What’s New?

Springtime brings new growth. Early bulbs are blooming. The hope of a news season brings a smile to my face—what wonderful new things will unfold? With a new administration in Washington, there is plenty of talk about change and every change brings an opportunity. Some of those changes directly affect our businesses. On page 24, Fisher Phillips partner Sarah Moore outlines disruptions in the Department of Labor that may present themselves. On page 14, Member Fred Anderson explains the new rules from OSHA for walking and working surfaces. Preferred Supplier, Gurtler, has announced a new wastewater division headed by Stuart Davis. You can read the first of a series he wrote on the subject on page 26. While we are speaking of suppliers, I would like to announce our newest Preferred Supplier, Regent Apparel. Regent has a great line of hospitality linens as well as restaurant and industrial uniforms. Read more on page 13. Steve Kallenbach continues the theme of new opportunities in his article that outlines strategies to engage with a new generation of buyers. Catch that on page 8. Research clearly demonstrates that interesting and disruptive trends will impact your business in the coming year. Distributors and rental operators alike are facing new and very different competition from internet marketers like Amazon, Alibaba and others while customers of all sizes expect more service, more transparency and more technology. In the past few years, many Members have thrived while some lost significant ground. One thing is a definite; maintaining status quo is the riskiest path you can take. The market is not standing still . . . your major competitors are spending millions on clever marketing to convince your customers that they are not only the best, but also the low cost provider. We hope that this issue will give you the ammunition to make this Spring the beginning of a new and profitable chapter in your business.

Allan Fowler