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Distributor's Link Magazine Summer 2018 / Vol 41 No3


180 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK SEFA SPRING CONFERENCE SUCCESS!! from page 166 The panel was addressed with various questions. When asked about strategies being implemented to assist with increasing logistics costs some plans included going back to rail and less trucking, also consolidating shipments so full containers are being shipped. When asked about supply issues not experienced in the past it was noted China is changing rapidly due to their aggressive EPA standards. The EPA often shuts down factories, or move and suppliers aren’t aware. Some countries do not have the quality of labor that is found in the U.S. resulting in some poor quality parts. When Nucor was asked how they feel about the steel tariff, Mr. Veech responded that it’s not a time to take advantage of customers; they have to service their longterm customers first. Taking care of your customer base is important. How is quality affected? Some suppliers find quality issues aren’t found in China but India is a different story. Some suppliers find that the first two P.O.’s out of some factories in China are great but then the quality slips. While other suppliers agree with this, they have also found that the quality level in China is improving because of the crackdowns. How are you dealing with longer lead times domestically and from China? While having partnerships with Chinese factories, it is still important to source new ones so lead times won’t be affected. Mr. Camp stressed, plan, plan, plan is key for distributors importing. We are too reactionary as an industry. If you know things are coming, you must plan. For the domestic manufacturer, lead times for the long term customers won’t be affected; however, others may see longer lead times. What other issues are there, that we are not aware of? It is beneficial to overbuy when the price is right but still pay attention to expected needs. The disruptions in the supply chain are here to stay. Upper management needs to be involved. For manufacturers the biggest challenge is skilled labor, there is a shortage. Taiwan changed their labor laws stopping overtime. and if they don’t abide by the laws, they can be penalized. Also be prepared for E-commerce. Mr. Camp noted: Worry about what you can control. Focus on your customers. When asked about the proposed steel tariffs Mr. Haggerty believes the tariff is likely to go through. There will be better indicators’ in May. When product clears customs is the date to watch for as far as when a tariff goes into effect. Suppliers need to have an understanding on how logistics and brokers operate. Mr. Sulek noted with exchange rates you could try to negotiate. How can consumers/distributor better prepare for ever-changing issues in our supply chain? Sales and operation planning should be utilized. To sell right, you must buy right. Upper management needs to be involved in purchasing and sales. What we see is the new model. There will be knee jerk reactions and longer lead times. Mr. Veech noted price is not the issue-it’s availability. You need to have relations with your suppliers now or you may not be able to get product later. Relations build value and trust. The days of just expecting product to be on the shelf are gone. When asked if you would hire a millennial with a college degree or an experienced middle age person, answers went from the “brightest-wiling to hustle, to both, to best candidate.” FBI Discusses Cyber Security Special Agent Darren Mott of the Birmingham FBI addressed SEFA speaking of the increase in Cyber Threats. The first cyber crime was in 1988 but by 2000 there were Ecommerce attacks. In 2002 due to the increased threats and vulnerability there was a need for cyber squads. The DOD can’t use thumdrives due to a 2008 hack were thumbdrives were dropped in parking lots. When put into the computers viruses were spread. Agent Mott warned the more social media/Wi-Fi you are involved in the more susceptible you are to hackers. 90% of computer intrusions start with a spear phishing email. Be careful what you click on. Clicking bogus emails and sending money overseas will most likely not result in the return of the funds. The key to passwords is the longer the better. The old standard was characters, capitals, symbol, number, but longer is better. It is easy to figure out company emails. CONTINUED ON PAGE 181

THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 181 SEFA SPRING CONFERENCE SUCCESS!! from page 180 When traveling overseas, be aware searches can be done without warrants. Hotel rooms are sometimes searched or cameras set to watch. Windows users are more of a target for hackers because 80% of computer users use Windows. You should update your computer every time prompted to. Be aware anti virus programs are only 40% safe. You should have a router not just a modem. Routers can be set to allow certain devices. Always use a VPN. Often the FBI knows of intrusions before the company attacked. Cell phones are the most targeted piece of software., gadgets add vulnerability. Data breaches are getting larger. The average cost to mitigate an intrusion is million. Companies should invest in Risk Management Framework. Some key suggestions were: think before you click, use different passwords, update software, back up everything. Jack McCall - Closing Speaker The day closed with motivational humorist Jack McCall sharing his strategies for breaking through the barriers that holds us back, showing how to tap truest sources of motivation and humoring the audience with his insights through story telling. The audience enjoyed Jack’s life stories. He reminded attendees that relationships are very important as life takes a lot out of us. Jack closed with his tips for life: Exercise, take care of yourself physically, Spend time with people who make you feel good/selective association, Be sure to step outside the arena and recharge your batters/ focus part of your mind by freeing another part, Read something inspirational every day, Stay in touch with who you are and where you came from. While he told many humorist stories, his messages were inspirational. SOUTHEASTERN FASTENER ASSOCIATION


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