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> Quick Connections – November 2017

November 2017

Welcome to the November issue of ERA’s monthly wrap-up, designed to provide you with a quick, convenient way to catch up on information, announcements and other news you may have missed.

Watch for future issues coming during the first week of every month.

To share recent newsworthy or noteworthy items and/or calendar dates with your fellow members, please email

POS Index Update

~ Budde Marketing, which provides monthly POS Index reports to ERA members, has issued its latest summary, running from January 2016 through September 2017. Go to to view the new index. The report shows that September 2017 flattened out and was only very slightly above the August 2017 POS number. However, POS activity was up about 3 to 4 percent from September 2016 and year over year is up between 4 and 5 percent, which is still a strong showing for 2017. For details on Budde Marketing’s services, visit

Industry News and Other Items of Interest

~ Remember that manufacturing data reports from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) are released on or about the first of every month and can be accessed at ISM. The Nov. 1 report says economic activity in the manufacturing sector expanded in October, and the overall economy grew for the 101st consecutive month. Also, of the 18 manufacturing industries included in the November report, the computer and electronic products sector was one of 16 reporting growth.

Independent distributors are expecting to see a double-digit increase in revenue for the year, with some forecasting 20 to 30 percent sales growth because of shortages of a range of components. Shortages are expected to continue for the first quarter of next year. See SourceToday for details.

~ Worldwide sales of semiconductors reached $107.9 billion for the third quarter of 2017, according to the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) trade group. Third quarter sales were up 10.2 percent from the previous quarter. See more at EETimes.

~ Mergers and acquisitions (M&As) in the technology sector continue on an upward trend in 2017, although at a slower pace. Global M&As in the first half of 2017 increased 8.4 percent by value, although there were 1,117 fewer deals compared to the same period last year, according to Mergermarket’s Global M&A Trend Report. See the full report at EPSNews.

~ New market research and a wave of global IoT investments from sovereign nations and top-name companies are accelerating the IoT momentum. The number of connected IoT devices worldwide is expected to jump 12 percent on average annually, from nearly 27 billion in 2017 to 125 billion in 2030, according to IHS Markit. Learn more at NetworkWorld.

~ Worldwide shipments of PCs, tablets and smart phones are predicted to exceed 2.35 billion units in 2018, an increase of 2 percent from 2017, according to Gartner, Inc. This would be the highest year-over-year growth since 2015. Read more at Gartner.

~ Cars are evolving from being mechanical machines to electronic powerhouses offering a broad variety of capabilities. These changes are going to increase the demands on the electronics supply chain. Visit EBN to view the full report.

~ Don’t annoy your subscribers with email overload. Columnist Len Shneyder explains how preference centers can empower customers and help email marketers better segment their lists and receive feedback from interested parties, driving more accurate information to marketers and relevant advertisements to receptive audiences. Click on MarketingLand to read more.

~ Millennials are considered to be some of the hottest coaches and mentors for boomer executives. Companies are implementing reverse mentoring programs that match executives with milennial counterparts, some who are even fresh out of college. Visit Inc. to learn more.

~ Salesperson turnover is a significant problem for distributors who must plan for it by putting processes in place that ease the transition between resigned salespeople and their replacements, facilitating the transfer of customer, opportunity and competitor information. Implementing a CRM as an information hub is the most effective way to do this. Visit MDM for details.

~ LinkedIn is linking together its sales and marketing products for the first time. B2B marketers will be able to more easily target their ads to new leads and existing accounts. The new ad-targeting option will roll out to all Sales Navigator customers in early 2018. See MarTechToday for more information.

ERA Updates

ERA 49th Management and Marketing Conference, scheduled Feb. 25-27, 2018, in Austin, Texas, will include a general session on work-life balance presented by Jim Bird, CEO of The closing general session will be presented by Michael Knight, senior vice president Americas of TTI, Inc., who will discuss the customer of tomorrow and the tools that will be needed to remain competitive in the supply chain of the future. Watch for the conference program brochure to be posted very shortly on and to be mailed on or about Nov. 8. Visit ERAConference for more conference details and to register online.

The next free ERA Teleforum will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017. The topic, “Goal Setting for 2018: Setting, Attaining and Monitoring Goals,” will be discussed by sales coach/consultant Nicki Weiss and co-facilitators: Jebco Distribution Coordinator Don Higley, Jebco VP Sales Tim McGuinness, Super PCB Program Director Jessica Zhang, and ERA CEO Walter Tobin. To register for this teleforum, go to ERA-Saleswise.

Production of the Winter 2018 issue of The Representor magazine will be underway shortly. Don’t miss the opportunity to place your company’s ad in front of 3,000+ rep, manufacturer and distributor readers. Ad orders and copy are due by Dec. 1. Click on ClassifiedAds or DisplayAds to reserve your spot in the next Representor, or contact Neda Simeonova for more information.

Sponsorship opportunities are still available for ERA’s 2018 Conference. In addition to the various benefits, most sponsorship opportunities include one or more complimentary registrations for the event. Click on Sponsorships for more information.

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