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Johnson Level adds mobile codes to packaging

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Mequon, Wis.-based Johnson Level & Tool announced the addition of QR or quick response codes to its packaging and marketing materials.

According to the company, the codes can be found on Johnson Level’s packaging, advertising, promotions and even corporate business cards.

QR codes are two-dimensional, digital-patterned squares that contain information such as a website, telephone number, contact information or an e-mail address.  Customers need a smart phone or tablet, with a camera and a QR code reader application to use the codes.

When the code is scanned from a package or advertisement, the application will direct the user to the Johnson Level website or to a specific Web page for additional features, technical specs and a quick-start video demonstration.  Johnson Level will be using the codes primarily on its levels with special features and laser levels, which are more technical. 

“We are very excited about this new way to quickly put the power or our website into someone’s hand when they need it most,” said John Dwyer, VP sales and marketing.  “Johnsonlevel.com is an amazing tool for helping people find and learn about the level or laser level best suited for their project,” he continued. 

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Toro working hard to meet N.J. demand

BY HBSDEALER Staff

By this point in time, most outdoor power equipment manufacturers have switched production to lawn mowers, but Bloomington, Minn.-based Toro is still cranking out snow blowers in order to meet demand in the Northeast, according to NorthJersey.com.

An unusually large amount of snow on the East Coast has created increased demand for snow blowers this year, and Toro is moving inventory from other parts of the country to meet demand, according to the article.

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Ketchum to retire as Rubbermaid top exec

BY HBSDEALER Staff

Atlanta-based Newell Rubbermaid announced that president and CEO, Mark Ketchum, will retire later this year.

An executive recruiting firm has been retained to search for Ketchum’s replacement.

Ketchum plans to remain on the company’s board of directors through the spring of 2012 to help ensure a smooth and orderly transition to a new leader, the company said.

Ketchum, 61, joined Newell Rubbermaid as a director in 2005 and became president and CEO later that year.

“I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished over the past five years at Newell Rubbermaid. I love this company and the people I work with, making my decision to retire extremely difficult, but consistent with the commitments I made to my family when I joined the company,” Ketchum said. “As the result of a lot of hard work and effort by everyone in the organization, our portfolio, our gross margin structure and our business model have been significantly transformed. We managed through the most difficult economic times in decades and have emerged a leaner, stronger organization focused on the key elements which will drive our continuing improvement.”

“Mark Ketchum’s leadership, especially during the difficult economic times and through the many elements of our transformation initiatives, has positioned the company to compete effectively in the extremely dynamic markets in which we participate,” said Michael T. Cowhig, the company’s chairman of the board. “Although our board of directors and associates would have loved Mark to remain our CEO for several more years, we fully respect the commitment he made to his family, and appreciate the fact that he has chosen to retire at a time when the company has completed most of its transformation efforts and is positioned for continued success.”

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