SMITH COLUMN 01Donating surplus inventory has tax advantages.

By Gary C. Smith

One of the biggest tax secrets is hiding in plain sight in warehouses across the country. It’s excess inventory.

A perennial problem for anyone who sells goods of any kind, surplus or obsolete inventory can provide a great tax benefit to C Corps who take advantage of a little-known piece of tax code: Internal Revenue Code Section 170(e)(3). This code is probably one of the best kept secrets of corporate tax law, but it provides the key to one of the best ways to dispose of unprofitable inventory — donating it. Besides boosting your bottom line, donating surplus inventory boosts your company’s image by helping people in need.

 KAIZEN COLUMN 01The kaizen approach can simplify your supply chain.

By Stephen Francis & Tony Donofrio

In past columns for Wholesale and Distribution International, we've stressed the importance of simplicity, often recommending comprehensive solutions such as Transportation Management System software to achieve it.

This kind of solution may be out of reach for some companies – perhaps they lack the budget or the decision rights to make a big-ticket purchase with a long-term commitment. With this in mind, we'd like to outline one of the simplest, quickest and most profound shifts you can make in pursuit of simplicity and improved functioning: the adoption of the kaizen mindset.

 IOT AND BOTTLENECKS 01IoT platforms can solve machine bottleneck issues.

By Donald Chilton

In a connected world, using new technology in the workplace has become increasingly important to reduce downtime and save money. Countless Internet of Things (IoT) platforms are now serving as bridges between devices' sensors and data networks. The IoT adds convenience and empowers users and is already being integrated within equipment applications. This is true for the construction, mining and agriculture industries, specifically for filtration.

 HYATT COLUMN 01Better communication means better delivery.

By Dick Hyatt

Wholesale and distribution is, by its nature, a fast-paced business, and customers’ expectations and demands have risen commensurate to the improving economy. As such, distributors are under increasing pressure to ensure their products are being delivered more quickly and efficiently than ever before.

In response, distributors have turned to technology to help streamline their processes and worker productivity. For some, this has meant upgrading their enterprise resource planning systems and implementing handheld scanners to expedite picking processes, among other things.

 DAMEROW ARTICLE 01Combine your CRM and online reward platforms for maximum ROI.

By Steve Damerow

CRM stands for “customer relationship management,” but the term has morphed into “managing direct salespeople.” There are more than 40 CRM platforms on the market that do the same thing — manage salespeople. If you use a direct sales approach, you can force your team to adopt CRM; however, US Commerce data maintains that 80 percent of the U.S. sales economy operates through a distributor, dealer or channel network — and you can’t force a dealer to adopt CRM.

It’s time to focus on integrating CRM platforms with new online/mobile incentive reward platforms that will reach all the goals of “forcing” the team, yet do it with a carrot instead of a stick. The net effect will be better sales accounting and a more engaged dealer network.

 PRICE SEGMENTATIONS 01Here are five things to know about price segmentation.

By Kim Long

Price optimization is the single most significant profit lever distributors have at their disposal today. When part of a well-thought-out plan, it offers the fastest path to improved profitability. However, when implemented incorrectly, it can just as quickly lead to some dangerous dead ends.

 MEDICAL MARIJUANA 02Get to know medical marijuana laws.
By Lisa McGlynn

Confused about medical marijuana laws? You are not alone. Depending on where your manufacturing or warehouse business is located, marijuana may be completely illegal, legal for medical purposes only, or legal for both medical and recreation purposes. Oh, but it is still illegal under federal law. Unless that changes, which it probably will.

ABM Distribution Facility Services 2Warehousing and distribution centers should evaluate facility services.

By Eric Kirchhoefer

Meeting customer expectations safely and costeffectively is often the biggest concern in warehousing and distribution environments. To meet those objectives, you depend on your facility to run effectively and efficiently. As consumer expectations, technology and the retail landscape have changed, you probably have responded by making incremental changes to your facility services program over the years.

It’s also a good idea to examine your program holistically from time to time. Should you consider outsourcing to help you reach your goals? Or if you already outsource, how well is your current provider doing? Maybe it’s time to make a switch or integrate multiple services with one company. Here’s what to consider when you're re-evaluating your facility services program.

If you’re not already outsourcing your facility services, there are several good reasons to consider it. The two primary factors that you should look at when making the transition to outsourcing are staffing and service quality.

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