind, the team at NIBA – The Belting Association has put together a great program for their annual convention.
The keynote speaker for the convention is Howard Putnam, former CEO of Southwest Airlines. His powerful message will focus on the importance of people in successful businesses and leadership. Along with Mr. Putnam, other valuable sessions will focus on today’s important topics for business leaders, including sessions on new media marketing and the Affordable Care Act.
The highly rated convention Expo will feature a showcase by the participating industry manufacturers and service providers. The following break-out sessions will be offered:
The convention will close with a farewell reception at the beautiful Knibbe Ranch with everything from mechanical bull rides to Texas 2-Step dancing.The venue will allow the attendees to engage in some networking, all the while enjoying the festivities being offered.
The 2013 TribNet (TrulinX and Tribute user's group) meeting was held last week at the Denver Marriott City Center in downtown Denver, CO. The meeting brought in 128 attendees from 58 companies. We are pleased that so many of you continue to find value in attending the annual meeting.
The week began with a day of intense work by the TrulinX PPAB and the Tribute Program Review Committee. Members review and rank the TrulinX and Tribute open project lists, which helps determine the direction for future software development.
We officially kicked off the User's Group meeting on Wednesday with a welcome from Tribute president Tim Reynolds and a review of personnel changes and strategic initiatives put in place by Tribute, Inc. this year.
Next, Howard Ives of 3Delta Systems (3DSI) helped us understand how Visa and MasterCard interchange rates work and gave us tips on reducing merchant processing costs by including Level 3 card data in trasactions. On Thursday morning, Tim updated us with the yearly "State of Tribute" address at the President's Forum.
As always we enjoyed some informative breakout sessions. TrulinX and Tribute had some separate breakouts, while others were combined and relevant to all users. These included presentations on inventory management, system maintenance, cash deposits, reports and queries, accounting tips, credit card processing, and several other subjects. Users also participated in roundtable discussions on subjects such as progress billings, EDI, emailing, and social media. The sessions were well attended and hopefully everyone left with new knowledge about Tribute and TrulinX to take home to their businesses.
We also send huge thanks to Rubber Tree Systems and Tour de Force CRM for their sponsorship of the meeting, along with Enlighten.Net, 3Delta Systems, Harland Technology Services, and WarehouseTWO for exhibiting. We were also pleased to welcome representatives from Qantel Technologies, Parker Hannifin Corporation, Eaton Corporation, and Dixon Valve who also attended the meeting. All of these vendors provide very important products and services and we hope to see them at the 2014 meeting.
Of course, our meeting was not all work with no play! On Wednesday evening we experienced fun and games at a reception at Allie's American Grille. On Thursday evening we enjoyed the President's Dinner at the Rock Bottom Brewery. Everyone enjoyed yummy food and unique Denver brews while we mingled and played some pool.
It was a wonderful opportunity to have fun and network as a big combined group. Many attendees also enjoyed marvelous dining, shopping, Rockies baseball, and sightseeing in and around Denver.
Several new officers and committee members were also elected at the meeting. We are now holding one business meeting where we will elect a single combined executive board representing both Tribute and TrulinX, while keeping separate priority-setting committees. The current members are:
Executive Board members:
TrulinX Program Priority Assignment Board (PPAB) members:
We especially appreciate the efforts of president, Sybille Hamilton, with all her assistance in the business meeting, and also Membership Chair Delilah Wirtjes with her help in contacting members and encouraging them to join TribNet and attend the conference.
Next year's conference will take place in northeast Ohio, with the date yet to be determined. We look forward to another great meeting in 2014!
The Valve Manufacturers of America is celebrating its 75th year with an updated website. Founded in 1938, the Washington, DC-based Valve Manufacturers Association of America exclusively represents nearly 100 North American manufacturers of valves, actuators and controls, which account for about 80% of total industrial valve shipments out of U.S. and Canadian facilities.
With a VMA Store, Valve Education and Career Center, and three sister websites (ValveMagazine.com, ValveMagazine-Digital.com, and ValveIndustryBuyersGuide.com), VMA is one of the most comprehensive sites dedicated to the flow control industry.
The Valve Industry Buyers Guide, a convenient online resource, features hundreds of listings and is organized to help you easily locate U.S. and Canadian valve, actuator and control manufacturers, as well as suppliers to the valve industry. You’ll find Tribute, Inc., a provider of distribution management software specifically designed for valve and fluid handling distributors, on this list as well.
Nearly 1,000 people turned out for the 29th annual meeting of the National Association of Hose & Accessories Distribution (NAHAD) in Washington, D.C. last week. Joe Thompson, Executive Vice President of the association, said that it was one of the largest turnouts in NAHAD’s history.
Andrew H. Card Jr. was the keynote speaker. The former Chief of Staff to President George W. Bush talked about life behind the scenes at the White House and had attendees enraptured when he described the tragic events of September 11, 2001, drawing a standing ovation for his speech. Card, who has worked in three different presidential administrations, is now the Acting Dean at the Bush School of Government & Public Service at Texas A&M University.
Michael Ference, publisher of Hydraulics & Pneumatics, attended the convention and noted that it is an important meeting for both distributors and manufacturers of hose and accessories because of the connections.
“I don't necessarily mean the hose connections but the people connections. One of the reasons that the NAHAD organization is so successful is because they realize this truth. People do business with other people. Manufacturers are represented by people who sell their products through distributors who are represented by people and they sell to customers who are people," states Ference.
"The four days of the NAHAD Annual Convention & Meeting are focused on those connections starting with the opening reception through the networking courses and excursions, the hospitality night, and culminating in the closing reception. NAHAD is about people.”
Tim Reynolds, Tribute president, and Bill Horrigan, Sales Director, said that this was one of the best NAHAD shows they’ve attended and the networking opportunities with customers and prospects was invaluable. They commend the NAHAD executive committee and Joe Thompson and his staff for the great job they did on this year’s convention.
We congratulation Dick Goodall, the CEO of Dixon Valve & Coupling Company, who was awarded the prestigious George W. Carver Award. The award was created in the name of George W. Carver, a founding father and third president of NAHAD. Goodall has assisted his company’s growth through a series of strategic acquisitions, as well as helping Dixon establish a global presence.
Tribute is proud work in partnership with Dixon Valve & Coupling on the release of features specifically for the Dixon distributor. PO files can now be exported to Dixon from Tribute/TrulinX software in their required format, streamlining their distributor’s business processes.
Parker Hannifin has launched the PTS Mobile component to the Parker Tracking System. With PTS, durable barcode labels are attached to Parker hose assemblies and related products to make identifying and acquiring products faster, easier, and more accurately. PTS Mobile enables users to initiate a replacement order directly from their smartphone.
By participating in the PTS program, the system captures detailed asset information, including:
Using the mobile device's camera to scan the barcode on the label, PTS will immediately verify the asset in Parker's global database. Customers also have the option to manually enter the unique PTS ID number into the system. For products that are not tagged or hard to identify, customers can send a photo of the part to a distributor for identification assistance.
After identifying the product, PTS Mobile asks customers to confirm the results before locating a distributor based on ZIP code or GPS data. An email containing the assembly details is generated by the app which is then sent to the selected distributor for quoting and processing.
To check out a video on the new mobile app click here. PTS Mobile will be available at no charge in both the Apple App Store and Android Marketplace.
Parker and Tribute, Inc. have worked together to offer an interface between PTS and the Tribute and TrulinX software systems. Tribute works closely with Parker Hannifin to help our software users meet vendor requirements and maximize discounts all while selling the product in the most efficient manner. Click here for more information on how Tribute’s software can help streamline your business processes, cut costs and enhance customer service.
Click here for more info on Parker PTS
Click here for info on Parker’s FittingFinder app
Click here for our post on Parker’s Mileston: The 2000th ParkerStore
Email marketing is one of the best low-cost advertising tools in your advertising & communications arsenal. It’s an inexpensive way to connect with prospects and clients to talk about your latest offerings and industry news.
Tribute, Inc. uses Constant Contact, an Engagement Marketing specialist, to communicate with our customers and prospects.
This year, Tribute is proud to have earned Constant Contact’s All Star Award, an annual award to recognize customers who excel at using their tools to engage with their own customers and build great relationships, given to the top 10% of users.
Constant Contact has a wealth of resources for those just getting into the game and make it easy to set up templates with professional flair. If you’re interested in utilizing email marketing, their Email Marketing 101 series is a great place to start.
While you decide on what type of template to use, considering how “mobile-friendly” it is should be a priority. With 43% of consumers now accessing emails via a mobile device, and the trend increasing all the time, formatting your emails to be easily readable on a mobile device is smart.
David Gerhart, product manager at Constant Contact, has a great article on 5 Simple Tips for Mobile Friendly Emails.
Today, a majority of Americans are actively using text messaging to stay in contact with friends, family members, and colleagues. These are people who are actively engaged in the content they’re receiving. Today, 90% of text messages are read within three minutes of delivery.
You can use this permission-based tool for short, time sensitive communications; this means everything from appointment reminders to last minute sale alerts. And you can use email to send more content and information to the place your customers are already going every day: the inbox.
The combination of SMS marketing and email marketing could be exactly what you need to adjust to the needs of your increasingly mobile audience. For more info, read Shane Neman of Ez Texting’s article on the Constant Contact Blog, How to Use SMS Marketing to Compliment Your Email Marketing Campaigns.
The Denver Marriott City Center offers panoramic views of Colorado's Rocky Mountains and the gorgeous Denver skyline. It's an easy walking distance from the city's most vibrant shopping and entertainment districts, including LoDo, Larimer Square and the 16th Street Mall.
The hotel also offers two restaurants/lounges, a full service Starbucks, an indoor pool, and fitness center. We'll enjoy remodeled meeting spaces with new technology, and a spacious common area for networking, vendor booths, and relaxing during breaks.
We've got a variety of great sessions planned and our keynote presentation will be "Understanding Visa & MasterCard Interchange Rates and Requirements", a product-neutral informational session by Howard Ives, Vice President of Sales and Business Development at 3Delta Systems.
Tim Reynolds, Tribute president, will be giving his annual speech as well.
The general meeting will take place Wednesday afternoon through Friday (June 12th - 14th) and the Welcome Reception will be held Wednesday evening with the President's Dinner scheduled for Thursday evening.
Along with training and networking opportunities, we will have great breakout sessions filled with the knowledge you need to work efficiently, improve your business processes, and use your software to its full potential. Vendor partners 3Delta Systems, Enlighten.Net, MITS Advanced Reporting & Business Intelligence, Qantel Technologies, Rubber Tree Systems, Tour de Force CRM, and WarehouseTWO will also be in attendance.
Several of our manufacturer partners will have representatives there as well, including: Eaton Corporation, Dixon Valve & Coupling, and Parker Hannifin.
So join us for the 2013 TribNet Conference in Denver. You’ll find the opportunities for gathering cost saving and useful information coupled with the benefits of networking with Tribute staff, your peers, and manufacturer reps invaluable. Visit the Tribute website to register.
Better serving customers and making employees' jobs easier are two key reasons why organizations implement ERP systems, according to data in Panorama Consulting’s 2013 ERP Report.
Companies want upgraded technology that will enable their employees to work efficiently and accurately, thereby improving customer service and profitability.
An employee that is less weighed down by inefficient business processes, who can communicate with ease cross-functionally, and who can easily and quickly access accurate data is a productive employee who delivers better customer service.
But as good as this may sound in theory, most companies struggle to achieve these employee productivity benefits. In fact, again according to the Panorama 2013 ERP Report, 60% of organizations fail to realize at least half of the business benefits they expect, while nearly 50% reported that they did not realize improved productivity with their new system.
In his article for ITToolbox, Using ERP Systems to Increase Productivity, Eric Kimberling, ERP and Business Consultant, states that part of the reason companies struggle to achieve these business benefits is because they have not clearly articulated and quantified the details.
He believes that you should ask the following questions when deciding whether you have the business case to implement an ERP: What specific metrics will drive the business benefits and show that we have realized them? How exactly will we achieve the business benefits, whether by implementing specific modules, reducing headcount or via some other driver?
Kimberling says that all of these questions and others should be answered as part of an effective benefits realization plan and has a few tips to optimize employee productivity and other measurable business benefits:
Begin with a quantifiable business case. In their 2013 ERP Report, they also found that 14% of organizations don’t have a business case to start with. In order to actually achieve the benefits, the business case needs to clearly define the expected impact on performance metrics. Common productivity metrics include time spent on non-value-add activities such as gathering data and correcting mistakes resulting from incomplete information, but these metrics need to have tangible numbers attached to them to make them a reality.”
Build your business process reengineering around the benefits realization plan. Quantifying business benefits is one thing, but operationalizing and realizing those benefits is another animal. Business processes need to be reengineered and clearly defined before measurable results come to fruition. When facilitating business process reengineering activities, organizations must ask themselves, “How will this help us achieve the business benefits set forth in our business case and benefits realization plan?”
Leverage organizational change management activities to bring business benefits to life. Once business processes are clearly defined, they still need to be operationalized and integrated into the organization, which simply won’t happen without an effective organizational change management plan. Organizational activities such as employee communications, change readiness, training, and change impact analyses should all provide the finesse required to ease employees’ transitions to the new processes and systems, while ultimately driving tangible user productivity benefits.
Tribute, Inc. believes Kimberling’s tips are good ones and a necessary part of the process when considering implementing a new ERP. As he states, with an effective business case, business process management, and organizational change management tools and methods in place, your ERP implementation will be much more likely to achieve the business benefits you expect from your system.
In fact, we go out of our way to help our customers be part of the 40% that actually realizes a majority of the potential benefits of your software, with the following:
Our ROI Calculator. To determine if an investment in a new ERP would be profitable, Tribute, Inc. has an ROI calculator developed by Stratavant available on their website to calculate the savings in increased employee productivity and improved processes. Using this calculator is the first step in building a quantifiable business case and determining where you can derive business benefits.
Knowledgeable Staff. Tribute staff have the extensive knowledge to guide organizations in re-engineering business processes. Utilizing information gleaned through the sales process, Tribute’s Implementation Team, led by John Teahan, who has over 32 years working in fluid power distribution, work with customers to re-engineer business processes and implement efficient work flows. Tribute’s industry-specific features help in reducing many manual business processes, improving productivity and customer service.
Onsite Training. Once the business processes have been clearly defined, Tribute’s onsite training is key to ease employees’ transitions to the new processes and systems, while ultimately driving tangible user productivity benefits. Many of our competitors utilize online tutorials which is no substitute for an onsite trainer knowledgeable about the unique requirements of your industry.
Tribute, Inc. will be joining over 800 attendees at the annual NAHAD convention: The Power of Distribution, in Washington, D.C. next month. We enjoy this opportunity to see many of our customers and meet new folks as well - drop by our booth #160. There’s still time to register for this fantastic networking and educational event.
NAHAD hosts the only worldwide event dedicated to serving NAHAD Member hose distributors, manufacturers and suppliers. The Annual Convention is a Members-Only event, bringing together over 800 attendees for four days of vital business education, crucial face-to-face business networking, the annual Showcase of Hose Solutions product and services exhibition and exciting social events, all designed to build stronger trading partner relationships and deliver new product introductions and hose solutions.
29th Annual NAHAD Meeting & Convention
April 20 - 24, 2013
Gaylord National Resort "On the Potomac" near Washington, D.C.
This year the show will feature a luncheon focused on Speed Networking: Meeting Your Industry Peers and Trading Partners Meetings, plus a varied and knowledgeable collection of speakers will be presenting:
Michael Ference, editor of Hydraulics & Pneumatics Magazine, wrote about the benefits of attending the Annual NAHAD convention in his article, “Making Connections, H&P and NAHAD”.
To view the entire 2013 Convention brochure click here. For more information about becoming a member of NAHAD click here. For information on NAHAD's Hose Safety Institute's Handbook for the Design and Specification of Safe Hose Assemblies, click here.
To read about the benefits of Tribute software for fluid power and hose & accessory distributors, click here.
by David Svigel of
B2B Marketing & Sales Enablement Solutions
How much time and money does your company waste each day?
We all like to think that our companies are models of efficiency and that we’re maximizing profit potential in all areas. But that’s simply not the case.
One of my clients, Tim Reynolds, President of Tribute, recently told me that many industrial distributors fail to realize how much time and money they waste every day. He added that they also don’t realize the magnitude of savings that an enterprise-wide distribution management (essentially an ERP system) solution like Tribute can provide.
This is a common problem for B2B organizations. How do you convey your value? How do you help clients solve problems they’re not aware of, or that they don’t want to acknowledge.
A great place to start is numbers. One thing B2B leaders understand is a balance sheet and business cases. We worked with Tribute to create a custom ROI calculator, which they made available on their website. Now, any industrial distributor can use the calculator on Tribute’s website to quantify potential improvement to their profitability.
The ROI calculator helped Tribute in two ways. First, it assured prospective buyers that the changeover costs incurred to deploy Tribute’s solution would be recouped, and in a short time frame. Second, the ROI calculator helped Tribute highlight the unique ways its software provides real, bottom line savings.
Today, Tribute’s sales team uses its custom ROI calculator in meetings with prospects. The tool shows prospects much money they can save in a three-year period in different areas (such as warehouse and assembly labor, scrap material costs, inventory management, and more). And prospects receive a report that serves as a business case and includes key financial metrics such as net present value (NPV), ROI and payback period.
One of the biggest challenges that sales reps have is showing value using legitimate or believable numbers with prospects. Tribute’s reps can be confident that the numbers they showcase using their ROI calculator are generated based on industry average data culled from trade-association reports and firsthand discussions we had personally with numerous existing Tribute customers. This way, the sales team can use this data to create a reasonable scenario ahead of time and then refine the calculations during the sales event.
In fact, during one such discussion, when a Tribute sales rep was talking about the value enabled by one of Tribute’s unique features, the business owner had a eureka moment and made a buying decision on the spot. Success stories such as these show that value-based selling really does work in a B2B setting.
How do you use numbers to prove your value in prospect meetings? For more information, visit www.stratavant.com or feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more articles on B2B selling, visit Stratavant's blog at www.ROI-Selling.com
Mark your calendars to join Tribute, Inc. at the 2013 FPDA/ISD Joint Industry Summit, to be held September 22-25 at the Loews Coronado Bay Resort in Coronado, CA.
In response to member requests for a schedule that allows more time in the office the week of the Summit, the schedule has been to begin on a Sunday evening and end Wednesday by noon.
Alex Wheelock, Vice President of Business Development at Connector Specialists and valued Tribute partner, is the Convention Chair this year. He joined FPDA on the recommendation of his contacts at Parker Hannifin and states that “[FPDA] really helped me to develop my network. I really benefitted from meeting younger people in the industry and seeing the awesome and interesting things they were doing at their organizations. I was learning the industry and everything I needed to know to be successful in it.”
Wheelock believes that membership in FPDA has been invaluable because of the industry contacts he has made. “I can't even measure its value on the networking side, because many of the group of 20-30 distributors that I am really close with, I talk to on a regular basis. It's invaluable having all those different sounding boards and hearing about how they're overcoming challenges and applying creative methodologies.”
In addition to the networking aspect, Wheelock appreciates the resources available to members, such as the benchmarking studies. “The benchmarking aspects of FPDA are valuable to see where you stand in the rest of the distributor landscape. Ultimately that knowledge makes your own internal data that much more valuable.”
This year’s meeting location in San Diego’s Coronado Bay Resort promises to be as fun as it is informative. Although all the details haven’t been finalized yet, Wheelock is excited about the location and hopes to get maximum attendance this year. Click here to read the entire interview with Alex on FPDA’s website.
The Parker FittingFinder app helps you easily locate the part number for the fitting you need using the touchscreen on your smart phone or tablet.
Developed for field maintenance and design engineers alike, the new Parker FittingFinder app is the ultimate interactive resource for all tube fitting leak-free solutions. There's fitting identification by selecting size and shape of each end, search by part number, and even e-mailable spec pages!
This convenient, highly comprehensive tool:
It’s fast. It’s effective. And it’s always up to date. The free app also includes a handy distributor locator and CAD models. Available for both Apple and Android at your app store now.
Tribute, Inc. works closely with Parker Hannifin to help our software users meet vendor requirements and maximize discounts all while selling the product in the most efficient manner. To learn more about the benefits of Tribute Software to Parker Distributors, visit www.tribute.com
"One area distributors can’t afford to ignore …this year is technology, which affects diverse business areas, including warehouse management, sales, customer service, logistics and e-commerce," states author Brent Grover in The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors.
“For distributors, well-executed technology investments make a real difference. As such, it’s a good idea to consider the benefits of upgrading current systems.”
Brent Grover, managing partner of Evergreen Consulting LLC and adviser to the distribution channel on strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and profit improvement, states that as companies reflect on the past year’s successes and failures, the SWOT analysis provides an ideal framework for discussion.
A thorough examination of a company’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats can uncover aspects of customer relationships, product strategies and other areas than will help or hinder growth in the new year.
If your company is still doing many processes manually because of inefficient software, taking a look at industry-specific software like that offered by Tribute, Inc. is in order. Tribute provides enterprise-wide software to distributors and fabricators in the fluid power, fluid handling, hose, sealing, belting, automation, motion control and related industries and has been focused on this niche for over 30 years.
Tribute partners with many major manufacturers, has over 30 years of industry knowledge, and the unique tools you need to streamline business processes, cut costs, save time, improve margins, and most importantly, improve the ability to serve your customer and give you the competitive edge.
With real time phone support and online options, on-site training and implementation, self-directed user’s group, industry-specific tools and more, Tribute is the software for successful industrial distributors.
As Grover states, “Having the right technological tools and being able to use them well will be a differentiator in 2013. Distributors who are honest with themselves about how poor technology can threaten business goals will have a clear view of potential opportunities to turn those weaknesses into strengths.”
To read more of Grover’s informative articles, including: Five strategic planning mistakes, Funding Strategic Initiatives, and Distribution Trends in 2013, visit his website at http://strategicplanningfordistributors.com.
Posted at 07:30 AM in ASCO Numatics, Bimba Manufacturing, Bosch Rexroth, Brennan Industries, Distribution Industry, Dixon, Eaton-Aeroquip, Endress+Hauser, Garlock, Gates, Goodyear/Veyance, Manufacturing, NOSHOK, Pall Corporation, Parker-Hannifin, Ryco Hydraulics, Tech Tips, Tribute Company News, Tribute Software, TrulinX Software | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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The Process Excellence Networks Top 5 popular articles as determined by readers –
33 HBR Blog Posts You Should Read Before 2013 - the Harvard Business Review Blog Network, including:
DisTribute’s Most Popular Posts
And last, but not least, Josh Cosford’s (Hydraulics & Pneumatics Magazine Fluid Power Tips) humorous Top 10 favourite things about hydraulics, which includes the term Sausage Party.
The International Fluid Power Society has just published Fluid Power Essential Practices, a handbook on best practices based on the experience of professionals, professors, and manufacturers. The handbook is targeted toward system designers, reliability professionals, installers, inspectors, mechanics, and maintenance personnel.
Critical concerns are highlighted in chapters covering contamination control, system flushing, piping and power units, fluids, and components. Subtopics range from part selection and sealing to sizing and mounting. Author Raymond Hanley has 60 years of experience in engineering design, application, and installation of fluid power systems.
You’ll also find a wealth of other fluid power and automation handbooks on the IFPS website. To order visit www.ifps.org. If you're a distributor/fabricator looking for industry-specific software to run your business, take a look at what Tribute, Inc. has to offer.
Those that read our blog on a regular basis know that we are staunch supporters of the National Small Business Association (NSBA). Tim Reynolds, president of Tribute, Inc., serves on the board of trustees of this organization that provides information and lobbying efforts beneficial to small businesses.
One of the many benefits of a membership in NSBA is pertinent information about running small business, from legal issues to social media to information on access to capital.
NSBA’s series, “Traps for the Unwary”, covers issues critical to small business owners. The fourth installation of the series, Preserving Limited Liability, discusses the challenges of personal liability for limited liability companies (LLCs) and how best to protect yourself and your business.
The first three articles in the series are good reading as well:
For more information on the benefits of membership in NSBA, click here.
On December 1, NAHAD’s Hose Safety Institute released its new HANDBOOK for the Design & Specification of Safe Hose Assemblies; the culmination of a two-year collaborative effort by scores of NAHAD member volunteers, following more than 10 years of hose assembly guideline development.
The new HANDBOOK incorporates all of the updated content from the seven NAHAD Hose Assembly Guidelines first introduced in 2005 as well as new and expanded content, charts, graphics and photos.
A comprehensive and powerful reference tool for employee training and recognition, as well as the basis for, or a complement to, a company’s Quality Manual, the new HANDBOOK provides the perfect marketing tool for distribution sales professionals, allowing them to have “intelligent discussions with customers, centered around safety, quality and reliability, and not about price.”
To complement the new and expanded HANDBOOK, the Institute has revamped and updated its online exams and certificates program, set to roll out on January 1. Scores of Institute members are currently participating in pilot testing the five new exams. More than 3,000 certificates have been issued to individuals who have successfully passed the online Hose Assembly Guidelines exams since their initial introduction in 2005.
For more information on how you can participate or join NAHAD, visit www.nahad.org. Tribute, Inc. is the premier software provider for hose distributors - check out the benefits of our software specifically for hose distributors.
We reported previously on SpiceWorks™, a social network for those in IT and PEX: The Process Excellence Network, a resource for those interested in Lean Business Processes. Many organizations, like Automation.Com and Tribute, Inc., utilize LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter to help their members network.
Today we introduce you to IndustryPigeon – a new Social Trade Network designed for industrial trade professionals. IndustryPigeon merges social media concepts with practical business applications for industry professionals seeking strategic business connections, communications, and collaboration within their company and extended enterprise.
IndustryPigeon serves industrial trade professionals including manufacturers, manufacturer's reps, technical sales and marketing personnel, industrial buyers, distributors, service providers, and others in related professions.
To maximize trade connections and industry knowledge, users can "follow" industries such as apparel, consumer electronics, mechanical parts, measurement, tools and much more.
Unlike Facebook, information or business conversations are not unconditionally shared with a user's connections, unless specified on the Pigeon Post. Users always know exactly who they are communicating with.
Similar to public social media sites, IndustryPigeon recommends "people" connections, but those suggestions are based on the industries you follow and how those trades relate to each other. You can connect with customers, vendors, co-workers, sales representatives and other people in your business circles. You can also follow IndustryPigeon.com on Facebook, Twitter & Google+.
The NSBA Small Business Congress kicked off yesterday on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. with a Regulatory Fairness Roundtable hosted in conjunction with the U.S. Small Business Administration Regulatory Fairness Board.
Prior to the annual meeting, a number of NSBA’s executive committee members and leadership, including Tribute, Inc. president, Tim Reynolds, participated in various activities on Capitol Hill in conjunction with the Fix the Debt Campaign. The first national small-business organization to partner with the Fix the Debt Campaign, NSBA’s leadership participated in a coffee at the Capitol and then moved along to a series of Hill meetings with key Members of Congress.
Partnered with a variety of state and local organizations and stakeholders, NSBA’s leadership represented the small-business community on the Hill, which culminated in a press conference where NSBA Chair Chris Holman and NSBA Vice Chair for Membership and Marketing Cookie Driscoll spoke about the importance of reducing the deficit for small-business owners.
Joining Holman and Driscoll in the day’s events were: Todd McCracken, NSBA president and CEO; David Ickert, NSBA first vice chair; Pedro Alfonso, NSBA vice chair for communications; Rob Fowler, President and CEO of NSBA Affiliate, the Small Business Association of Michigan; Rick Murray, CEO of NSBA Affiliate, the Arizona Small Business Association; Tim Reynolds, NSBA vice chair for advocacy; and Larry Nannis, past chair of NSBA.
Founded by the architects of one of the most promising debt reduction plans offered to date, Erskine Bowles and Al Simpson, the Fix the Debt Campaign is working to build broad consensus among business, and, as such, has reached out to NSBA to help build small-business support of the efforts.
NSBA First Vice Chair David Ickert, also participated in a high level discussion at the White House on the deficit and other economic issues pertaining to small business this past week. The meeting was led by President Barack Obama, along with Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Small Business Administration Administrator Karen Mills, Gene Sperling, Director of the National Economic Council, Alan B. Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, Jeffrey Zients, Deputy Director of the Office of Management and Budget, and Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett. Ickert was among 15 small-business owners in attendance.
Ickert outlined the key issues facing small business, namely the looming fiscal cliff and sequestration. He reiterated the importance of some kind of reasonable phase-out of any tax changes so as to prevent further economic problems for the small-business community, and urged policymakers to look beyond just the near-term issues and seek a bold, long-term solution to the deficit. Any such solution must include broad tax reform, pragmatic spending cuts and entitlement reform.
“Now is the time for our elected officials to lead our country out of this financial mess we are in,” stated Ickert. “The sheer lack of a path forward is, has been, holding back growth for many small businesses.”
Given the looming fiscal cliff and coming debates in Washington, D.C., NSBA is proud to partner with the Fix the Debt Campaign and plans to aggressively seek small-business support for a broad and economically responsible solution to the deficit.
NSBA, the National Small Business Association, is celebrating its 75th Anniversary in 2012 and continues to advocate on behalf of America’s entrepreneurs. A staunchly nonpartisan organization, NSBA’s 65,000 members represent every state and every industry in the U.S.
The International Fluid Power Society (IFPS),
the FPDA Motion and Control Network (FPDA),
and the National Fluid Power Association (NFPA)
The Energy Efficient Hydraulics and Pneumatics Conference
November 27-29, 2012
Chicago Marriott O’Hare, Rosemont, IL
The conference was designed by these three leading fluid power organizations to help engineers and technicians working in the fluid power industry understand the design concepts critical to developing efficient fluid power systems and the diagnostic and maintenance techniques essential to keep those systems operating at peak efficiency. In other words: Saving Energy & Money with Fluid Power!
The conference offers:
Spearkers include experts from technical schools and industry publications as well as manufacturers such as Bimba, Bosch-Rexroth, Caterpillar, Eaton Corp., Parker Hannifin, Sauer-Danfoss, SMC Corp. and Sun Hydraulics among others.
The information I received was very useful and I will take it back to my company and share with all the engineers and salespeople so we can do a better job serving our customers and reducing a fluid power’s carbon footprint.
Jeff Geyer, Fluid Systems Manager (CFPS)
This was an excellent opportunity to expand thinking in Fluid Power application. Application of new and innovative products was discussed along with new and innovative application of conventional components. This was a meeting to stimulate thinking.
Doug Webster, Vice President
Tribute congratulates their vendor partner, Pall Corporation, on being named one of the greenest companies in America by Newsweek magazine.
Pall Corporation is a global leader in filtration, separation and purification fluid management solutions that enable customers to purify and conserve water, consume less energy, make alternative energy possible and practical, advance medicine, and minimize emissions and waste.
The Newsweek Green Rankings assess companies based on their actual environmental footprint, management of that footprint, and sustainability communications. The rankings provide a reliable, cross-industry framework for comparing the environmental commitment and performance of major companies.
Newsweek reports that companies in every industry are realizing that the pursuit of profit is intertwined with environmental and social issues and call it the “triple bottom line”: people, planet, and profit. Operational efficiency saves money, and preparing for a future of limited resources and high energy prices is a must for any company’s long-term survival.
“It is an honor to again be recognized in the Newsweek Green Rankings,” said Larry Kingsley, Pall President and CEO. “Our environmental commitment is demonstrated by efforts at our own operations as well as through solutions we provide customers to help them achieve their environmental goals.”
To learn about their green packaging or download the company's latest corporate sustainability report, visit www.pall.com/green.
Tribute, Inc. partners with Pall Corporation to streamline their distributor’s supply chain and lower operational costs. To learn more about the benefits of Tribute software for Pall distributors, visit www.tribute.com or click here.
The Eaton Distributor Meeting was a big success again this year. The event was held at the Peabody Hotel in Orlando, Florida September 16th - 19th and was attended by over 1,200 distributors from all over the globe.
Eaton showcased their recent acquisitions of companies like SEL and Jeil Hydraulics, new products, and discussed trends and growing markets in the hydraulic industry.
Sandy Cutler, CEO of Eaton Corporation, stressed the value of the partnership between Eaton and its distributors.
Cutler emphasized that company philosophy in his welcome address stating, “We have a strong brand and a great reputation as this great company and we’re always willing to learn, because at the end of the day, I know that there’s plenty of opportunity for improvement and continuous growth. Hopefully you walk away learning some new things…and even more confident that you are with the right company.”
The one thing many distributors found beneficial was the participation in the Distributor Roundtables. They found talking with their peers about their businesses and what was going on in the marketplace helpful.
Global distributors from places such as Mexico and India praised Eaton for the support they received. Many distributors found that Eaton not only focused on helping them sell product, but in educating them on different markets and the future of the business. As one said, “It’s not just about selling a piece of hose any longer, but a system, and a system specific to an industry.”
“It’s a good name in the business and as distributors it allows us to go and use that name to get more business,” said another distributor.
Tim Reynolds, president of Tribute, Inc., a provider of ERP software for industrial distributors, was included in the closing video and talked about the advantages of attending Eaton’s annual distributor meeting.
“We get to meet our customers at the same time they’re meeting with one of their major vendors, so the quality of the conversation is better. For us, it’s an opportunity to attend a great show and a chance to talk to our customers as well.”
Tribute partner, WarehouseTWO, powers Eaton's Inventory Sharing Network and was also in attendance, giving a presentation on Successful Inventory Sharing.
Eaton utilizes Tribute software for the counter operation at their pilot project: the Eaton Van Wert Aeroquip Store. Click here to see how Tribute software benefits Eaton distributors. Click to see Eaton’s Distributor Meeting Closing Video. You’ll see Tim’s video at the 4:00 minute mark. Click here to see if you find yourself in the 2012 EDM Image Gallery.