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Do it Best installs new logistics system

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Do it Best has hired Lucas Systems to install a voice-directed logistics system at four of its retail service centers, according to a press release from Pittsburgh-based Lucas Systems.

Called “Jennifer,” the system uses speech-recognition technology to enable customers to operate more efficiently by eliminating the need to manually enter data or read instructions.

“Jennifer has already had a measurable impact on the quality of service we provide to our member-owners by improving the accuracy and efficiency of order fulfillment at our Dixon and Cape Girardeau retail service centers,” said John Snider, vp-logistics at Do it Best.

Last year, Do it Best completed a pilot of the Jennifer voice system running on Motorola MC9090 mobile computers at its Dixon, Ill., retail service center. More than 300 Do it Best employees have now been trained to work with Jennifer, which will be rolled out to four additional retail service centers in the next two months.

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HD Supply White Cap enters Minneapolis market

BY HBSDEALER Staff

HD Supply White Cap, the specialty hardware and tools distributor, has announced its entrance into the Minneapolis/St. Paul market with a 6,000-square-foot warehouse.

The new location will serve White Cap’s national industrial, commercial and residential customers and will warehouse and distribute tools, fasteners, accessories, abrasives, anchors, firestops, safety products and consumables.

“HD Supply White Cap selected the Minneapolis market because it enables the company to service many of its national customers with Midwest footprints faster and more efficiently,” the company said in a statement.

“Increasing our national footprint in important geographic regions like Minneapolis/St. Paul allows us to better partner with our customers to provide them with the products and services they need to be successful,” said Tom Lazzaro, president of HD Supply White Cap. 

Other recent expansions for the distributor include the Chicago and Kansas City markets.

The company said it will continue to evaluate additional growth in the Midwest as part of its long-term growth strategy.

White Cap is a division of Atlanta-based HD Supply.

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National Hardware Show held in Las Vegas

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Las Vegas The 2008 National Hardware Show was held at the Las Vegas Convention Center, featuring about 3,500 exhibitors in 150 product categories and including Lawn & Garden World, the Homewares Show and an expanded new product section.

About 30,000 members of the home improvement retail community are expected to attend the three-day show, which represents a 10 percent jump from last year. Dean Russo, group vp-Reed Exhibitions and head of this year’s National Hardware Show, said this is a nice vote of confidence during some trying times for the home improvement industry.

“I think they understand that when market conditions are tough, it’s time to get more aggressive, not only to get through the bad times in the next 12 to 18 months, but to put themselves in a good position for when we come out of it,” Russo added.

Other highlights of the show include Inventor’s Spotlight, where attendees can look at newly patented or patent-pending products; the new Green Product World highlighting the latest in green, eco-friendly products; Global Hardware Expo, with more than 1,200 international vendors; and a series of educational seminars addressing challenges and trends in the industry.

In addition, Home Channel News’ Golden Hammer Awards — honoring retailers and manufacturers who have excelled in strategic partnerships — was presented in a special ceremony May 6.

The show, in its 62nd year, ran through May 8.

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