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BidClerk updates its Enterprise software

BY HBSDEALER Staff

BidClerk Enterprise, a software tool designed to help building product manufacturers manage their operations, is now available in a new iteration that features VisualSpec technology to help clients visualize and stay on top of market trends.

"BidClerk Enterprise has experienced unprecedented growth in 2013 due to our strong project information, complete contact data, and unique features that allow users to reach key players at the right time," said Craig Fuss, VP enterprise sales. “BidClerk Enterprise continually evolves to meet industry demands and it is now the number one choice for building product manufacturers.”

BidClerk Enterprise is made up of several tools related to sales, marketing and project management, allowing manufacturers to optimize their product marketing via searchable architectural plans and more.

Among the new features added by VisualSpec are a "heat map" of activity based on search criteria, analysis of competitor activity with project valuations and counts, a tool that allows users to find out who is specifying certain products, and a time series analysis.

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Meet the Hom-Bot, LG’s answer to the Roomba

BY HBSDEALER Staff

With 35 awards to take home at the conclusion of this year’s event, LG was one of the bigger names at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Among the multiple innovations it was recognized for was the Hom-Bot Square, a robotic vacuum cleaner unveiled at the show.

The automatic vacuum’s main claim to fame is its square shape, which is designed to fit into corners neglected by previous models. Its Corner Master technology features the use of two long brushes and corner-detecting sensors, which allow it to access hard-to-reach corners.

The Hom-Bot also includes a top- and bottom-mounted camera that allows the vacuum to chart its course throughout the house and store information for future use regarding furniture placement and other obstacles.

Additionally, users of the Hom-Bot can use LG’s Home Chat mobile technology to control the vacuum with their phones, making remote activation a possibility.

Last, but not least, the Hom-Bot runs at a low noise level of 60dBA to minimize distraction while it’s in use.

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Fastenal disappointed by growth

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Industrial products supplier Fastenal reported fourth-quarter net sales of $813.8 million, up 7.5% from $757.2 million in the same quarter last year. But the company didn’t grow as fast as it anticipated.

The Winona, Minn.-based company reported net earnings of $99.2 million, up 0.5% from the previous year’s quarter.

The results — including flat net earnings per share — disappointed Wall Street. Shares of FAST were down sharply early Wednesday. Executives pointed to weaker than expected sales and gross margin trends. "This weakening was worse than we expected and this created additional drain on our ability to grow earnings," the company said in its earnings release.

For the full year, net sales increased 6.1% to $3.33 billion. Net earnings for the 12-month period increased 6.7% to $448.6 million.

At the end of the year, Fastenal operated 2,687 store locations. 

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