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U.S. economy shows signs of stabilizing, Fed says | Onvia outshines government in tracking stimulus spending | Arrow Electronics Q2 profit plummets 78% on weakened sales
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August 3, 2009
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News and Trends
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News and Trends
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U.S. economy shows signs of stabilizing, Fed says
The U.S. economy is showing signs of stabilizing, according to Federal Reserve data released last week. The Fed's Beige Book points to improvement in terms of manufacturing activity and new-home sales. However, high unemployment and sluggish retail sales still pose a risk to the economy.
Financial Times (tiered subscription model) (7/30),  USA Today (7/29) 
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Onvia outshines government in tracking stimulus spending
Onvia's Recovery.org offers information on $73 billion in stimulus funds spent on 22,000 contracts. A similar Web site run by the government, Recovery.gov, has only tracked 1,000 contracts to date. Onvia sells the data from its information-gathering system to clients applying for government contracts.
Bloomberg (7/30) 
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Other News
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Best Practices
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Best Practices
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Which sources are best to tap for innovation?
This point-counterpoint examines the question of whether it is better to generate the next big idea or tap into those you already have and shape them. When approaching innovation, one expert suggests some questions to keep in mind include what are the key ideas that won't go away and what are the big problems that won't go away.
Deloitte (7/2009) 
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Self-assessments as the basis for reviews offer little value
Self-assessments can benefit employees by providing them with a chance to reflect on their performance, and they benefit the manager by capturing the employee's perspective. But consultant Jon Picoult urges managers to steer clear of tying their own assessments of workers directly to these self-evaluations.
Forbes (7/29) 
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Sales
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Motivate average performers, as well as top achievers
Instead of focusing exclusively on keeping your company's best sales performers happy, consider the benefits of also giving mid-level performers a motivational boost, some experts suggest. Some key recommendations for motivating all performers include adding a second tier for rewards and recognition, setting attainable goals and offering recognition to those who exceed their personal best.
Selling Power (free registration) (7/27) 
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Giving a worker a helping hand
Many small businesses are actively looking for ways to help employees who are faced with financial difficulties brought on by the recession -- whether it is helping them manage finances or offering them loans. The Personal Finance Employee Education Foundation estimates that missed time from hours spent on the phone with creditors and slack performance may cost business as much as $4.5 billion annually.
Bloomberg Businessweek (tiered subscription model) (7/28) 
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Business Tips and Advice
Sponsored Content from American Express
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Business Tips and Advice
Sponsored Content from American Express
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Executive Life
Bumped fliers entitled to compensation
Travelers have rights they may not be aware of when they find themselves bumped from a domestic flight. Among the rules is that airlines must pay travelers the price of a one-way ticket up to $400 cash if they are bumped to flights that add another one to two hours to their journey, and the maximum reimbursement doubles if the delay exceeds that window.
Yahoo!/The Associated Press (7/29) 
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Recession could give a whole new flavor to wine, industry
The recession could impact the U.S. wine industry in more ways than one. As consumers turn to less expensive wines, some wonder whether the days of the $150 bottle of Napa Valley wines will ever return. Price issues could even cause producers to make changes, such as in the types of oak barrels they use, which would alter the taste of some wines.
The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/The Pour blog (7/29) 
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NAW Insider
New release: The Best Distribution Sales Book Ever!
New release: The Best Distribution Sales Book Ever!
Every salesperson should read The Best Distribution Sales Book Ever! Become the catalyst to make sales happen for your distribution firm. This book covers the distributor sales job from soup to nuts -- from prospecting to closing -- and every step in between. Learn how to find new opportunities and then drive them to either a sale or a "no." Order today!
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2009 Wholesale Distribution Economic Reports -- covering 19 sectors
2009 Wholesale Distribution Economic Reports -- covering 19 sectors
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Become Lean and Become More Profitable and More Effective
Become Lean and Become More Profitable and More Effective
Becoming lean in distribution is more important than ever in today's challenging economic market. Applying lean concepts makes sense because becoming lean means becoming a more effective distributor. And becoming lean will lead to higher profitability. Lean Operations in Wholesale Distribution focuses on the lucrative operations area and discusses steps distributors must take to design and manage a lean culture.
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You better live your best and act your best and think your best today, for today is the sure preparation for tomorrow and all the other tomorrows that follow.
Harriet Martineau,
English writer and philosopher
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