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FALL 2020

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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall 2020 / Vol 43 No 4

124 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

124 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK JOE DYSART PODCASTING: FOR FASTENER DISTRIBUTORS, KILLER MARKETING ON A SHOESTRING from page 46 And most offer users the ability to quickly communicate via direct messaging and online chat video calling. Teams software also often offers safe storage of key documents, projects and files in the cloud – a distinct backup advantage for users who are also storing the same data on their computers or hard drives. Fortunately, the wide variety of teams software guarantees that fastener distributors will most likely be able to find a platform optimally suited to your needs. But for fundamentals, here’s what you should look for in any decent teams software package: ¤ Messaging: Nearly all teams packages offer some form of instant messaging. You’ll want to give this feature a go at your fastener distributorship before evaluating any other features, since it’s so critical to the overall performance of your chosen package. ¤ File Sharing: The best way to test file sharing on a teams software package is to bring in the applications you’re using everyday – Microsoft Word, Google Calendar, Zendesk and the like – and ensure they work without a hitch. ¤ Document Collaboration: You’ll want to take special care that document collaboration works with any teams software you choose, given that most businesses are so heavily reliant on such collaboration. ¤ Audio and Video Calling: Use of video calling at businesses – i.e. Zoom and the like – has exploded since the Spring. So you’ll want to carefully confirm that your choice of software – or the video calling software that’s built-in to the package – is easy to use and reliable. Ditto for audio calling from within the package. ¤ Version Tracking: Managers and staff at your fastener distributorship will need to be absolutely sure that they’re working with the latest version of any document or file while using teams software. So you’ll want to confirm the efficacy of this feature. “THE VIRTUAL WORK PHENOMENON IS HERE TO STAY -- AND IT’S ONLY GOING TO INVOLVE MORE PEOPLE OVER TIME,” SAYS JEANNE MACDONALD, PRESIDENT OF GLOBAL RPO SOLUTIONS FOR KORN FERRY ¤ Calendaring: Virtually all collaboration and a great deal of communication will hinge on calendaring. So don’t commit to a teams package until its calendaring – or import of your favorite calendaring tool – is verified. Bottom line: Before settling on a teams software package for your fastener distributorship, it’s a good idea to run the top packages through their paces – and then see how those features compare to a package you may be evaluating. Here’s a look at la crème de la crème: The top five teams software packages currently on the market, which have been evaluated by at least 9,000 users, according to Capterra: ¤ Slack (5.5/6 Stars) Easily one of the most popular and well-known team software packages, Slack has yielded excellent results for users for a number of years now. Like most top packages, Slack offers direct messaging for all users. Plus, it includes dedicated conversations for specific groups that are looking to go over a particular project, brainstorm an idea – or just check-in. Slack also comes with group video calling, group audio calling and the ability to drag, drop and share files with colleagues. Fastener distributors can also run a poll with Slack, search previous messages and post a personal status update – i.e., whether you’re in a meeting, out sick, or have just won the lottery. Like most top packages, Slack also integrates with a number of other software packages, including email, GitHub, Google Calendar, Zendesk, Salesforce and Wunderlist. CONTINUED ON PAGE 158

THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 125

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