Friday, June 24, 2016

Going after the low hanging fruit...

Food for Thought...  According to - A marketing and sales software company. 
  • Customers believe that sales reps are 88% knowledgeable on product and only 24% on business expertise.
  • Nearly 57% of B2B prospects and customers feel that their sales teams are not prepared for the first meeting. 
  • A whopping 68% of B2B organizations have not identified their their sales processes and marketing tactics.
So we can see that most companies as well as the sales people really need some help in figuring out how to effectively increase sales.  When asking business leaders about their sales performance, a common reply is they could do better, but aren’t sure how. They point to the following common issues as they relate to their salesforce:
  • Lack of direction/focus.
  • Not knowing what they are doing or where they spend their time.
  • Not selling other existing products/services to existing accounts.
  • Unsure if they are pursuing new customers.
Add to all of this, the less than favorable business climate facing distribution and it would seem to validate the need for improvement in the sales discipline and a great opportunity for those who do so. But where to focus? How to Grow? 
Here’s an easy reality check. As a distributor, you have a purchasing department. Ever ask them about their frustrations with vendors? Solicit their feedback and see if your organization mirrors any of it. Perhaps there are immediate actions you can take to improve your performance as a supplier.
These are the simple, "low hanging fruit" we can start with. 

Need some more ideas? Lets see what the Russians think.. 
The Ansoff Matrix is a strategic planning tool that provides a framework to help executives, senior managers, and marketers devise strategies for future growth.[1][2] It is named after Russian American Igor Ansoff, who came up with the concept. 

Using an Ansoff Matrix, you can get a quick snapshot of what opportunities exist:

The obvious choices for growth are promoting existing products into new markets and adding new products to promote to existing customers. Of course, after maximizing these options, the final one is full diversification via new products and markets. Remember however when choosing new markets you should include customers and industries and with proper analytics, you can identify which ones are most profitable and should be pursued using your ERP System. (If you can't - Call us...) 

While the Ansoff Matrix suggests diversification is new products and markets, expanding your existing products with existing markets is also diversification and the easiest and most profitable method for growth.  In our parlance a much better example of low hanging fruit. 

So to summarize: 
1. Ask your purchasing team what the headaches are as a buyer and make sure you don't have the same problems.
2. Follow the crazy Russian and sell more to the same folks, one suggestion is to use our comparative sales analysis tools which allow you to take a prototype client and compare their purchases to other customers to see what you should be selling them. But the concept is all you really need. 

Ready to Grow? Need a Partner to Grow with? 

For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to

Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.

Friday, June 17, 2016

What is the fastest way to gain new business?

Image result for buy it
Buy it.. 

2015 was the warmest year since records began (in 1850), it was also pretty hot 12 months in the area of business mergers and acquisitions, which hit a new high of $4.3 trillion in deals struck. Specifically in the logistics industry, several so-called mega deals led to a near year-on-year doubling of M&A value to $173 billion, according to data from PwC.

Prominent among the 2015 deals: 
  • FedEx’s $4.8 billion grab for TNT
  • XPO Logistics’ acquisitions of Norbert Dentressangle ($3.5 billion) and Con-Way ($3 billion)
  • Japan Post’s $5.1 billion purchase of Australia’s Toll Group 
  • Kintetsu World Express buying Singapore’s APL Logistics for $1.2 billion 
So one might ask how or why does this affect me? 

To answer, we need to ask why are we seeing this heightened M&A activity in the logistics and distribution industry?
  1. Everyone is looking for growth by getting into emerging markets and expanding thier service base.
  2. The extent of margin compression – the value of world trade declined by 14 percent in 2015 – this is pushing consolidation.
  3. Money is still cheap. Interest rates are still low by historical standards and private equity firms are increasingly being drawn to business investments, especially when they see some of the high valuations applied to logistics and distribution companies
Ok now you say want to grow - so how should a company go about evaluating potential merger or acquisition candidates?

It has to be driven by a strategy as your self what are your looking for: 
  • Are you looking for market extension - new products?  
  • Customer acquisition 
  • To take out competition
  • Special access to skills or intellectual property

Take the time to define what size of company you need to make a difference and search for targets that meet the criteria. In the screening process, identify companies that can offer realistic growth in terms of delivering free cashflow if not immediately then at least at some point in the future.

Secondly look at if the candidate is a cultural fit. 

It may look great in terms of having all the right product and customer mix or warehouses and transportation assets, but if the culture is not compatible with yours it is going to be very difficult to make it work. 

Are they a process driven company do they have documentation? SOP's? 
Shameless plug here..  What kind of Software System do they have in place? 
If the fit is not there , and you don't think you can work with them - take that into account -are you just buying the salesman or is there inventory? - How will your companies mesh? 

And lastly because mergers and acquisitions can often get complex and emotional,
at every step of the deal process it’s important to remind yourself why you are doing this,
what is the desired outcome, and what should look this look like in a few years’ time? 

Don't Get Stuck being a “deal junkie”, expending energy on making deals rather than on analyzing whether they make strategic sense.
Image result for brass tacks

So getting down to brass tacks.. 
Post-deal integration is a frequent and notorious stumbling block to M&A success.

How can you avoid these pitfalls? 

Especially for your acquisitions, It is inevitable that the initial reaction will center around uncertainty. What is going to happen to my company and how will I be affected?

So you need put out information, preferably at a personal level,  about why the business is being sold, explaining any new terms and conditions resulting from the deal, and if there are going to be requirements, these need to be spoken about sooner rather than later.

If you are the acquirer, it’s worth remembering that there is likely to be a lot of smart people as well as systems and processes in the company that you’re buying, so look to get the best out of both businesses. 


A strong software system with established business process can be your best friend here. 
instead of ruling by exception - get the 95% of your ordering and business systems under control using your software and allow the 5% to be handled manually. 

Instead of the more common, every order and price is manually reviewed and updated. 
with strong audit capability, Business Process rules - can make your acquisition seamless. 
And at the same time this should communicate in an easy manner, what the new business practice will be. 

This will also help in the integration process as people appreciate the efforts of combining the strengths of two companies. People often forget there’s also nervousness on both sides of the deal – you’ve just spent millions or even billions of dollars and you need to show success. 

What does the future hold? 

No one can say for sure but past results seem to indicate that yes, deals are going to continue over the next few years. Driven by necessity as margins continue to fall, there is still room for consolidation. Many companies are engaged in discussions right now. 
Money coming out of Asia, especially China, to buy developed market assets is likely to be a rising phenomenon. And as well as more small and mid-sized M&As, the last mile fulfillment and the logistics technology and software sectors will see increasing deal activity.

In addition, against a backdrop of disruption and transformation in other industries (See UBER post from Last Week) , don’t be surprised to see some ambitious, game changing moves involving new entrants with deep pockets. Amazon’s recently announced investment in Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) so that it can run its own cargo delivery operation flying 20 used Boeing 767 freighters could be a harbinger of what lies ahead. 

Ready to Grow? Need a Partner to Grow with? 

For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to
Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Streamlining Operations with MDS..

Our 2016 User Group Meeting was held this past week.  We thank those who attended and contributed to the meeting’s success.  We look forward to your participation in our 2017 meeting.
As in the past the highlight of the meeting was the exchange of ideas made by our customers, both after each presentation, as well as during the Q&A session at the end of the meeting.
The focus of the presentations made this year were Streamlining your Business Operations with MDS.

Those able to join us at our Client Dinner we were treated to a Fantastic Double Rainbow, Stretching over the New York City Skyline. As well as amazing views of the Waterfront and City views

We reported on the enhancements made to MDS during the past year, and provided an update on last year’s requests. Our director of product development updated the group on the enhancements made to MDSNx and the new features added to the MDS dashboard. He also reviewed the updated MDS upgrade process designed to minimize issues with the installation of software updates.

In the afternoon sessions, we reviewed the many enhancements made to RemoteNet. RemoteNet has become an increasingly important adjunct to base MDS as more of our customers are using RemoteNet our b2b Web Portal as a primary quotation and order entry vehicle for their salesmen. Also demonstrated was how RemoteNet can now operate on alternate devices such as tablets and smart phones. And takes full advantage of the Mobile Web. 

We also explained the MDS capabilities in the EDI area including the documents supported by our software (such as invoices, purchase orders, and sales tracings).  EDI has become an increasingly important requirement of the Distribution Supply Chain. with notes on how the HDMA Standard EDI 856 can streamline your warehouse pedigree and track and trace operations

Particular attention was paid to the enhancements in our MDS Pharma module. Items covered included the new government requirements, and explained how MDS will address those needs. We also discussed our CSOS capability using our integrated system with Legisym. Lastly, our integration with the Medispan and FDA product catalogs were reviewed.

Lastly the latest available MDS utilities to allow users to manage various MDS processes were demonstrated. These include automated data fixes and  purges, all allowing you to better manage your MDS system.

User Meeting Information:  You can email us requesting a copy of the Memory Stick we prepared, or you can download a copy of the information by logging onto the TSH CRS website The stick has copies of all current (and past) presentations, as well as complete documentation on the MDS system (training guides, documentation, file and data base definitions, report guides), and sales literature.

We find the greatest value of the meeting to be the opportunity to share with our customers TSH’s plans for MDS, and to get your feedback on those planned initiatives.  Of perhaps even greater importance, the meeting provides you with the opportunity to share with us your needs, wishes, and concerns regarding MDS and its application at your company.  We look forward to and welcome your input.  In turn, the meeting provides you with an opportunity to share insights and solutions with TSH personnel as well as to each other.

For those Joining us on our New York City adventure we were treated to drinks at a Famous New York Landmark and enjoyed the great weather at the rooftop bar, followed by dinner on the town and visit to Time Square for the first timers.. 

Looking forward to having you join us in 2017. 

For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to

Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Forget Robots, Cyborgs are where it's at...

Image result for terminator datesNo the Terminator is not coming yet -but the good news for your warehouse is that Wearables are here!!

For some supply chain and logistics functions, rugged wearable computers can be a real time saver. At the same time, the cost of managing these devices can be daunting.  Too often, rugged wearable computers cost 5x to 10x the cost of consumer electronic devices with one-third features. Are you looking to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) on these rugged devices? If yes, you are not alone. As more and more devices come to market the pricing continues to fall.

Motorola WT41N0-T2H27ER
What is a rugged wearable computer?
Rugged wearable computers are devices that are worn by users in their arms while performing various functions, like picking and packing in a warehouse setting. Wearable computers provide hands-free way for users to operate the data collection device thereby improving the productivity and efficiency of users. Wearable computers have been in the market since mid '90s and have been proven to improve the efficiency and accuracy of operations.

The MDS-Nx system fully support wearable devices with either finger scanners or bluetooth connected scanners. 

Age of consumerization
Most of the technology based devices and applications have their origins in business environments. They were first developed for business applications and then gradually launched in consumer markets. That is until recently. Since the introduction of Apple's iPhone, the consumer electronics industry has driven the advancement of technology devices. Now, many consumer devices are finding their way into enterprise environments. Consumerization is the "growing tendency for new information technology to emerge first in the consumer market and then spread into business and government organizations." Consumerization of IT is everywhere and more and more businesses are adopting their policies and processes to support this trend. According to IDC Research "iOS will be the top operating system in the enterprise among companies that deploy mobile products to employees." Many companies, from Kraft Foods, Sunbelt Rentals, D.W. Morgan to Lowe's and GE are deploying consumer devices in their enterprises.

Image result for wearable technology warehouseBut, even with all the promise and advancement of consumer devices in the business environments, these devices lack some of the core needs of warehouse and distribution center operators.
so for now we are still using the venerable Windows Platform but as the needs arise and the technology shifts both Android and IOS devices will likely replace the technology in use today.

The time is ripe for consumer mobile devices to enter enterprise environments such as warehouses and distribution centers. With appropriate rugged enclosures and intuitive apps, consumer devices like Apple iPod Touch and Android Tablets, can not only replace the existing rugged wearable computers but also provide additional capabilities that warehouse and distribution center operators can leverage.

So yes I realize they are not really Cyborgs yet but it's close enough and they look the part so I am going with cyborgs for now.

The robots will take over the simple stuff, but cyborgs , They are the next phase..

For more information on TSH or MDS call The Systems House, Inc. at 1-800- MDS-5556. Or send a message to
Click here and tell us how we can help you with your business solutions.