How Can I Get My Co-Op Marketing Program Back On Track?

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It’s no secret co-op marketing can be beneficial for both distributors and retail businesses because it allows for greater marketing experiences at half the cost. But how can you make the most out of your co-op marketing experience?

If you’re looking to capture greater value through your co-op marketing funds, consider the following strategies for your future distributor marketing plans.

Don’t underestimate the impact of digital marketing

Many co-op marketing programs are used for advertisements in print and broadcast. While these channels are still effective, there’s no argument that digital marketing is the biggest thing to conquer.

In fact, up to 62% of marketers said they use Facebook as their top choice for social media marketing. This is because social media pages such as Facebook are able to reach wider audiences.

By separating your co-op marketing programs from the digital world, you’re causing your business more harm than good. While you don’t need to abandon your print advertisements, make sure you’re putting a good chunk of your co-op marketing funds in the online basket.

Make your co-op agreement easier to understand

Co-op marketing agreements can often fall short of their goal because of the number of requirements included in a distributor’s guidelines.

Although certain requirements are necessary to ensure a retailer is complying with your brand, a co-op agreement that’s too intricate can cause your marketing partners to become frustrated and drop out of the agreement altogether.

It’s often for this reason that co-op marketing funds go unused, which is a shame considering the savings that can come out of a successful co-op marketing program.

That said, be sure to go through your co-op marketing agreement to make sure it’s easy to understand and your requirements aren’t too complex. The easier your agreement is for your marketing partners to assess, the better.

Need help with your distributor marketing plan?

Distributor marketing plans can be challenging to create and to make them easy to understand. An industrial consulting agency can help you make a distributor marketing plan that works for both you and your marketing partners.

If you need professional MRO marketing services, Rivet|MRO can help. Our co-op marketing agency has the experience to create a distributor marketing plan that works for you. To learn more about our industrial marketing services, contact Rivet|MRO today.

Repaving a Parking Lot? 5 Important Frequently Asked Questions

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In 2017, the U.S. paving industry brought in $38 billion and employed 284,626 people across 195,603 businesses.

 

If you’re in charge of overseeing a commercial parking lot, it’s your responsibility to not only ensure proper installation of the pavement, but make sure it is repaved and efficiently maintained year after year. From parking striping to concrete mixing, there is a lot of information that you should be aware of when repaving or sealcoating a parking lot.

 

Here are some frequently asked questions pertaining to repaving or sealcoating commercial parking lots:

    • Does repayment actually improve longevity? – Yes it certainly does. In fact, smoother pavement can extend general pavement life by as little as 10% and as much as 25%. The life expectancy of a well-designed, well-maintained asphalt parking lot ranges between 15 to 30 years. Conversely, if you don’t properly maintain and reseal your lot, it will significantly deteriorate in as little as five to seven years.

 

    • What are the benefits of parking striping? – Having bright, clear parking stripping looks great and actually creates an inviting first impression. Additionally, it can produce a better driver experience and actually reduce your risk of liability, subsequently saving you a lot of money in the long run.

 

    • How strong is fresh concrete? – Concrete is a mix of 60% to 65% crushed stone, sand, and gravel; 15% to 20% water; and 10% to 20% cement. The typical compressive strength of concrete ranges from 3,000 to 7,000 PSI.

 

    • How often should an asphalt lot be resealed? – Newly laid asphalt parking lots should be resealed within one year after installation. Additionally, asphalt lots should be resealed at least every two to three years afterwards. Sealing is a great way to avoid expensive repairs and maintain a nice-looking, smooth parking lot.

 

    • How much asphalt is recommended? – For larger parking lots, it’s recommended to use at least 7.5 inches of hot mix asphalt on a subgrade base.

If you want to learn more about parking striping, concrete maintenance, or general pavement services, give us a call today.

Want a Chatbot For Your Site? Here’s What You Should Know

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Research from InformationWeek shows that 62% of businesses said that improved employee collaboration is a top business driver for UC. And part of encouraging collaboration with your business’s clients is keeping communication clear and consistent. While you can’t expect employees to be available round the clock to provide 24/7 support, what you can do is invest in a chatbot for your site using a professional platform. Here’s what you need to know about investing in a chatbot for your site.

 

What Does a Chatbot Do?

At its most basic level, a chatbot is a type of program intended to closely replicate human speech and interaction. But chatbots provide more than just customer service; they can provide direction and engagement to customers at any time of the day or night to assist with a wide variety of services:

 

 

“The opportunities provided by chatbot systems go far beyond giving responses to customers’ inquiries. They are also used for other business tasks, like collecting information about users, helping to organize meetings and reducing overhead costs. There is no wonder that size of the chatbot market is growing exponentially,” says Medium.

 

Types of Chatbots

There are two basic types of chatbots: simple chatbots and smart chatbots. As its name implies, a simple chatbot is programmed based around pre-set keywords and phrases. These commands must be written by the developer properly, or else the chatbot won’t be able to understand and process the request. A smart chatbot, on the other hand, relies on technology associated with artificial intelligence. As opposed to responding to inquiries with pre-programmed answers, the smart chatbot will respond with substantial suggestions on relevant topics. It also records all of the words in the interaction to process and perfect for use later.

Could Your Business Benefit From a Chatbot?

As mentioned, chatbots help to improve customer service, but they offer two distinct benefits for your customers. Not only can a chatbot offer a more personal form of communication, but they prevent the customer from having to listen to a repeat phone message when they’re on hold. They also won’t have to dig through a long question and answer page to address their specific issue.

Ultimately, chatbots are among the many technological tools that truly innovative the customer service process. For more information about chatbots and other Cisco provisioning manager tools, contact us today.

How Can I Refocus My Co-Op Program For My Small Busines Partners?

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One of the biggest challenges your smaller business partners are facing is how and what to advertise in the face of a rapidly changing market. for instance, a large chunk of co-op funds is being used on traditional rather than digital tactics by smaller businesses.

It can feel stressful and unfamiliar to your smaller business partners to make the shift away from traditional methods. It’s for this reason that it’s crucial to create a co-op program for your smaller business partners that makes it easy to step outside of traditional methods.

Here are three strategies you can use to better refocus your company’s co-op program to better meet the needs of your small business partners.

  1. Outline your co-op guidelines to make them clear. One reason why businesses often leave their co op marketing funds on the table is that the distributor’s co op marketing guidelines are too difficult to understand. Your guidelines may be overcomplicated if you haven’t fully defined your co-op strategy at the corporate level. Consider going through your guidelines to simplify them, make them more understandable, and outline key items for successful co-op submissions.
  2. Make digital tactics co-op eligible. Now is the best time to start exploring digital tactics related to your co-op program if you haven’t had the time to do it. By allowing your small business partners to use their co-op funds on the types of advertising that best works for them such as digital advertising and social media advertising your brand is more likely to succeed.
  3. Make sure your tactics match up with your corporate strategy. The goal of co-op marketing, both for you and your small business partners, is to increase sales. You’ll want to communicate with your partners about the marketing practices that have been working best for your company. They may be more likely to be open to co-op marketing tactics that use these marketing strategies.

Looking for a co-op agency with MRO marketing services?

Between $14 billion and $35 billion manufacturer co-op marketing funds go unclaimed every year, a fact that’s unfortunate considering the amount of money that can be saved when using them. A co-op agency can help your MRO business navigate co-op marketing so you can take full advantage of your funds.

We offer co-op marketing services, MRO consulting, and sales strategy for distributors to keep your company dressed for marketing success. To learn more about our industrial marketing services and co-op marketing, contact us today.

How Can TechFlex Tight Weave Protect Electrical Components?

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Of all types of DuraTech tools, TechFlex Tight Weave is one of the most essential for wire protection and electrical component safety. That being said, it’s important to understand the benefits of this unique material in order to choose the best protection for your business’s electrical components and equipment. With that in mind, here’s a bit about TechFlex Tight Weave and how it can protect wires of all shapes and sizes.

What is TechFlex Tight Weave?

TechFlex Tight Weave is a unique wire covering that offers many advantages in terms of protection and overall safety. It’s designed to be utilized in applications that involve the need for a balance of abrasion resistance and optimal coverage.

What makes TechFlex Tight Weave unique?

TechFlex Tight Weave is constructed into a unique braided shape that, as mentioned, offers the ideal balance between coverage and resistance to abrasion. Its tight braids decrease wear and tear on electrical wires while protecting those exposed to them. TechFlex Tight Weave is particularly protective in bundling a multitude of cables or harnesses — Electrical hazards lead to more than 300 deaths and 4,000 injuries among U.S. workers every year, and TechFlex Tight Weave provides higher quality coverage than traditional sleeving.

You should also keep in mind that an overcurrent occurs in an electrical circuit when the normal load current is exceeded. There are two basic forms of overcurrents: overloads and short circuits. The use of fuses and circuits breakers protect workers, consumers, and equipment when dangerous overcurrents occur. The tight braids of TechFlex Tight Weave help to keep a safe barrier between wires and improve safety.

How can I buy TechFlex Tight Weave?

Contact us for more information about whether TechFlex Tight Weave sleeving is right for you. We offer a number of DuraTech tools that make your working environment safer and more efficient. Our TechFlex Tight Weave sleeving comes in multiple colors depending on the sizing that you need. Blue, green, yellow, orange, and red are just a few colors options available and can help you designate between wires in large bundles.

Ultimately, understanding these basics about TechFlex Tight Weave sleeving can help you make the right decisions for your electrical safety needs.

Class and Comfort In Executive Travel

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When you decided to invest in a corporate limousine service for your business, you need to be sure you know what makes one car service company stand out from the others. To entrust the safety and comfort of your executive team to a car travel service is an important decision.

The benefits of using a high-quality transportation service for business trips allow for an easy and stress-free travel experience. You eliminate the worry of getting lost in a new city and being late for important meetings as well as just the stress of driving. You want to choose the best corporate car service for your business, so here are four things to help you choose the right one.

Chauffeurs Vs. Drivers

The words chauffeur and driver may get interchanged often, but they are actually different. Drivers for some corporate limousine services may not have all of the etiquette that a chauffeur can provide for you and your executives. Chauffeurs and drivers may average 105 trips a week. That being said it is important to have quality care that comes with a limousine and car service.

Drivers can work for any executive car services such so they generally give a service that is not as professional as you desire. When looking for a good corporate car service, you want to look for one that hires chauffeurs who will give you only outstanding, professional service the entire time.

Look At Vehicle Options

When it comes to your corporate car service, you want to ride in style and comfort at all times. Make sure that when you are making your decision, you look at all of the vehicles the service has to offer. An executive transportation service offers everything from SUVs to luxury limousines.

Explore Their Services

Before making your final decision, you want to make sure the company provides the services you are looking for. If your business travel requires getting on and off of planes, you want your corporate car service to include airport transportation. You also want a service that can take you to and from your business meetings in a timely fashion.

Read Customer Reviews

This is an extremely important and often missed step. A corporate limousine service will always try to upsell themselves, even if they aren’t that great. Customers, however, will give you their honest opinions on their experience with a company. In order to choose the best corporate car service, you want to make sure they receive positive reviews from past customers.

Safety First: Your Guide To A Career Path In Safety

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Careers in safety matters have developed to prevent incidents and accidents that can lead to injuries, illnesses, harm to the environment, or damage to property or equipment. With a median annual salary of $73,600, these occupational health and safety specialists are essential in the overall functionality of a company. As with any career path, safety specialists don’t start out making that salary and generally start with safety technician jobs first.

Safety Technician

Safety technician jobs are entry-level positions that require a high school diploma or an equivalent. There are advanced-level safety technician jobs that prefer an associate’s degree or certificate, or on-the-job training. The main responsibility of a safety technician is to protect employees, facilities, the public, and the environment from occupational hazards. Many safety technicians are employed by the government to visit various organizations for official inspections, while other technicians are consultants to industrial companies.

Safety Consultant

To transition from safety technician to occupational safety consultant, you will typically need a bachelor’s in engineering, construction, safety, or another related field, a Certified Safety Professional (CSP) designation, and safety consultant experience. Safety consultant jobs can take place in a wider range of organizations in both public and private sectors. These include hospitals, manufacturers, restaurants, construction companies, hotels, and other large private companies. A safety consultant must have a comprehensive knowledge of OSHA rules and regulations, a familiarity with ANSI, NFPA Standards, and DOT regulations, and the ability to interpret and apply these complex regulations and codes.

Safety Manager

As opposed to a consultant, a safety manager works more closely day-to-day with a job site or business to prevent accidents. Typically, a safety manager needs a bachelor’s in occupational or industrial safety or related field, experience working with OSHA inspectors, and to be a CSP or Certified Health and Safety Technician (CHST). A large part of a safety manager’s job is to write reports that detail the worksite evaluation, decisions they made about worksite safety, and reasons why they made those decisions.

Safety Specialist

Safety specialist jobs are typically the most advanced, with some positions requiring a master’s degree in industrial hygiene, health physics, or related field on top of the typically needed bachelor’s degree and training in specific laws and inspection procedures. A safety specialist is responsible for preventing, reducing, and eliminating a workplace’s harmful situations. While many of the previously mentioned positions are focused on identifying issues and collecting data, safety specialist designs programs and recommends measures to achieve their responsibilities.

Safety professional jobs are designed to do exactly what it sounds like: ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace as well as the environment around it. Identifying and enforcing these measures makes our world a safer and more trustworthy place.

Material Joining Processes: Welding vs. Mechanical Joining

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With manufacturers contributing $2.17 trillion annually to the U.S. economy, manufacturing remains one of the largest and most important industries in the country. And because of its importance, there are continuous changes and improvements in manufacturing methods. One of the most essential processes in manufacturing is material joining. So let’s explore the pros and cons of two common material joining processes: welding and mechanical joining.

Welding

Welding uses high heat to fuse two pieces of metal together. And while welding can be effective in joining two pieces of metal, it does have some setbacks. Because high heat is used, the microstructure of the area that has been welded is actually altered. The welded area can experience a reduction in strength and toughness. Additionally, during the welding process, residual stresses can develop, which further reduce the strength of the metal. Later on, after a piece has been welded, if burnishing tools for metal are used, there may be an increase in metal strength. So because welding can often result in a weakened metal, precautions must be taken. During welding, heat generation and cooling rates must be optimized to ensure as few microstructural changes take place. Furthermore, post-welding treatments can be used to minimize the reduction of strength. But overall, welding can be effective if done right.

Mechanical Joining

Unlike welding, mechanical joining uses mechanical methods to join two pieces of metal, often involving threaded holes. Using screws or nuts and bolts are both common methods of mechanical joining. This method is often used in precision metal finishing because the material sustains mobility after being joined, meaning it can be moved or taken apart easily if needed. Mechanical joining can offer the ability to easily control the quality of the finished product as well as high strength. While there is the risk of the threaded holes sustaining fractures because they can become fatigued if overloaded, there are precautions that can be taken to minimize that risk. Mechanical joints, especially with aluminum components, should be designed with this risk of failure in mind. But because this process is quick, it can be a great option to work towards short lead times.

Properly joining materials is important for the overall manufacturing process, like reaching short lead times, but also for the durability and longevity of the final product. Mechanical joining can often offer more benefits and can result in stronger joinings.

Rid Your Office of Unwanted Noise With These 3 Soundproofing Tips

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Getting work done in an office might seem easy, but it can actually be quite difficult. Unless your office is full of employees who are constantly focusing and spending every second of their day quietly working (not very likely), there is bound to be plenty of noisy distractions throughout the day.

That’s why it’s important to soundproof your office and prevent noise from getting inside, getting out of control, and ruining your employee productivity levels. A noisy environment isn’t just annoying, it can actually be stressful and stressed out employees aren’t exactly the most productive and efficient. Soundproofing an office can actually reduce employee stress by 27%.

Get rid of unwanted noise inside your office environment by performing these various steps:

  • Utilize soundproofing paint – The soundproof paint market is worth approximately $200 million and is actually projected to grow between 30% and 50% each year. Soundproof paint is a great fighter against the noise on two main levels. First, the paint will actually reduce the noise inside the office by absorbing it, subsequently minimizing the noise inside your workplace. Secondly, soundproofing paint will drastically decrease the amount of noise that comes into your office from outside. Minimizing office noise is important, sure, but so is preventing outside noise from coming in.

 

  • Implement a phone booth office design – A soundproof office booth is a great way to provide a quiet area where your employees can buckle down and concentrate on an essential project. You can build a phone booth or have a few placed around your office for separate areas of quiet concentration. Make sure you’re working with a trusted company who specializes in phone booth office design to get the most out of your phone booth office space.

 

  • Place plants everywhere – Not only do plants look great around the office, but they also provide exceptional noise-canceling benefits. Plants can help prevent sound waves from reverberating within open office spaces — consider a ficus tree, Peace Lily, Madagascan Dragon tree, or a Kentia Palm.

If you want to learn more about how to soundproof an office room and keep all that unwanted loud noise out of your office, give us a call today and start planning out your phone booth office designs!

Which Paint To Use In Your Parking Lot Re-Striping Project

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In 2017 there were 284,626 people employed by the paving industry. Those pavers aren’t dealing exclusively with asphalt either. After paving a new lot or road, there also needs to be asphalt painting in order to provide safety and organization to the new pavement. When it comes to pavement striping there are a lot of choices you need to make before you start spraying paint on concrete. Striping for parking lots can be tricky, making sure each parking spot is correctly spaced, and the spread of slots allows for the maximum number of customers while still allowing for a pleasant parking experience. It’s tricky engineering. Once you’ve worked out all the details with your pavement company, the next thing you need to decide is:

What kind of paint are you going to use?

There are 4 different types of paints that are typically used for projects like this. Each has their own benefits and often will range in price.

    • Water-based paints

      This is the cheapest form of pavement paint available. It can get you that professional look at a low cost and it will dry quickly – generally only 15 minutes. Your parking spaces will be ready for use in no time and you will have saved money in the process. That being said, there is a catch to that money savings. Water-based paints are more vulnerable to the sun’s scorching rays. They tend to fade the quickest and have the shortest lifespan.

 

    • Oil-based paints

      Oil-based are the next best thing to water. They go on relatively quickly, maybe not a 15-minute turnaround, but they are significantly more durable. Being the second cheapest option they are often the best choice for the economic pavement striping job while providing that desired longevity.

 

    • Thermoplastic paints

      On the more expensive side, you come on to thermoplastics. These are exactly what they sound like. The paint is laced with plastics that are durable and better able to stand up to the beating of sunlight. The paint will last longer and survive all manner of weather torture. These allow you to paint once and not think about it for a long time after.

 

    • Reflective paint

      Where thermoplastics contain small amounts of plastic, reflective paints contain bits of glass. Now that doesn’t mean its shard or anything, but it does mean it reflects light. This kind of paint is popular in regions that see a lot of night travel or rain, the reflective surface of the paint allows drivers to see what they’re doing even in harrowing conditions. That being said, it’s not necessarily the best choice for a parking lot. Being on the expensive end, and the nature of its use, unless your parking lot is getting a lot of night traffic this paint will remain a great choice for busy roadways.

By utilizing pavement striping that is long-lasting and durable you are maximizing your cost vs investment. Your customers will be happier for longer and you will have a professional looking lot connected to your business. When you hire a paving contractor to add striping to your parking lot you are helping to employ thousands of Americans.