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Distributor's Link Magazine Spring 2019 / Vol 42 No2

100 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S

100 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK JOE DYSART NEW PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS FOR FASTENER DISTRIBUTORS: COURTESY AI from page 10 Aizomov also works for you after you send your email, collecting info on the types of emails you send that get the best responses, based on tone, length, content, and time-of-day sent. Using these insights, it will put together a draft of an email the next time you want to communicate with your marathon buddy or similar -- which you can use as is or customize to your own tastes. ¤ Leverage Microsoft Office’s New AI (www. products.office.com): Stop One for millions of computer users each day, Microsoft Office has been given an AI facelift. It will now automatically transcribe your conference calls into text and even organize that text with automatic subtitles. Fastener distributors who use Powerpoint will also appreciate the new Powerpoint-on-AI, which can automatically put together a presentation after you type a line or two of text over each slide you plan to use. Still other Microsoft Office apps reworked with AI include it’s search function, which is completely powered by AI now. And Cortana, an AI assistant that made its debut in Microsoft Windows 10, has also been integrated into Microsoft Office as another AI-powered app. Meanwhile, Microsoft is also attempting to make machine learning more accessible to analysts within companies by offering them the ability to write their own machine learning models -- without writing a single line of computer code. The capability was recently integrated into Microsoft’s “Power BI,” a business analytics tool that scans company data for hidden patterns and renders the results into easily understandable reports and visualizations. “Instead of targeting developers or data scientists, ZOOMAI IS ONE OF A NUMBER OF AI-DRIVEN DIGITAL ASSISTANTS CURRENTLY ON THE MARKET. EVERYPIXEL USES AI TO MATCH ITS STOCK PHOTOS TO THE COLOR SCHEME OF YOUR PRESENTATION. we’ve simplified it and made it broadly accessible for common use cases,” says Arun Ulag, general manager, engineering, at Microsoft. “This means that when an analyst builds a machine learning model in Power BI, it does all the heavy lifting by selecting the best algorithm and features with just a few clicks. “As an example: a business analyst could leverage the automated machine learning technology to quickly and easily build a model to predict how likely an open sales opportunity is to be won. This could help a sales manager prioritize which high value opportunities to focus on and how likely they are to meet their target.” ¤ Auto-Transcribe Meetings to Text: Eva, Voicea’s A.I. assistant (www.voicea. com) automatically transcribes the highlights of any meeting into easily readable text for all participants. The app also will email all the notes to everyone who attended the meeting, or just key players. Plus, its autotranscription also works for phone conversations. ¤ Send Out for An AI Rewrite: Fastener distributors looking for a different take on some text they’ve just written can turn to Spinnerchief (www.spinnerchief. com). It will rework anything you write from a slightly different perspective. The software has also been designed to ensure the text it produces is optimized for the search engines. Another AI program in the same genre is Writer (www.ai-writer.com). Writer is designed to learn everything you need to know about a specific topic by crawling the Web and then present the results to you in a text article. The program works best when you instruct it to research an extremely narrow topic. CONTINUED ON PAGE 156

The NEFCO Corporation, a leading distributor of construction and industrial supplies, announces its acquisition of Blume Supply Inc., a STAFDA specialty construction and industrial supply distributor servicing the greater Charlotte, North Carolina market. “As a family business, we try to find acquisition opportunities that align with our core values and close-knit culture. Blume Supply meets that criteria perfectly. As a highly respected family business in the heart of Charlotte, Blume Supply provides a tremendous springboard for NEFCO in one the largest construction markets in the Southeast” said President of the NEFCO Corporation, David Gelles. “We are thrilled to have the Blume Supply family join us at NEFCO. We look forward to bringing our industry leading product-breadth, expertise and service capabilities to the Mechanical, Electrical, Plumbing and HVAC contractors in Charlotte.” continued Mr. Gelles. With the addition of Blume Supply Inc., NEFCO will now have 11 strategically located distribution centers up and down the east coast. Since 1974, Blume Supply has focused on servicing contractors in the commercial and residential construction industry. “This is just what Charlotte needs with the growth that we’re experiencing right now, we are really looking forward to this new partnership” said second-generation Blume Supply President, Steve Blume. “To join forces with NEFCO is a perfect opportunity for our team. This combination will turbo charge our business and improve our capacity to support our current customers and many more to come.” For more than 35 years, the NEFCO Corporation has delivered diversified product offerings and valueadded services to general and specialty contractors focused on the electrical, mechanical and plumbing trades. NEFCO has a total of 11 distribution centers located in Boston, Hartford, Albany, New York City, Philadelphia, Washington D.C, Roanoke, Harrisonburg, Greensboro, Charlotte and Pompano Beach. For more information, contact NEFCO Corporation at 411 Burnham Road, East Hartford, CT 06108. Tel: 1-800-969-0285 or visit them online at www.gonefco.com. THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 101

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