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Distributors Supercharge Sales Using 'Intent Data' 

Distributors should track what customers are doing online and follow signaled interests through reps and on email, writes Benj Cohen, a blogger for NAW (National Association for Wholesaler-Distributors). "When customers consider buying something from a rep, or click on certain promotional links in emails, for example, they signal their intent to buy. Distributors must methodically track this intent and use it in a coordinated sales strategy." Click for article


Want a sneak peek at the reasons employees place their bosses on the naughty list? Do you respond to employees' requests immediately, or do you blow them off and have to be reminded? Have you asked several workers to accomplish the same task ... because you forgot someone was already taking care of it? Do you expect your workers to pick up your slack when you're kicking up your heels? Do you overlook sharing critical information with the team ... or keep it from them on purpose? Click for article

Performance Reviews Decrease Performance in a Third of Workers

Only 14% of employees strongly agree their performance reviews inspire them to improve, according to a Gallup article. Among Gallup findings, when managers provide weekly vs. annual feedback, team members are: 5.2 times more likely to strongly agree they receive meaningful feedback. 3.2 times more likely to strongly agree they are motivated to do outstanding work. 2.7 times more likely to be engaged at work. Click for article

What's Happened to US EV Sales?

Electric vehicle (EV) sales spike leading up to the expiration date of incentives, then drop sharply afterward, writes Earl J. Ritchie, a lecturer within the Department of Construction Management at the University of Houston. Ritchie cites such spikes and slumps in the Netherlands and China. California counts for half of U.S. EV sales and offers state and local incentives in addition to the federal tax credit and the state's complicated zero-emission vehicle (ZEV) mandate, he said.   Click for article  


Manufacturers are finding that "returning citizens" can be highly motivated workers, according to an article by Adrienne M. Selko for Material Handling & Logistics. The article details how Richard Palmer, CEO of Nehemiah Manufacturing in Cincinnati, talked to his friends at Procter & Gamble and took over manufacturing some of the brands they wanted to shed. Palmer hired a former felon who worked out so well that now 90% of Palmer's 130 employees are returning citizens from prison. The company brands itself as a second chance company, and it's mission is building brands, creating jobs and changing lives. Click for article  

Retail Gasoline Prices in CA Decline From Recent Highs

  On Oct. 7, the average California regular retail gasoline price surpassed $4 a gallon for the second time since 2014. Prices fell after refiners in the state assumed normal operations, according to a report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The last time California gasoline prices reached $4 a gallon was in May 2019, which was a result of planned and unplanned refinery outages in California.  California’s petroleum markets are isolated from the rest of the U.S. because of California's lack of petroleum infrastructure connections to the rest of the country, so unplanned refinery outages in the state can have larger price impacts than in other areas of the country. In addition, California requires a different gasoline specification than the rest of the country, further narrowing supply options. Click for article

IRS Announces New Per Diem Rate for Business Travelers

Kelly Phillips Erb, senior contributor at Forbes, explains that as of Oct. 1, the special meals and incidental expenses (M&IE) per diem rates for taxpayers in the transportation industry are $66 for any travel in the continental U.S. and $71 for any travel outside the continental U.S. The per diem rate for M&IE includes all meals, room service, laundry, dry cleaning and pressing of clothing, and fees and tips for service providers such as food servers and luggage handlers. The rate for incidental expenses only is $5 per day.   Click for article


A new McKinsey & Co. report says companies that want to keep their employees need to be more flexible.  The company's recent study of more than 35,000 workers with spouses or live-in partners in various professional sectors found that 89 percent of women and 70 percent of men are part of a dual-career couple (DCC) — meaning both partners have jobs. The couples come from all racial and ethnic groups and span all income levels. "Companies can do more to base promotions and top-executive-hiring decisions on output rather than input to ensure equity for employees in DCCs," the report states. "Too many companies mistake quantity (as in the number of hours an employee spends on the job) for quality (reflected in the employee’s output)." The report explains that companies can help employees in DCCs succeed and feel fulfilled at home and work by ensuring these employees have access to professional development and career advancement, support for maintaining work–life balance, and sponsorship opportunities. Specifically, companies can take the following actions: Provide supportive managers and ensure equitable growth opportunities, especially for lower-level workers.  Encourage ambition by making top positions seem feasible.  Create a culture that encourages work–life balance.  Ensure consistent access to sustainable sponsorship.  Click for report

The Future of Jobs Report

The World Economic Forum, the Geneva-based international organization for public-private cooperation, examined possible global scenarios and issued a 157-page report called "The Future of Jobs — Employment, Skills and the Workforce Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution." The report takes into account Moore's law — that computer processing power will double every two years and will continue to become less expensive. As a result, data analytics will become an increasingly desired workforce skill across all levels. The report also mentions that today's skills might not match tomorrow's needs. That's especially true for jobs that incorporate much automation or artificial intelligence.  Click for report

Confronting the Labor Shortage: Strategies and Solutions for Distributors Facing a Growing Skills Gap

PEI recently commissioned a new report, “Confronting the Labor Shortage: Strategies and Solutions for Distributors Facing a Growing Skills Gap,” in partnership with the Association Education Alliance.  PEI members may download the free PDF to learn from peers across distribution sectors their winning strategies on finding and recruiting top talent. In the report: What’s causing the labor shortage. How training and apprenticeships can bridge the skills gap. Hurdles to hiring, such as drug testing. Rethinking your message to prospects. How to build a successful internship program. Tips for using social media in recruiting. Courting millennials: the technology factor. The veteran talent pool. Click for report


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