The Austin Advantage

Since 1960, Austin Hardware has always gone the extra mile to give our customers a competitive edge in their markets. Whether you need fast delivery of parts from our huge inventory or help finding the solution for a special application – you always get more with Austin Hardware.

Austin Hardware’s entire team is focused on getting you the parts you need quickly to keep your projects on time and on budget. Check out our supply of locks, latches, hinges, fasteners, and more on our website to place your order today.

 

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A Closer Look at Vendor Managed Inventory

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Having too little or too much inventory can be a challenge for your company resulting in loss of valuable space, products, and sales. Vendor Managed Inventory can help improve performance.

What is Vendor Managed Inventory?

VMI, or Vendor Managed Inventory, is an inventory replenishment arrangement through which Austin Hardware either monitors your inventory or receives stock information from you. The goal of VMI is to turn inventory 12 times per year and maintain appropriate stock levels for all parts.

Austin Hardware uses a state-of-the-art forecasting tool with 18 different models, which analyze your parts and quantities. We conduct full inventory usage analysis quarterly to make sure all products are performing and make stock level changes if necessary.

Accurate, Money Saving Results

With VMI, you are not just getting a supplier, you are getting a partner who understands your needs and offers an accurate control of inventory stock levels for parts.

We’ve been using the VMI program for several years and it’s been great. The product is here for our use as we need it without tying up money to have it sitting in our inventory. We pay for it as we use it, and it can be adjusted anytime according to our current demand.

“It also saves us on shipping fees. Instead of having multiple charges I can do an upload once a week and they’ll ship everything together. It saves us time from checking items to see if we need them, to knowing that they will be replenished as we use them. The VMI program has been an asset to us, having the product here and saving money and down time.”

-J.S., Indiana

 Become an Austin Partner

Is your business currently struggling with maintaining and managing inventory? With over 55 years in business, Austin Hardware is committed to helping you solve issues of quality, price, availability, application, and more. The Austin Advantage may be exactly what your company needs.

Read more about Vendor Managed Inventory and its benefits in this original Austin Hardware white paper.

Be sure to check out our supply of locks, latches, fasteners, and hardware from over 970 manufacturers on our website.

Bimodal Solutions: Innovating the Supply Chain

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The way organizations approach the supply chain for their products is changing. To compete in the modern digital market, companies must become “bimodal”, innovating and evolving while also maintaining operational efficiency.

The modern business model must be able to quickly adapt to changes in technology and the market. With a bimodal supply chain, businesses can focus on today’s efficiency goals while experimenting with tomorrow’s new innovations.

What is Bimodal?

A bimodal supply chain consists of two “modes” of focus. The first mode, “stability,” continues to focus on the traditional operations and keeping costs down. The second mode, “agility,” finds ways to innovate, experiment, and embrace new ideas.

These two modes may need different teams working with different budgets, goals, and incentives. But where do you start?

Discovering Your Resources

It’s important to collaborate among departments, especially in areas that intersect with customer engagement like marketing and IT. Consider available resources such as your organization’s data, which can be used to enhance demand generation, purchasing, and customer service.

Analyzing transaction data can reveal purchase patterns and enable you to make customer-specific purchase recommendations. Add content to your website that answers key customer questions and makes your sellers more efficient.

Automating Your Processes

Austin developed our Vendor Managed Inventory program to help our customers by automating virtually every step of the supply chain process, from ordering and purchasing to stocking and managing. The program can also be customized to our client’s pre-existing inventory system, saving time and money.

The modern supply chain team will be challenged to spend as much time innovating and evolving their business model as they do maintaining their bottom line. Digital business is reshaping the supply chain, and both efficiency and innovation are critical to success.

Growth Trends in the Bus and Rail Industry

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More Commuters

As urban populations begin to grow, so does the number of bus and rail commuters. Transportation providers are considering various ways of increasing passenger capacity, such as double-decker buses and/or condensing less occupied routes. Additionally, advances in technology on rail systems may be necessary, which can increase the frequency of trains per hour on a line, increasing traffic volume.

Going Green

Not only does public transportation reduce fuel costs and traffic congestion, it’s beneficial for the environment.  According to American Public Transportation Association mass transportation in the United States reduces the nation’s carbon emissions by 37 million metric tons annually. Decreasing these emissions means reducing the threat of pollution, climate change and global warming.

Increase in Employment Fuels Economic Improvement

As transportation methods become more efficient, employment opportunities are expected to increase within these industries. In 2015, the nation’s major freight railroads planned to spend an estimated $29 billion to build, maintain and grow the rail network. An expanded rail system means more jobs. In addition, freight railroads estimate they will hire 15,000 people this year. For the bus industry, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, it is estimated that 274,140 have been employed this year.

Increased employment rate in the Bus and Rail Industries benefits the overall economy. This increase in mobility to and from regions also creates economic prospects, permits trade, and simplifies access to markets and services. Thus, these industries generate commercial activity by directly connecting employers to their work and retailers to their customers.

Helping You Grow

At Austin Hardware, we value our partnership with the bus and rail industry and seek to provide the hardware our customers need to grow. Dedication to quality is one reason why Austin is the leading source for industrial hardware, including the rail and bus industries. Austin offers an extensive in-stock hardware selection to help you deliver on time and on budget. To learn more about our products, check out our inventory and order online.

Charity Football Pool – Week #4 Update

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Week #4 saw some close games, great comebacks, and wild finishes. The biggest upset of the week, again involving the St. Louis Rams, who went on the road to defeat their division rival Arizona Cardinals, actually had no bearing on our pool at all, as none of our players had a pick on that game.

A fumble 6 inches from the goal line and a subsequent blown officiating call kept the Detroit Lions from upsetting the defending NFC Champion Seahawks on Monday night, which WOULD HAVE had a major effect on the pool, with 3 of our remaining players having picked Seattle.

But in the end only 1 player was eliminated when the Washington Redskins scored a late TD to upset the Philadelphia Eagles 23-20.

Week #4 by the numbers:

6 players began Week #4
1 eliminated (lost on Philadelphia)
5 advance to Week #5


 

Charities Win!

Austin Hardware, along with our great partner TrimLok, will donate a total of $7,500 in the name of the winner(s) to one or a combination of the following charities:

  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • National Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • United Way
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  • Make-A-Wish America
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Humane Society of the United States

If you have any questions, please contact Austin Hardware’s Media Manager Rob Dell’Elmo at rdellelmo@austinhardware.com.

Click HERE to make next week’s picks!

Austin Hardware logo  TrimLok

Charity Football Pool – Week #3 Update

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After a crazy week #2 that saw 7 underdogs win straight up, dwindling the pool down to single digits, things returned to normal in week #3 as the majority of favorites were winners. Only 1 player, who picked the underdog Buccaneers, was eliminated in week #3. 3 winners advanced picking the Arizona Cardinals, and 1 each advanced by picking New England, Pittsburgh, and Seattle.

Week #3 by the numbers:

7 players began Week #3
1 eliminated (lost on Tampa Bay)
6 advance to Week #4

Note: The NFL has an abnormal schedule for this week with the Jets/Dolphins game at 9:30am Eastern on Sunday (to be played in London). We will be treating this game as an early game (similar to Thursday). Players have up until the scheduled kickoff to pick this game, but may still submit picks for the remainder of the games up until the normal pick deadline at 1pm Eastern on Sunday.

Charities Win!

Austin Hardware, along with our great partner TrimLok, will donate a total of $7,500 in the name of the winner(s) to one or a combination of the following charities:

  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • National Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • United Way
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  • Make-A-Wish America
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Humane Society of the United States

If you have any questions, please contact Austin Hardware’s Media Manager Rob Dell’Elmo at rdellelmo@austinhardware.com.

Click HERE to make next week’s picks!

Austin Hardware logo  TrimLok

Charity Football Pool – Week #2 Update

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The moniker “Black Sunday” (and Monday Night) doesn’t even begin to describe the absolute annihilation of our pool, as 7 of the top 8 most picked teams all came up losers in Week #2.

The Saints took their usual place at the top of the “pool killer” list by losing their home opener to the Buccaneers. But the thrashing didn’t end there. Upset losses by the Ravens, Dolphins, Colts, and Rams all contributed to the carnage.

Week #2 by the numbers:

34 players began Week #2
27 eliminated
7 advance to Week #3

IMPORTANT: Please remember that the web site (www.runyourpool.com) locks picks precisely at 1:00 PM ET on SUNDAY for ALL GAMES played on Sunday and Monday Night.(This includes ALL kickoff times for Sunday and Monday). You will be locked out from making picks at that time. For games played on Thursday or Saturday picks must be submitted before kickoff of the FIRST game played that day.

Charities Win!

Austin Hardware, along with our great partner TrimLok, will donate a total of $7,500 in the name of the winner(s) to one or a combination of the following charities:

  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • National Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • United Way
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  • Make-A-Wish America
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Humane Society of the United States

If you have any questions, please contact Austin Hardware’s Media Manager Rob Dell’Elmo at rdellelmo@austinhardware.com.

Click HERE to make next week’s picks!

Austin Hardware logo  TrimLok

Opportunities for Innovation

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In today’s digital world, it’s never been easier for a company to share ideas and get noticed by potential customers. But keeping that attention and translating it into business is much more difficult. Your company needs to innovate to stand out from the crowd. Here are a few ideas on ways to encourage innovation.

Shared Vision

Innovative ideas about how to do the work come from empowered teams who understand why, or the vision for the work. Vision is more than a statement, it is the inspiration behind your brand. Leaders can help their teams be proactive and understand the big picture by sharing the company’s history, values, lessons learned, and future direction.

Change of Pace

Breaking out of your workplace routine can help jump-start creative energy. Consider inviting people from different departments to provide a fresh perspective. Customer input and reviews can also be a source of innovative ideas. Even something as simple as stepping away from your computer for a minute or two can help you stay fresh. We already know it’s not healthy for your eyes to focus at a screen all day, but breaking up your screen-staring routine for even a couple of minutes can give you a mental boost and keep your creative energy high.

Flexible Workday

Some people are at their most creative and energetic in the morning. Others get more energy later in the day. Try to structure your day so that you do the right tasks at the right time. Tasks that require more energy and focus should be scheduled for when you’re at your peak. If you need time to plan or strategize, try turning all your devices on mute for 30 minutes.

Ongoing Learning

Whether you attend a class, take on a stretch assignment, or read, expanding your knowledge and skills is a path to new ideas. Think about learning opportunities that align with your role, industry, and interests and write down a few learning goals. For example, you might want to learn how to use video to better connect with customers or learn how to adopt an agile approach to projects.

At Austin Hardware, we strive to build a work environment where innovation thrives. Ideas like our Vendor Managed Inventory service help us deliver a superior customer experience, and partnerships with the best hardware manufacturers enable us to stock parts our customers need, and deliver them fast. We are always looking for input, ideas, and opportunities to help our customers better serve their customers. How do you fuel innovation?

Charity Football Pool – Week #1 Update

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This was one of the most interesting opening weeks in recent memory. There were very few obvious favorites this week, and that was reflected by the fact that among our 60 players, at least 1 pick was made on 20 of the 32 teams.

The most significant upset of the day, eliminating 9 players, saw the Rams, with their new QB Nick Foles, take down the defending NFC champion Seahawks in a crazy game in St.Louis.

Week #1 by the numbers:

60 entries
26 eliminated (9-Seattle, 5-Indianapolis, 4-No Pick, 3-Philadelphia, 1-each Detroit, Jacksonville, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Tampa Bay)
34 advance to Week #2

IMPORTANT: Please remember that the web site (www.runyourpool.com) locks picks precisely at 1:00 PM ET on SUNDAY for ALL GAMES played on Sunday and Monday Night.(This includes ALL kickoff times for Sunday and Monday). You will be locked out from making picks at that time. For games played on Thursday or Saturday picks must be submitted before kickoff of the FIRST game played that day.

Charities Win!

Austin Hardware, along with our great partner TrimLok, will donate a total of $7,500 in the name of the winner(s) to one or a combination of the following charities:

  • Wounded Warrior Project
  • National Leukemia & Lymphoma Society
  • United Way
  • Susan G. Komen for the Cure
  • Make-A-Wish America
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of America
  • Humane Society of the United States

If you have any questions, please contact Austin Hardware’s Media Manager Rob Dell’Elmo at rdellelmo@austinhardware.com.

Click HERE to make next week’s picks!

Austin Hardware logo  TrimLok