I’m a sucker for articles that discuss job trends. As the editor of a publication with an audience that regards personnel issues as a top priority, my eyes jump when I see a workforce story that appears significant. My eyes bulged when I read this headline in The Wall Street Journal: "Videogames Might Be Keeping Young Men Out of the Workforce."
To answer the challenging question of my headline, I have to raise an answer that mimics an attitude I frequently hear in the HVACR industry. From weathered executives to fresh-faced counter people, I’ve heard comments about the unexciting aspects of our industry and how it isn’t at the forefront of many young people's career track.
Technology is a good thing, right? That’s usually our premise, and regarding smartphones, who would argue? We now hold the world in the palm of our hands, with the always-on ability to communicate, connect, influence, and of course, watch cat videos and peruse our friends’ Instagram feeds.
Quite frankly, I can’t imagine any distributor not assigning a value to their service and recouping at least a portion of the expenses tied to the service. While I personally believe 10 percent is a bit low, it is a start in the right direction.
My stress arrives with figuring out what topics matter to my readers. I’ve repeatedly said we’re a business publication for owners and operators in the wholesale HVACR industry. I honestly pretend sometimes that I am the owner of a distributorship or maybe a hard-working middle management type. I ask myself: What do I have in common with everyone else and what can I do to make it better?
It’s no secret ecommerce is changing the way we all do business, and distributors are no exception. The new digital economy has created B2B and B2C convergence that puts tremendous pressure on distributors to either find new ways to offset increasing costs or reinvent themselves in some way. Simply put — buyers’ behaviors are changing and distributors need to adapt quickly to fulfil these new needs.
Even though the theme, workforce, is not our yearlong focus in Distribution Center, I still find the topic one of unending fascination. It’s not surprising that we have a regular stream of stories that I hope are helpful on this topic.
Two days following the HARDI Annual Conference, I woke up at home thinking of inspiration. The speakers at the event last month are what you would expect: inspiring, educational, interesting, and they all lent some fresh perspective while hopefully fired up our mental engines.
I had a subtle yet red-faced moment recently. (I was red on the inside.) I was in a marketing meeting with a client that included staff and two outside consultants. One was Ken Smith (www.smithmedia.com), who handles the video responsibilities of the client’s work. I attended because I was responsible for the client's editorial content and public relations efforts.