20 INDUSTRIAL DISTRIBUTION / March/April 2015 www.inddist.com
‘no, you’re busy keeping our equipment up and running.
Let’s outsource some of these services to John Day,’” she
says. “I think the feedback we’re getting sometimes is at
a higher level.”
Fonda and Kurtenbach emphasized that JDC always has a
project on the table to increase the company’s
efficiencies. Two years ago it purchased new software
that was needed to move ahead in its e-content. JDC has
a full e-commerce website and is in the process of
revamping it to improve its content. “Customers who
use it are giving us feedback. We realized there are areas
for improvement and that’s why we’re tackling it,” says
Chamberlain. Less than 5 percent of JDC’s sales came
through e-commerce in 2014, but Chamberlain noted that
would be a narrow definition of the company’s online
orders since it doesn’t account for EDI sales, of which all
of JDC’s integrated supply sites use.
Speaking of EDI, John Day is working on improving
automation payables, aiming to allow invoices from
vendors to come in EDI right through its ERP system.
Kurtenbach says that will eventually help eliminate
overhead in the accounts payable department, and make
transactions more accurate.
On the CRM front, JDC finished implementing Android
Tablets at the end of 2014 for its outside salespeople.
The tablets can be operated audibly and transcribe
spoken dialogue making it easy to update customer
information and call reports. The devices and the CRM
software speed up and simplify when the salesperson
needs to pull up customer quotes, open orders, and
Fighting the Independent Fight
The Omaha region certainly hasn’t been immune to the
industrial distribution merger & acquisition landscape.
Midwest Industrial Tool was acquired by DGI Supply in
April 2011, and Fuchs Machinery was bought by
Blackhawk Industrial one month later. Now, John Day is
left as one of the few independents left in the area.
“At one point you’re used to competing with other
independents that have a select group of suppliers, and
some of those suppliers crossed over and some didn’t.
COVER STORY DISTRIBUTOR P OFILE