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Readers Respond: Military Intelligence

BY HBSDealer Staff

An article that appeared in HBSDealer.com under the headline “Military Intelligence: Officers in our ranks,” featured the comments of three industry executives who were formerly officers in the military.

The article solicited comments from other veterans. Here is one from Mike McVay, who has 24 years experience in the U.S. Army, Army National Guard and Army Reserves. His service included deployments in Desert Storm as a Tank Company Executive Officer, Operation Iraqi Freedom as Deployment Support Detachment Commander and Brigade Operations Officer. Retired as a major, he is currently director of sales for Arrow Fastener Company.

He writes:

Lessons Learned
It’s all about effective communications, vertical and lateral, up and down the chain of command. Effective communication multiplies the effectiveness of an organization immensely. Whether coordinating supporting elements on a battlefield, to include multiple branches, foreign nationals and multiple intra branch specialties, effective communication across all platforms in mandatory to organizational success. This holds especially true in corporate organizations, with Finance, Operations, HR, IT, Sales and Marketing. All departments have to work in unison to be successful as a corporation.

Teamwork
There is nothing that instills more confidence, than knowing that your teammates have you covered. If you fail or succeed, you do so as a group. Leaders have absolute trust in subordinates to accomplish missions without micromanagement. In turn, subordinates trust that their leaders have full confidence in them to do so and trust that the task is necessary for unit success. I still stay in close contact with all of my teammates from Desert Storm. Some now retired CSM’s and Col’s. I knew them as privates and lieutenants.

Misconception
I agree with Mr. Cassidy that the misconception of the military is that is an inefficient organization with unlimited resources. On the contrary, the military is a very efficient machine given the scope and scale of all that it is tasked to accomplish.”

— Mike McVay
Arrow Fastener
Director of sales

# # # 

Send your comments to [email protected].

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Next Big Thing: Back to email

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Despite social media’s growing presence in many consumers’ lives, it is not the ideal platform for brand interaction.

That's according to the “2017 Generational Marketing Insights Survey,” from Campaigner, the email marketing brand of j2 Global. According to findings, less than a quarter (24%) of online shoppers use social media as one of their preferred channels for brand interaction. And it seems that not all social media channels are created equal.

For example, only 5% of respondents use Snapchat, somewhat of a newcomer for brands, as their go-to platform when connecting with their favorite brands. Image-heavy Pinterest and Instagram tied for second place, each garnering 18%.

Facebook is the place to be for brands that want to get the most bang for their social buck, with over half (54%) of shoppers using the social media giant to follow brands. Only 3% said they utilize Twitter for this purpose.

In sharp contrast to social media, email still proves to be the most efficient marketing channel for brands. In fact, email ranks as one of the most preferred digital marketing platforms for brand interaction (44%), and 75% of online shoppers are either somewhat or very likely to open email from brands.

However, when it comes to this medium, too much of a good thing can be bad for customer engagement. Online shoppers’ top complaint (49%) about marketing messages is that they simply receive too many of them. Most recipients (29%) prefer to hear from a brand less often than once a month, while only 11% prefer to get brand messages more than once a week.

“The findings signal that in this day and age, consumers both expect and appreciate email messages from their favorite brands,” says EJ McGowan, general manager, Campaigner. “However, savvy marketers must do their due diligence to research and determine what cadence of email is most effective for their audience. Acting on these insights will ensure that campaigns are successful from the perspective of both sender and recipient.”

Millennials are the most likely generation to engage with marketing emails. Nearly a quarter (22%) said they are very likely to open an email from a brand, compared to just 15% of the group surveyed overall.

After their digital preference of email (51%), 47% of Millennials said they utilize social media to interact with brands. While Facebook is still their top social choice (65%), Instagram is another favorite, with 37% saying they use it to interact with brands. Millennials are nearly three times as likely to use Snapchat to engage with brands as the average online shopper (14%).

When it comes to Generation X, this group is more receptive to a higher frequency of email than the rest. For example, 27% think receiving emails from brands once a week is ideal.

Meanwhile, those born in the Traditionalist and Baby Boomer eras prefer interacting with brands in physical stores compared to the average shopper. In fact, 73% of Traditionalists and 67% of Baby Boomers prefer to interact with brands in-store, compared to 65% of the group overall.

Additionally, Traditionalists appreciate helpful tips and short reads more than the average online consumer, at 28% versus 13% overall, so content marketing may be most impactful for this group, the study said.

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Housing factors in Trump budget proposal

BY HBSDEALER Staff

(The National Lumber and Building Material Dealers Association released the following legislative update.)

President Donald Trump sent to Congress a $4.1 trillion budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2018, which begins on October 1. Titled "A New Foundation for American Greatness," the plan reduces discretionary spending by $1.5 trillion over 10 years and balances the federal budget in 2027.  The proposal also assumes an overhaul of income tax rates.

Nondefense discretionary spending is cut over the next decade to decrease deficits and pay for increased defense spending. For FY 2018, funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is decreased by 31 percent to $5.66 billion. Savings from Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) programs is a more modest 1.7 percent. Funding for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is cut by 13 percent to $40.7 billion.

As part of the proposed cuts to EPA, enforcement for the Lead: Renovation, Repair, and Painting (RRP) program is defunded. Although the regulation would remain in effect, responsibility for enforcement would be the responsibility of each state. Currently, there are 14 states authorized to run their own RRP programs: Alabama, Delaware, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington, and Wisconsin.

OSHA is not spared from the cuts. The White House budget eliminates the entire $10.5 million for the Susan Harwood grant program, which funds nonprofit organizations that provide worker safety training programs. Although this program has existed since 1978, previous Republican administrations have sought to eliminate it as labor union safety programs have benefited.

The Trump Administration also proposes eliminating several HUD programs, including the HOME Investment Partnership (HOME) program that provides funding for activities such as building and rehabilitating affordable housing for rent and homeownership. HOME is receiving $950 million in funding for the current fiscal year.

An overhaul of the tax code is included in the White House budget. It reduces the number of personal income tax brackets from seven to three, lowers the business tax rate for both pass-throughs and corporations to 15 percent, and doubles the standard deduction.

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees have hearings scheduled this week to discuss President Trump's budget. Democrats are expected to push removing the budget caps on non-defense discretionary programs, which is set at $515 billion for FY 2018 as part of the Budget Control Act passed in 2011.

Looming over the budget negotiations is the need to raise the federal debt ceiling that sets a limit on the amount of money the government can borrow. On March 15, the debt ceiling was reached but the Department of Treasury is using extraordinary measures to meet the financial obligations of the federal government. However, by early fall, a contentious vote raising the debt ceiling will be needed to avoid a government default and it is likely to be a part of FY 2018 budget negotiations.
 

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