Read Industry News

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Steve Epner Named Chairman of New St. Louis Nonprofit

Brown Smith Wallace Principal and Consulting Group Founder selected to lead Innovate Venture Mentoring Service

ST. LOUIS (December 18, 2013) Steve Epner, CSP, principal and founder of the Brown Smith Wallace consulting group, has been named chairman of the board for the non-profit organization, Innovate Venture Mentoring Service (IVMS). The organization is an offshoot of Innovate St. Louis, a substantial contributor to St. Louis’ growing entrepreneurial culture.
Innovate St. Louis plans to transition the IVMS organization to the new leadership team in the early first quarter of 2014. The new leadership team, headed by Steve Epner, will lead the organization in becoming a free-standing, self-sustaining entity after six years of accomplishments.

“My goal is to create a sustainable organization to continue founding chairman Bill Peck’s vision of supporting early stage business ventures in the region,” said Epner. “We have a lot of work to do, but are fortunate to have a solid foundation. I very much appreciate the board’s confidence in me.”

The new leadership team will work with IVMS’ staff and mentors to accelerate a refresh of IVMS’s programming, operations and funding strategy. IVMS will organize active committees comprised of the many mentors and ventures already part of the IVMS family.

“We are pleased to have Steve lead such an innovative organization and continue to be a part of the local entrepreneurial community,” said Harvey Wallace, managing partner at Brown Smith Wallace. “We are always looking for new ways to engage with startups and reaffirm our firm’s commitment to supporting small businesses and the entrepreneurial spirit.”

Epner_Steve (3)About IVMS
IVMS was founded in 2014 as an operating unit of Innovate St. Louis, to assist early stage entrepreneurs in launching high-technology, high-growth businesses. IVMS provides free business planning assistance to entrepreneurs in the form of high-impact mentoring teams, comprised of volunteers who are either experienced entrepreneurs or subject matter experts in their fields. Over the past 6 years, IVMS has assisted over 320 client entrepreneurs, who have launched 220 ventures. To date, these ventures have collectively achieved over a 65% survival rate (over twice the national average), have attracted over $70 million in investment, and have created over 800 jobs in the St. Louis region.

About Brown Smith Wallace
Brown Smith Wallace is the second-largest locally owned full-service CPA and business advisory firm in Missouri with more than 200 employees. The firm was nationally recognized as a “Best of the Best Firm” in 2013, by INSIDE Public Accounting and as an Accounting Today “Best Accounting Firm to Work For” in 2013. Brown Smith Wallace is the only accounting firm in St. Louis to receive either of these designations this year. For more information, visit or call 314-983-1200.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Epicor Releases New Version Of Eclipse ERP For Wholesale Distributors

Epicor Software Corporation announced the general availability of version 8.7.7 of its wholesale distribution enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution, Epicor Eclipse. The new version delivers enhancements designed to further streamline business processes for distributors, leading to increased productivity and enriched customer experience. Epicor Eclipse now features EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) 810 improvements, Small Project Job enhancements, and Lien Tracking improvements, as well as the ability to track customer-owned inventory, create central Purchase Orders (POs) “on the fly,” and automatically assign lot numbers and print lot labels. Additionally, a new core process has been introduced to handle customer-owned inventory, known as Direct Through Stock (DTS) Inventory. The process begins with the original quote and goes through creating Direct Through Stock purchase orders. A new Direct Through Stock Queue populates the Epicor Eclipse database with all of the sales order, purchase order, and product information. Using the Direct Through Stock Queue, distributors can create shipments to send material to customers.

For more information, please visit

Friday, October 11, 2013

More Management Changes at Epicor

Earlier this year, Epicor hired Donna Troy, a former Dell, SAP and IBM executive, to lead the distribution business.  This week, Epicor announced that Pervez Quereshi, the CEO and architect of the Epicor/Activant merger, stepped down “to pursue new opportunites.”  Succeed him as President and CEO is Joe Cowan, an executive at Online Resources (an online banking and payment solutions provider) and Interwoven (a content management software provider). 
Read the TEC Eval Article to learn more. 
Steve Epner, BSW Consulting founder, will be at the Epicor Executive retreat next week and will report on his meeting with Donna and Joe.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Getting Out of "Do-do" By Steve Epner

In the July Strictly Business Newsletter, Steve Epner writes about the importance of getting work done, attaining results and moving forward.

"Do-do" is the mode most business people seem to always be stuck in. Head down, shoulder to the wheel, nose to the grind stone, push, push, push. We are always doing. Maybe it makes us feel better. Maybe it is an animal instinct that comes from ancient history. Wherever it came from, it can be expensive, less productive than we think, and can make us downright ineffective.

It is easy to fool ourselves when we are hard at "do-do" work. As a matter of fact, we often call it busy work. We look busy. That gets us promoted. We work extra hours. We complain that we cannot get away from our desks. We always seem to be in "do-do" mode.

What is important is to get out of the "do-do" trap and instead strive
for "done-done." It is important to do work — it is more important to get work done. Finish something. Get results. Move forward.

To see the Full article click here: Software4Distributors Media Center

Monday, June 24, 2013

Distributors: How To Use Technology to Improve Your Bottom Line

Date: June 25, 2013
Time: 1:00 PM ET
Duration: 60 Minutes

In this free, educational event, Jack Keough will host two expert panelists who will examine the role of technology in today’s distribution marketplace and how it can be used to improve your bottom-line performance. Sign up today to learn:
  • Ways distributors can use technology as a competitive weapon in order to reduce costs, find new customers, and improve customer satisfaction.
  • How your website can be made into an important marketing tool for your business operation.
  • Specifics as to how to increase your business through e-commerce.
  • NEW data from the ID Survey of Distributor Operations, discussing how distributors are using solutions like ERP, CRM, and e-commerce to their competitive advantage.

Joining us will be Steve Epner of BSW Consulting, an industry veteran who has been studying the distribution marketplace for many years, and will focus on ways for distributors to use technology as a competitive weapon. Additionally, Paul Scott, president and founder of the GoingClear Group, a Boston-based web development, management, ventures, and solutions company, will offer suggestions on making your site more navigable and how to measure and analyze traffic to your website. The webinar will be moderated by Jack Keough, contributing editor for ID, who has been writing about the distribution business for nearly 30 years. Jack will provide an overview of the survey conducted by Industrial Distribution and what the findings mean for the industrial marketplace.

Register For Free at:

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Demand Management Incorporates Business Intelligence into Demand Solutions DSX Platform

New Capabilities Help Companies Add Value Across the Enterprise

Demand Management Inc., a leading global resource for supply chain management solutions, has announced the availability of business intelligence (BI) functionality within its Demand Solutions DSX platform. The solution now incorporates native BI into its data tables to let users mine and share data efficiently across the supply chain.

“A common complaint among supply chain planners is that the most useful data lives in spreadsheets scattered across the business,” says Bill Harrison, president of Demand Management. “We’ve created a multidimensional cube that lets all stakeholders extract data from systems throughout the supply chain and work with that data through an intuitive web-based front end. By deciding which information they want to see and developing a meaningful view of it, users can learn more about their own businesses and make decisions that incorporate this knowledge.”

The BI functionality within Demand Solutions DSX is delivered by way of Foundation Analytical Packs that are available for the apparel, consumer packaged goods, energy, food and beverage, wholesale distribution, pharmaceutical and biotech, and general manufacturing and service parts industries. Users can leverage the best practices built into these packs to get their analytics activities up and running, but can also configure the packs over time to reflect the needs of their individual businesses.

“Our Foundation Analytical Packs are designed to save companies time and money,” says Harrison. “They incorporate Demand Management’s many years of experience working with customers in each of seven different vertical markets. We’ve done all the hard work of building the reports and linking them to our database so that customers can spend more time analyzing their results and taking decisive action.”

In particular, Harrison hopes supply chain planners who are frustrated at having to build their own reports will investigate Demand Management’s new functionality. These features can eliminate the need for planners to write reports.

“You shouldn’t have to implement your own analytics tools around your supply chain planning solution,” Harrison remarks. “Our BI functionality relieves this burden by providing complete drill-down capabilities from summary information into potential issues and opportunities. Ask us how it can help you extend your supply chain planning beyond the ‘how, when, and where’ stage and into running your entire business more effectively.”

About Demand Management, Inc.

Demand Management, Inc. is a leading global supply chain planning software company that offers affordable, easy-to-use tools for manufacturers and distributors who want to increase forecast accuracy, improve customer service levels and reduce overall inventory to maximize profits and lower costs. The company offers the Demand Solutions supply chain planning suite for forecast management, demand planning, collaborative forecasting and inventory planning as well as modules for advanced planning and scheduling (APS), sales and operations planning (S&OP) and point of sale analysis. Demand Management, Inc. has over 25 years of experience working with supply chain professionals and has incorporated best practices and real-world business requirements in its software from its extensive customer base in 76 countries. Demand Solutions customers include Lonely Planet, Trek Bicycle and Avery Dennison. Demand Management is a wholly owned subsidiary of Logility, Inc., which is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Software (NASDAQ: AMSWA).

For more information, please visit

Friday, March 1, 2013

Tenth Semi-Annual Advanced Profit Improvement Conference

March 19-20, 2013, in Scottsdale, Arizona, Sponsored By: Infor

Attend this unique, high-value conference that will help your wholesale distribution company become more profitable. This two day event packs in the latest best practices in using analytics to significantly improve profitability - in sales, marketing, pricing, inventory and more. Past attendees have achieved multi-million-dollar profit gains using the strategies and tactics learned here. View brochure here.

The Spring APIC Conference will be offering an expanded lineup of conference speakers, adding new perspectives and new techniques to the wide range of time-tested strategies. These people are the best in the business, with published authors and executives with decades of experience sharing the best of their knowledge.

Unlike other events, conference speakers are part of the audience during the entire conference. This gives you opportunities to discuss your business with some of the best thinkers in distribution. For each conference, the speakers update and expand their content, adding new information to suit an evolving market.

Conference Speakers include: Brent Grover, Jonathan Bein, Bruce Merrifield, Tom Gale, Tony Pericle, Mike J. Lamping, Jay Greyson, Randy MacLean, Margaret Reynolds, Steve Deist, Bruce Constantine

Register Now:

Monday, February 18, 2013

SPA Strategy Seminar

Please attend SPA's upcoming Strategy Seminar to be held at the Ritz Carlton Ft. Lauderdale, Fla, on Friday, February 22, 2013 from 8:00am to 5:00pm. Equal parts strategy and practical tactics, the seminar addresses key topics that are particularly relevant in a recovering economy. This year's conference brings together an outstanding group of industry experts to offer strategies on driving shareholder value.

Register Now To Request A Seat:

This big-picture seminar is focused on strategic topics of importance to the owners, CEOs, CFOs and general managers of distribution and manufacturing companies. Experts will address the topics essential to accelerating the customer value proposition, competitive positioning and market value of any distribution or manufacturing business. The seminar addresses the strategic, analytical, process and cultural issues that are fundamental to maximizing shareholder value. The seminar will focus on the high-level, strategic and structural issues that are easily neglected in the hustle and bustle of daily business demands. It will help you to refocus your organization on the drivers of economic value.

Monday, February 11, 2013

United Stationers Introduces New OfficeJan eNewsletter

United Stationers has announced the introduction of “Roll Call,” a new OfficeJan-focused eNewsletter for office products dealers seeking to boost sales of janitorial & sanitation (JanSan) products, breakroom products and safety supplies. Launching this month, the eNewsletter will provide information and updates on key JanSan category programs and selling tools currently available from United Stationers.

“The ‘Roll-Call’ eNewsletter is designed to help dealers grow their share of JanSan business with existing customers, while expanding into new customer opportunities,” said Mike Miller, vice president of marketing and channel development, Lagasse and the Cleaning and Breakroom category for United Stationers. “According to ISSA, the trade association for the sanitary supplies industry, the size of this industry is $23.6 billion. That makes it a great target for office products dealers looking for incremental sales with strong margins.”

Newsletter content will include: industry trends, descriptions of current category marketing and promotional programs, updates to add-on categories such as Breakroom & Safety, dealer success stories, product overviews, and more.

“Roll Call” will be distributed via email on a quarterly basis (i.e. February, May, August and November) to a list of JanSan-focused United dealers. To opt-in, contact and provide email address(es) of those interested with the subject line “Roll Call.”

About United Stationers
United Stationers Inc. is a leading wholesale distributor of business products, with 2011 net sales of approximately $5.0 billion. The company stocks approximately 100,000 items, including technology products, traditional office products, janitorial and breakroom supplies, office furniture, and industrial products. A network of 72 distribution centers enables delivery of these products to over 25,000 reseller customers. This network, combined with United’s depth and breadth of inventory, enables the company to ship most products overnight to more than 90% of the population of the U.S. and major cities in Mexico. For more information, visit
Add to Technorati Favorites