General Business Consultants, Inc.   224 723 5143


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Associations and other organizations use GBC to conduct workshops and Webinars because, we:

   - tailor presentation content to participants' needs



   -  send ready-to-use p/r material and handouts well before deadlines



   - our unbiased, objective presentations aren't a sales pitch 


   - base the presentations on GBC's 40+ years of hands-on experience



   - avoid technobabble, and explain terms that might be too technical



   - pass along some "secrets" we recommend to  clients



   - consult with participants afterwards.  


To discuss a presentation for your organization, call 224 723 5143.


HOW TO SURVIVE AMAZON BUSINESS and OTHER ALTERNATIVE CHANNELS. Amazon Business is part of, but meant for business buyers and sellers, not consumers. It is a marketplace where manufacturers can sell directly to business end-users, bypassing distributors. AB offers business users the same features and terms that distributors offer, and some that distriburors do not offer. Using the parent company's highly-rated website, it now lists more than 1 million products. Amazon purchased a designer and installer of warehouse robots, and used that firm to construct distribution centers with a very low cost of fulfillment. This Webinar details the strategy and tactics of Amazon Business, Alibaba and others, and then presents some suggested strategies and tactics that threatened distributors can use to survive the monsters. This presentation gives participants practical information they can't get from others.

REDUCING WAREHOUSE COSTS & MISTAKES, WITHOUT BUYING TECHNOLOGY.  As warehouse employment decreased to the lowest level in decades, at some distributors the rate of warehouse mistakes increased. The result is angry customers -- or worse, a loss of sales, and sometimes customers. And for some distributors, reduced warehouse staffing has increased the costs of warehouse operations.  Low warehouse employment is part of the "new normal", but excess warehouse costs and mistakes don't have to be. This workshop describes actions every distributor can take to overcome the roots causes of warehouse problems that are increasing costs and hurting customer service -- and do it without buying expensive warehouse technology. The workshop focuses on inexpensive, quick cost-cuts and actions that prevent costly mistakes, in warehouse organization and operations. Some of the actions come from the JIT Quality Methods that are world-famous as the most effective type of mistake-prevention.

WHY SOME SYSTEMS ARE DECREASING CUSTOMER SERVICE, MARGINS AND RETURN ON INVENTORY INVESTMENT -- AND WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT. As part of efforts to overcome shrinking margins and rising costs, distributors are enlisting the aid of their computer systems. But too much time is often spent in the wrong places -- functions that do little to increase sales/margins or customer service, or decrease costs; and the equally-important "manual system" is often ignored. This workshop explores those functions that have a big impact on profits and customer service, and presents some ways for improving them. In addition, it presents some tips for improving related user-skills and procedures & controls that involve users and non-users.

AVOIDING EXCESS INVENTORY AND SHORTAGES WHILE KEEPING CUSTOMER SERVICE HIGH. Distributors know that they need to manage inventory levels and warehouse operations very effectively to profitably increase customer service. But most don't know that  good software isn't enough -- procedures and controls often need to be implemented or tightened, and user-skills upgraded. This workshop starts by describing key procedures and controls, and then describes the kinds of skills that are needed. Then it provides some "tips" for using a system to manage inventory in ways that increase customer service and return on inventory investment.

WAREHOUSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS (WMS): NEW TECHNOLOGIES, AND TIPS FOR A SUCCESSFUL WMS. New warehouse management technologies can increase productivity and reduce errors more than bar code reading -- but have some drawbacks. And selecting a WMS, and getting it to pay off, is more complex and expensive than most people realize. Its possible to spend a lot of time and money but not get the benefits; a WMS can even make things worse. This workshop presents a summary description of new warehouse management technologies, and then overviews the steps that should be taken before looking for a WMS and the steps for getting a cost-effective WMS while avoiding the pitfalls.

DON'T SIGN THAT SYSTEM CONTRACT -- UNTIL YOU CHANGE IT TO PROTECT YOURSELF. The conversion to a new system, and the new system itself, are all so complex that many things can go wrong, before, during and years after in­stallation; sometimes with a costly impact. But no vendor contract protects a distributor against numerous possible problems; vendor contracts protect vendors. This workshop is a summary description of the kinds of protections a distributor should B and can -- get in a system contract. And it outlines the steps a distributor should take to get a contract with specific performance guarantees.

DO YOU REALLY NEED A NEW SYSTEM? New technology has made it more difficult  to make the critical decision about replacing the computer system. That decision has always involved subjective intangible factors as well as dollars, and now is even more confusing because it must consider a different kind of new "system" -- Application Service (AS). With AS, a distributor does not pay a large sum up-front for a license to use ERP software; a distributor pays for the resources used, when used -- disk storage, the amount of processing done, etc. This workshop outlines the steps and data to gather to take to make a non-emotional, unbiased, cost-effective decision.

TECH TRENDS THAT CAN HURT DISTRIBUTORS AND WHOLESALERS. Most trends in Information Technology (IT) will help distributors and wholesalers save money and increase customer service, but some IT trends could hurt. This workshop overviews each trend and explains its pros and cons for distributors and wholesalers:


            "Talking" Chips Replace Printed Bar Codes

            Wireless Digital Networks Result in Go-Anywhere Data Communications

            Warehouse Management Systems Become Affordable and Practical

            Supply Chain Management Dramatically Alters Business Relationships

            The Plot to Take Away Distributors' Computers

            Software Support Moves Overseas -- the Pros and Cons