Read Industry News

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Infor Completes Acquisition Of Saleslogix Assets

Infor has completed its purchase of the assets of Saleslogix, a leading provider of SaaS customer relationship management (CRM) software.

Saleslogix's CRM will be renamed Infor CRMTM, adding strong sales and service functionality to Infor CloudSuite, the first group of industry-specific application suites available on Amazon Web Services' (AWS) cloud.

Infor plans to further develop the product, including increased scalability, refreshed user interface, and added industry-specific functionality.

Learn more about Infor at

Monday, August 25, 2014

Building the Right Approach to AP Automation - 5 Steps to Success

By Kristin Parshay, Brown Smith Wallace, and Christopher Gaia, DataServ

We have enjoyed working with the consultants at Brown Smith Wallace the past several months. One of the topics we have been discussing with them is the difficulty many companies have in launching successful accounts payable (AP) automation projects. We can all identify companies that talked about (and in several cases even started) automation projects many years ago but still have not launched one.

We think we can help, so today we are kicking off a series of blog posts, co-authored by DataServ and Brown Smith Wallace (BSW), with a simple goal in mind – to provide ideas and guidance for taking the best possible approach, based on our years of experience, which will help organizations overcome the obstacles and hesitancy to take full advantage of the benefits of automation.

The topics we will cover include:

  • Putting the right team together
  • Understanding your current situation
  • Identifying where you want to be
  • Evaluating various options and vendors
  • Picking the right approach
  • Tips for successful automation projects

Let’s start with “putting the right team together. Many organizations have experienced success by following a model that establishes an internal core team to provide leadership of the automation project and manage such activities as overall project direction, budget development, tracking and reporting, project reporting and control, and ROI or business case development, to name just a few. Core team representatives should include the following:

  • Individuals with insight and experience in current business operations and your technology environment (typically AP and IT staff)
  • Users that will be impacted by the process (approvers, auditors, supplier representatives)
  • Executive sponsor
  • Workflow/business process consultants (internal or external)

This group is then supplemented with an extended internal team that offers specialized talents that may not be required throughout the entire process. Examples include certain technical resources (data security) or business users that interact with the process. In addition to internal resources, many organizations may add outside resources or experts with insight into various solution alternatives and vendors. These resources include:

  • Third-party reviews from analyst firms - Some organizations have found that these reviews from firms like Gartner and Forrester help them understand the various alternative solutions available in the market in addition to providing vendor reviews. While useful, their advice will focus on high-level capabilities and may not provide sufficient insight into how the capabilities of individual vendors align with the needs of your organization. Additionally, these resources will not be able to assist you with broader project management or implementation support.
  • Consultants (if not originally included in your core team) - Business process and/or technology consulting firms can provide service to your team in a number of ways, including:
    • Structuring your project team process, roles, and responsibilities
    • Helping articulate a clear project scope, plan, and budget
    • Serving as an independent source of information
    • Providing more in-depth analysis and guidance regarding individual solutions and vendor capabilities based on your unique business culture and needs

  • Other helpful resources and information sources - There are several additional information sources that can be used by your team to provide background and information to assist you in your project. Three sources that are routinely used by organizations include:
    • Industry associations - Annual trade shows can be a great source of information and vendor capabilities. The most advantageous offer educational sessions that rely on heavy participation by representatives from companies that have completed or are in the midst of completing similar automation projects. Their perspectives on the challenges they faced and “lessons learned” can provide valuable insight into shaping your decision, and many are happy to discuss your situation and offer advice after the session.
    • Vendor representatives - It is difficult for any third party to stay current with all of the capabilities available from vendors. If you find client speakers at trade association meetings or attend a particularly well done educational session conducted by a vendor, it may be helpful to seek their advice and information about industry trends, client case studies, white papers or blog posts that can be used to help educate yourself and members of your team. The challenge with this source is to make sure the information presented is informational and not just promotional.
    • LinkedIn or professional groups - Referrals from other associates or professionals can prove to be very valuable as a source of “lessons learned” and knowledge. While we would not recommend this as the only source of input, their insight can prove beneficial when seeking an additional perspective.

Many companies have successfully integrated these resources into their core team and business case/business project. These various resources usually bring a depth of knowledge about the subject greater than what you will gain using only internal resources. These resources represent tradeoffs regarding cost, independence, and ability/willingness to build a solution tailored to your situation.

Guide to external resources for accounts payable automation

Scale: High, Medium, Low

Finding the right mix of talent for your team is important to not only help you make a good decision on what needs to be done, but also to assist in picking the right solution and ensuring a successful project. After you have assembled your team, set a time for a kickoff meeting to further discuss the:

  • Importance of the project
  • The goals you are hoping to achieve
  • The timeframe
  • The scope and charter of your team, with particular emphasis on what is “inside scope” for the project and what areas are “outside of scope”

Assembling the right team is an important first step towards a successful project. In the next part of this series, we will discuss ways for assessing your current business state and we will offer tips on how to translate those findings into more formal business and technical requirements.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Networking, Education Opportunities Abundant At PTDA 2014 Canadian Conference

More than 200 people gathered June 5-7, 2014, at the historic Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, in Québec City, Québec for PTDA’s 13th annual Canadian Conference. Networking between channel partners and peers was the top priority, and there were numerous opportunities to meet with fellow industry executives.
The Canadian Conference kicked off with the Industry Showcase and Welcome Reception, a combination of business (with tabletop displays by 28 PTDA manufacturer members) and informal conversations. A highlight of the event was a reception and dinner at the Parliament Building, home of the Assemblée nationale du Québec.

Canadian Conference Co-Chairs Gerry Prezeau of Rotator Products Limited and Bruno Mylchreest of Timken Canada LP alternated as the conference’s emcees, presenting PTDA President Ken Miko of BDI speaking on PTDA’s strategic plan and PTDA Foundation President Barbara Ross of Garlock Sealing Technologies addressing recent successes of the Industrial Careers Pathway® program.

Prezeau and Mylchreest, and an industry committee of volunteers, developed a program of keynotes and educational sessions including:
  • Lifting the Loonie with BNN’s Andrew Bell: Andrew Bell, reporter and news anchor on Business News Network, entertained and informed attendees.  Bell interspersed his rather bleak outlook for manufacturing in Canada with clips of bloopers from various news media outlets.
  • Take Back Manufacturing with Nigel Southway: Nigel Southway, president of Nexus Consulting and chair of the Toronto chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), informed attendees about the need for and the goals of SME’s “Take Back Manufacturing” initiative.  More information is available at
  • Market Briefing: Aerospace Industry with Dale Gordon: A briefing on the aerospace market was presented by Dale Gordon, director of supplier quality assurance for Aerojet Rocketdyne.  Speaking on behalf of the International Aerospace Quality Group (, Gordon discussed the organization’s efforts in product and supply chain improvements.
  • Panel Discussion:  How Technology is Affecting the Distributor/Manufacturer Relationship: In response to recommendations for industry-relevant content, the Canadian Conference called up a panel made up of a quartet of industry executives to discuss how technology is affecting distributor/manufacturer relationships.  Distributors Ali Moghadam of Canadian Bearings and Mitch Bouchard of General Bearing Service joined manufacturers Jean-Sebastien (JS) Lavigne of Baldor Electric Company and Dave Strutt of C&U Bearings to share their perceptions.  The panel discussion was facilitated by Peter Helston of Annex Business Media.
  • Striving for Excellence with Stephan Maighan: Canadian Conference attendees were entertained, motivated and engaged by Stephan Maighan’s closing keynote.  Interspersing his six lessons for achieving excellence with activities involving combination locks and dancing, Maighan used his own experience to demonstrate how a positive attitude can produce a positive result.
A conference recap and a link to photographs from the event are available at PTDA members also gain exclusive access to presentations from three of the speakers.

The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) is the leading global association for the industrial power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) distribution channel. Headquartered in Chicago, PTDA represents power transmission/motion control distribution firms that generate more than $16 billion in sales and span over 3,400 locations. PTDA members also include manufacturers that supply the PT/MC industry.PTDA is dedicated to providing exceptional networking, targeted education, relevant information and leading-edge business tools to help distributors and manufacturers meet marketplace demands competitively and profitably. For more information, visit or follow @PTDAorg.

Tour De Force CRM Positioned In Niche Quadrant Of Gartner 'Magic Quadrant'

Tour de Force CRM, a leading provider of customer relationship management, business intelligence, and sales force automation solutions, announced it has been positioned by Gartner, Inc. in the Niche quadrant of the “Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation.”

The report evaluated 15 different software vendors on 15 different criteria in the areas of Ability to Execute and Completeness of Vision, including Product or Service, Market Responsiveness/Record, Customer Experience, Offering (Product) Strategy, and Innovation.

In the report, Gartner states that “SFA deployments continue to focus on core functional capabilities for accounts, contacts, opportunities, selling processes and sales operations. SFA requirements are unique for each B2B sales organization, based on the maturity and culture of the organization in its use of technology, sophistication of sales practices and anticipated ROI.”

For more information on Tour de Force CRM, visit

Thursday, June 19, 2014

DDI System Releases Newest Inform Software Upgrade

Adds user-defined screens, more functions and a fresh new look.

DDI System continues its commitment towards innovation and industry-specific tools with its latest release - Inform Version

This new version provides an even greater feature set - fully integrated as part of DDI’s inform solution. DDI System expands its offerings and adds user defined screens with updated new looks, making inform one of the most advanced and user-friendly ERP solutions available today.

Additional print screen and email notification options provide greater flexibility in providing information to all applicable employees.

Enhanced warranty returns handling allows distributors to define vendor requirements for warranty returns complete with pop up notification and more.

Improved back-order release handling tools and so much more have been added with this latest release.

Thousands of DDI System users nationwide are achieving a higher level of efficiency and increased profitability with inform’s advanced capabilities. DDI continues its tradition of innovation and exceptional values with this free upgrade for DDI System inform subscribers.

Distributors can see the many benefits of the inform software at or by calling DDI for a demonstration at 877-599-4334.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

NexTec is Introducing Sage ERP X3 Version 7

Meet Your New ERP


Excitement has been building for a while now in anticipation of Sage ERP X3 Version 7.  At the recent Sage ERP X3 Global Conference in May, Sage pulled the curtain and revealed some of the exciting new features and changes to come ... and customer response couldn’t be more positive!
So let’s take a look under the hood and find out what all the buzz is about.

Friday, June 13, 2014

Acumatica Launches Cloud xRP Platform, Enabling Software Companies to Get to SaaS, Fast

ERP and Cloud business management solutions provider Acumatica augments its product suite with a Cloud platform offering.

Acumatica, the fast-growing leader in Cloud-based Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and business management solutions for small and medium-sized companies (SMB), announced it has added the Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform to its product line-up.

The Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform empowers the more than 6 million .NET developers and software companies to get their solutions to SaaS, fast. The “x” in xRP represents any-sized company, anywhere, in any industry. 

Acumatica CEO Jon Roskill said: “What Salesforce has done for CRM, Acumatica will do for xRP. Our Cloud xRP Platform, built on the world’s best Cloud and mobile technology, is available immediately in the Acumatica Cloud or private Cloud configurations, the form factors the market demands. As with our Cloud ERP products, we believe in offering choice to our partners and customers.” 

Ali Jani, VP of Product Management, said: “The Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform, built on the standard Microsoft stack, is a technological breakthrough that finally allows developers and software companies trapped in legacy technologies to modernize quickly and stay ahead of the technology curve once and for all. Our platform empowers developers and software companies to focus on industry-specific functionality without sacrificing control and flexibility.” 

In addition, developers and software companies building on top of the Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform can take advantage of Acumatica’s pre-built ERP and CRM capabilities, while enjoying flexible deployment and tenancy options. 

“We’re excited to offer the Acumatica Cloud xRP Platform to the world,” said Christian Lindberg, Acumatica’s VP of Partner Solutions. “Developers and software companies that need to deliver a SaaS offering at scale can leverage our platform to get to market faster while saving development costs and without compromising on functionality, performance, or flexibility. This technology lets you focus on domain and process expertise, while leaving the plumbing to us.” 

Industry luminary Buck Forland said: “For developers, it’s a floor wax and a dessert topping in one.” 

Acumatica’s partner ecosystem now includes more than 270 partners around the world such as ISVs JAAS Systems and Jamis, and OEMs MYOB and Visma. Visma, the leading provider of business software solutions to SMBs in Northern Europe, white-labeled Acumatica’s Cloud technology for thousands of its own customers and launched last August. 

JAMS — JAAS Advanced Manufacturing Software — an end-to-end manufacturing solution, was built using Acumatica tools in record time. JAAS Systems’ General Manager Fred Szumlic said: “We saved $400,000 in development costs and delivered a Cloud manufacturing application in 10 months instead of three years.” 

About Acumatica
Acumatica is a leading provider of cloud business management software that empowers small and mid-size businesses to unlock their potential and drive growth. Built on the world’s best cloud and mobile technology and a unique customer-centric licensing model, Acumatica delivers a suite of fully integrated business management applications such as Financials, Distribution, CRM and Project Accounting, powered by a robust and flexible platform. In an interconnected world, Acumatica enables customers to take full control of their business; to play to their strengths, since every business is unique; and to empower their people by going wherever their people go, on any device. 

Dorothy Ho, +1-425-658-4913 (office)
Mobile: +1-206-303-7750
Director of Communications


Friday, May 16, 2014

NetSuite Unveils New B2B Customer Center for SuiteCommerce

At SuiteWorld 2014, NetSuite CEO Zach Nelson, in the opening keynote, announced the latest release of B2B Customer Center, built on the SuiteCommerce platform. Given that business models are increasingly converging and lines blurring (retail vs. distribution vs. manufacturing, products vs. services, B2B vs. B2C vs. B2B2C, etc.), the idea is to enable business to business (B2B) merchants (distributors, manufacturers, and B2B buyers) to deliver a business to consumer (B2C)-like online shopping experience (see image below).

Business must be commerce ready, and integration of front-office customer relationship management (CRM) data with back-office enterprise resource planning (ERP) data is an imperative—with astute omnichannel order management capabilities at the core. To that end, NetSuite’s new B2B Customer Center allows B2B buyers to view order status, details, and history, track shipments, reorder goods, approve quotes, make payments, manage account information, request refunds and returns, and more, in a secure password-protected environment.


The major features of the B2B Customer Center include a self-service customer portal, new customization, billing and payments, account, and product management capabilities that promote business efficiency by offering tools such as lists for seasonal purchasing and frequent buyers (to create custom shopping lists, or wish lists, to expedite recurring purchases). NetSuite SuiteCommerce's extensible platform supports role-based permissions, allowing customers to extend the solution to business-specific use cases, such as branded design, streamlined ordering, and payments. Responsive web design capabilities optimize the site for multiple devices, meeting the growing need of both buyers and sellers to access information and complete transactions anywhere and anytime.

As demonstrated to the conference attendees (see photo below), B2B buyers now have flexible payment options, including paying single invoices or multiple invoices, or making partial payments. Buyers can take advantage of discounts for paying early, whereas overdue invoices are highlighted to ensure proper payment. Customizable dashboards give buyers a snapshot overview of outstanding and available balances, deposits, credit limits and memos, current terms, and more. NetSuite distribution and manufacturing customers such as VHA Corp, EndoChoice, CMP Corp., Liberty Bottleworks, Tacoma Screw Products, Cleaner's Supply, and PAG Leisurewear are using NetSuite SuiteCommerce to reach new markets, drive site traffic, and improve operational efficiency by eliminating manual steps in phone, e-mail, and fax orders.

NetSuite Unveils New User Experience

NetSuite chief executive officer (CEO) Zach Nelson unveiled the new NetSuite user interface (UI) with a more intuitive and visually engaging work experience during his keynote address at the company’s SuiteWorld 2014 conference yesterday. Founder and chief technology officer (CTO) Evan Goldberg discussed and demonstrated the new capabilities more deeply in his SuiteWorld 2014 keynote presentation today. NetSuite plans to roll out the new UI with NetSuite's 2014.2 release, scheduled for Q3 2014.

As the pioneer in cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP), NetSuite has been at the forefront of UI design trends. Its first release in 1999 abandoned the Microsoft Windows desktop standard look and feel of the era and adopted the web metaphor. The company’s UI introduced role-based business intelligence (BI) dashboards, while its 2006 UI featured in-line editing in web-based applications (instead of just viewing) and incorporated Ajax technologies to develop dashboards and portlets that live natively in core business applications (see image depicting the development of NetSuite UI over the years).

NetSuite's 2014 UI

To again reinvent its business application UI, NetSuite conducted 3 years of deep usability research with its customers. It reportedly completed extensive research, user observations, and usability testing with users across various roles—from front-line sales, marketing, finance, e-commerce, human resources (HR) and services employees through to C-level executives. Leveraging and supporting HTML5 and based on principles of modern ‘flat design,’ which emphasizes crispness and clarity, the NetSuite UI exhibits easy-to-read fonts, attractively redesigned icons and graphics, increased whitespace, and greater aesthetic simplicity (see figure).


Overall, 2014 UI highlights include easy access to navigation and tools such as Global Search, Recent Records, Help, and Shortcuts, as well as a new global Quick Add feature that enables users to rapidly add tasks, events, contacts, and more from anywhere in the product. In addition, the ‘progressive disclosure’ feature conceals action prompts until mouseover for a “cleaner” experience, and there is also an improved experience on tablets through a responsive dashboard, larger menus and controls, and improved scrolling (see image).


Apax Partners Puts Epicor Software on the Block

Epicor Software Corp., a private-equity owned company that assists other firms with sales and supply-chain management, is on the block and seeking as much as $3.5 billion, said people familiar with the matter.

The company, purchased by London-based buyout firm Apax Partners for around $1.04 billion in 2011, is working with Jefferies Group LLC to seek buyers. Valuations for the company differ, but people around the deal say Epicor could fetch between $2.5 billion to $3.5 billion, including debt.

Epicor, based in Austin, Texas, serves the distribution, manufacturing, retail and services industries world-wide. It posted sales of $978.3 million in 2013 and carries about $1.3 billion in debt, according to public filings.

After purchasing Epicor, Apax merged it with another rival software-maker, Activant Solutions Inc., which was previously owned by Hellman & Friedman LLC, JMI Equity and Thoma Bravo LLC. In 2012, Epicor paid $155 million to acquire another smaller rival, Solarsoft Business Systems, from Marlin Equity Partners.

In 2012 and 2013, Epicor issued $340 million and $350 million of new debt respectively, to fund dividends to its private-equity owner, according to S&P Capital IQ LCD. 

A sale of Epicor would follow private-equity deals involving similar software companies. Earlier this year, Blackstone Group LP and GIC Private Ltd. paid $750 million for a minority stake in human-resources software company Kronos Inc. in a deal that valued the company at $4.5 billion including debt. And in late 2013, Hellman & Friedman acquired insurance software maker Applied Systems Inc. for $1.8 billion including debt.

Write to Mike Spector at, Gillian Tan at and Dana Mattioli at

Monday, May 5, 2014

ECi Software Solutions Acquired by The Carlyle Group

Global Alternative Asset Manager to Support ECi’s Growth, Commitment to Small and Medium Size Businesses
ECi Software Solutions (, a leader in industry‐specific business management and e‐commerce software solutions, announced it has been acquired by global alternative asset manager The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG). Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
ECi Software Solutions is a leading provider of industry‐specific business management and e‐commerce software for growing and midsize companies in a broad variety of industries, including office products,office furniture, office equipment, lumber/building materials, hardware, manufacturing, retail distribution and many more. ECi combines technological innovation with a dedicated customer focus to deliver fully integrated solutions that fuel the expansion and efficiency of every aspect of customers’ operations.
ʺWe are very happy to partner with The Carlyle Group to continue building our leading industry‐specific business and e‐commerce solutions across a variety of important industries,” said Ron Books, President and CEO of ECi Software Solutions. “Carlyle is committed to investing in ECi as we support the entrepreneurial spirit and profitable growth of small and medium size enterprises. I am confident that with Carlyle, we have made the right choice for the future of our employees, our customers, and our business partners.”
Charles Rossotti, Carlyle Operating Executive, said, “ECi has developed a proven and effective capacity to provide small and medium size enterprises with technology solutions that make them competitive with much larger businesses. We believe this capacity is a very special asset for the global economy, in which small businesses generate so much innovation and job growth.”
Steve Bailey, Carlyle Managing Director, added, “Carlyle’s investment will enable ECi to continue investing in its great people, delivering exceptional customer service, enhancing the functionality and features of its leading solutions, and expanding its global footprint.”
Equity for the investment came from Carlyle U.S. Equity Opportunity Fund, which is a Carlyle fund
focused on middle market investments. Carlyle has a long history of successful investments in leading middle market, industry‐specific application software solutions companies, including Compusearch, serving the government sector; Gemcom, serving the mining sector; Primatics, serving the financial services sector; Quorum, serving the energy sector; RMI, serving the rail sector; and SchoolNet, serving the education sector. Other select middle market investments include Dynamic Precision Group, an aerospace component manufacturer; Philadelphia Energy Solutions (formerly Sunoco Refinery); Service King, the third largest collision repair multi‐shop operator in the United States; and Worldstrides, a provider of educational student travel programs.
ECi was advised by Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Harris Williams & Co., and Carlyle was advised by Latham & Watkins LLP and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
About ECi
The ECi Software Solutions family of companies provides business and e‐commerce solutions, offering onpremise and cloud‐based technologies. For 30+ years, ECi’s companies have served the manufacturing, office equipment, office supplies, contract office furniture, lumber and building materials, hardware and janitorial/sanitation sectors. Privately held, ECi is headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas, USA, with offices and companies throughout the U.S., Australia, England and the Netherlands. For information, email, visit, or call (800) 959‐3367.
Traci Johnson, SVP Global Corporate Marketing
800‐9593367 x23276
About The Carlyle Group
The Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG) is a global alternative asset manager with approximately $189 billion of assets under management across 118 funds and 100 fund of funds vehicles as of December 31, 2013.  Carlyleʹs purpose is to invest wisely and create value on behalf of its investors, many of whom are public pensions. Carlyle invests across four segments – Corporate Private Equity, Real Assets, Global Market Strategies and Solutions – in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, North America and South America. Carlyle has expertise in various industries, including: aerospace, defense & government services, consumer & retail, energy, financial services, healthcare, industrial, real estate, technology & business services, telecommunications & media and transportation. The Carlyle Group employs more than 1,500 people in 34 offices across six continents.

The Carlyle Group
Elizabeth Gill

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Accellos Announces Integration Between Prophecy Dispatch & MacroPoint

Accellos announced new integration between their Prophesy Dispatch TMS product and MacroPoint, a service which provides location tracking for brokered loads. The integrated solution provides Transportation Brokers with a way to automatically track loads including arrival, departure from stops, and GPS position updates. The interface with Prophesy Dispatch automatically passes load info to the MacroPoint site to eliminate the need for re-entry. The system then automatically brings load data back into Prophesy Dispatch including arrival, departure and GPS position data. Check calls are automatically created in dispatch and load ETA's are automatically updated.The actual route the driver is taking can also be mapped in the Prophesy Dispatch software.
For more information, please visit

DDI System Appoints Aung Latt VP of Corporate Strategy

ERP veteran has worked with Infor and Prophet 21.

DDI System, a leading provider of Enterprise Resource Planning software for the distribution industry, announces the appointment of Aung Latt as the Vice President of Corporate Strategy working directly with Adam Waller, President and Founder.

“We are very pleased to have Aung Latt join our team. His proven track record in the ERP software industry and has earned the respect and following of many distribution powerhouses. Aung’s knowledge, dedication and customer focus will be a tremendous asset to the DDI System management team,” states Adam Waller.

Aung Latt has been in the distribution industry for over 20 years, most recently as a Strategic Account Executive for Infor. Prior to that, Aung held multiple roles within the Prophet 21 / Activant / now Epicor organizations, including Director of Sales Operations for the Wholesale Distribution Group where he oversaw both the pre-sales and sales operations teams. Throughout these years, Aung has also had success with national account management and has built strong relationships with many industry buying groups.

“I am very excited to join DDI System," Latt said. "This is an opportunity to work for a national yet nimble software company whose sole focus is on distribution software and helping independent wholesale distributors compete in today’s market. I hope to contribute to the increased momentum of the company as it continues on its growth path. I am honored that Adam and the team felt that I was up to the task.”

In his new role with DDI System, Aung will be the primary contact for Johnstone Supply members converting from the DDI-DSPro Software over to DDI’s Inform Software solution. He will also have a focus on increasing DDI System’s already solid footprint within the HVAC and industrial markets. Finally, he will be responsible for working with current customers to build on DDI’s Professional Services division.

Distributors can see the many benefits of the inform software at or by calling DDI for a demonstration at 877-599-4334.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Registration Now Open For UnleashWD 2014

The 2014 Innovation Summit will be in Chicago on Oct. 29-30. UnleashWD is the only innovation summit for the wholesale distribution industry.

The innovation journey continues on a familiar date and with a keynote speaker that will inspire.

The third annual UnleashWD innovation summit will continue its effort to promote innovation and fresh ideas in the wholesale distribution industry on Oct. 29-30 in Chicago. Andrew Berlin, the CEO of Berlin Packaging and the owner of the minor league baseball team the South Bend (Ind.) Silver Hawks, will serve as one of the keynote speakers.

“The UnleashWD community is privileged to have a business leader of Andrew’s stature join us,” Dirk Beveridge, Founder of UnleashWD said. “Andrew is a titan within wholesale distribution, but his talk is going to focus on the lessons he has learned as a baseball team owner. He is a game changer and his speech will be one as well.”

Beveridge founded the UnleashWD innovation summit based on reinventing the values of innovation, thought leadership, company culture and business model design for the wholesale distribution industry. The conference sought to take the best ideas from all of business and to lift and shift them into the wholesale distribution industry. Lift and shift is the UnleashWD concept of applying ideas from outside of wholesale distribution and applying them to the industry.

UnleashWD features a line-up of innovative business leaders from outside of wholesale distribution. They speak during 18-minute presentations, which are followed by lift and shift workshops that place the speakers’ lessons into the context of wholesale distribution.

“We have grown by leaps and bounds over the past two years,” Dirk Beveridge, Founder of UnleashWD said. “We have created a forum to promote change within an industry that desperately needs it. We started something here a couple of years ago, and we are starting to see the results.”

Registration is now open at

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ken Hutton named ISA Interim Executive Vice President

Hutton steps in from managing director of ISA.

ISA President Michael Carr announced today that Kenneth R. Hutton, former Managing Director of the Industrial Supply Association (ISA), has agreed to serve as interim Executive Vice President while ISA initiates a search for candidates to replace long-time ISA executive John Buckley, who passed away in February. Hutton assumed the interim role effective March 3, 2014.

“We have a great history with Ken and we’re very excited that he is available to help us through our transition to a new executive,” Carr said. “Ken is a very experienced professional and he is a perfect fit because of his work with ISA in the past. Together with our volunteer leaders, current staff and our management company partners at Fernley & Fernley, the officers and board members are confident the organization is in good hands. We look forward to a successful 2014 convention and to finding the right candidate to succeed our friend and colleague, John Buckley.”

In the interim capacity, Hutton will lead, direct, manage or support all functions of the association. He will serve as primary executive support and liaison to ISA Officers, and Board of Directors; represent ISA in external relations, including key industry coalitions and media; and assist in the search for ISA’s new Executive Vice President, among other duties.

Hutton brings 43 years of diverse industry experience to the interim position, having managed associations for over 25 years. He served 19 years as Executive Vice President for the Wood Machinery Manufacturers of America (WMMA) in addition to his prior role with ISA. Hutton was also a past Executive Director for the Association Management Company Institute (AMCI).

A graduate of Syracuse University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Hutton also holds an M.B.A. from The Darden School at the University of Virginia. Hutton and his wife, Jeanne, have two adult daughters and three grandchildren. The couple resides in Kennett Square, Pa., where Hutton sits on a variety of boards for various community and church groups.

Learn more at

Kenneth R. Hutton, former Managing Director of the Industrial Supply Association (ISA), has agreed to serve as interim Executive Vice President.

Monday, February 17, 2014

All at BSW Consulting offer their condolences to ISA and John Buckley's family.

It is with great sadness that the Industrial Supply Association announces the sudden death of John Buckley at the age of 66 on Wednesday, February 12, 2014 of an apparent heart attack. John served as Executive Vice President of ISA since July 2004. Known for his energy, passion, knowledge of the industry and team building skill, John will be sorely missed.

John began his long and illustrious career in the wholesale distribution industry 30 years ago. Starting out in the member services side of the association management business, he held a variety of positions working on retention and recruitment through research and economic reporting. He spent 25 years with the National Paper Trade Association and was one of the founders of the Paper and Plastics Education Research Foundation. He also published the award winning association magazine, Sales & Marketing News.

John served on the Board of Directors of NAW, the Distribution Research and Education Foundation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Committee of 100. For 20 years, John represented the U.S. at EUROPA and the Common Market Congress of the Paper Industry. He was an advisor to four startup companies in the real estate development, technology and digital advertising areas.

John was ISA's chief staff executive and he also served on the ISA Education Foundation Board of Trustees and the Advisory Board for the Industrial Careers Pathways.

John is survived by his wife of 42 years, Barbara Curley Buckley, and his most beloved daughter Alana. He will be missed by his brothers, Michael and Richard, and their wives Ellen and Elaine. He was devoted to his nieces, Sharon and Mariah Hughes, Lauren Solomon, Sarabeth, Emily and Julia Buckley and his nephew, Christopher Hughes.

To leave a message for the family please go to

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Manhasset Women's Coalition Against Breast Cancer, P.O. Box 1007, Manhasset, NY 11030. Please specify that your gift should be used for the Coalition's Outreach Program in John’s name.

Despite the grief over this sudden loss, ISA headquarters will provide continuity of operations with the support of the ISA Officers, Board and its team members, Joe Casey, Gary Cheeseman, Melissa Jidenma, and Mary Ritchie.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

SPA Pricing Strategy Seminar: Mastering Strategic Pricing in a New Economy

Join SPA on Friday February 07, 2014 at Ritz Carlton, Fort Lauderdale, FL.
Like never before, pricing strategy, analytics and cultural changes can set the stage for significant gains in shareholder wealth. Companies that excel in pricing will enjoy faster growth, stronger customer relationships, market-leading profitability and superior capital markets opportunities.

In this seminar you will hear from distribution and manufacturing industry experts and from a panel of SPA clients. They will discuss how to increase your margins (typically by 2 – 4 points!) and how to improve pricing discipline in your company.

Anyone responsible for making pricing decisions in their company will benefit from this seminar.  There is no cost to attend, but enrollment is limited, so please register now.

To receive an agenda or to ask questions about this seminar or hotel reservations, please contact us at: or call 216-455-1544.
Add to Technorati Favorites