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Golden Hammer Profile: First Alert

BY Steph Koyfman

In the realm of home safety, reputation counts a lot. And with a 2014 Golden Hammer Award under its belt, First Alert is handily making its case as a recognized innovator — and even activist of sorts — in its field.

That’s because in addition to developing next-generation smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, First Alert also provides outreach to various organizations across the U.S., helping raise awareness of safety pitfalls and prevention techniques.

Additionally, it’s the self-proclaimed pioneer in residential smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

So where does the goal line lie in 2014? For one, First Alert is working to satisfy the demand for effective safety products with an eye for design.

"Consumers are seeking the latest life-safety technology while also looking for products that look good – driving a trend toward more streamlined profiles that blend beautifully into any home décor," said Tom Russo, senior director of marketing. "Gone are the days of clunky, white eyesores and here to stay are slim, streamlined designs like our Maximum Protection Alarm or our micro-sized ATOM."

Some other new exports include element-resistant safes with Ready-Seal technology, as well as the Safety POD, a device equipped with a dual-sensor alarm for a variety of applications such as protecting bags, sounding a panic alarm or using as a door alarm.

Additionally, First Alert’s been hard at work responding to new legislation that requires smoke alarms to be equipped with 10-year sealed batteries.

"As we head into a new era of the connected consumer, we’re also finding new, unexpected ways to innovate," said Russo. "We are driving the First Alert brand forward as we always have – through innovation and a philosophy that prioritizes the voice of the customer."

The above is one of a series of profiles recognizing this year’s Golden Hammer Vendor winners, to appear on HomeChannelNews.com and in HCN Daily. Thirty-one Golden Hammer Vendor winners were honored this year at the 2014 National Hardware Show in Las Vegas.

 

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Owens Corning board adds two members

BY David Salazar

Toledo, Ohio-based Owens Corning announced Wednesday that it had added two new members to its board of directors. The new members are NBCUniversal EVP Cesar Conde and FMC Technologies SVP and CFO Maryann Seaman.

"We welcome Maryann and Cesar to our Board of Directors," Owens Corning Chairman and CEO Mike Thaman said. "Our company will benefit from their broad business experience and diverse backgrounds."

Seaman has been with FMC Technologies since 1986, working in various capacities since then. In addition to her time as treasurer and VP administration, she has acted as secretary to two committees on FMC’s board of directors. She’s currently a member of the board of the Houston-based outood amphitheater, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.

Conde, before moving into NBCUniversal, was the president of Univision Networks and also serves on the Council on Foreign Relations, as well as White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics board. He works with the Paley Center for Media and the Aspen Institute as a trustee and serves on the Foundation for Excellence in Education board.

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Epicor unveils Eagle N Series

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Austin, Texas-based Epicor Software Corporation, a global leader in business software solutions for manufacturing, distribution, retail and services organizations, today unveiled the Epicor Eagle N Series.

The solution is described as next-generation retail management software for independent retail businesses. Part of the improvement is a simplified user interface, the company said. 

“Eagle N Series makes Epicor’s renowned retail feature set easier to use and puts analytics and access to support at users’ fingertips,” said Craig McCollum, executive VP and general manager, retail distribution solutions for Epicor. “This new software strikes a perfect balance of advanced functionality and ease-of-use to give independent retailers the tools they need to outservice their competition.” 

Epicor Eagle N Series is designed to give independent retailers the advanced technology used by big-box retailers at an affordable price point, according to Epicor. It allows independent retailers to make the most of their biggest competitive asset: exceptional customer service. 

The new software gives independent retailers a comprehensive set of business management tools aimed at creating a seamless, customer-centric shopping experience. It also offers embedded business intelligence, simplified workflows, an integrated support bar with context sensitive access to online training, customer support and online user community, and an updated user interface.

“As an independent retail business, understanding our customers is critical,” said Kyle Little, e-commerce and IT manager for Little Hardware. “Epicor Eagle N Series helps us take customer information to the next level, putting us closer to our analytical data by enhancing the applications that we use daily with new insights on customer purchasing behavior. With analytics embedded within the solution and readily available at our fingertips, it’s easier to see our customers’ shopping habits, behaviors and buying patterns. A combination of understanding customer information and business analytics creates the ultimate consumer experience, and ultimately a better retail business.” 

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