5 months ago

Winter 2017/2018 newsletter


WINTER 2017/2018 APG Sales Corner Tara Ferdico Human Resources Fran Gaul Sitting at the comfort of my desk while writing this quarter's news article (my lower back is protesting!). 2017 closed on a extremely strong note! Sales is very happy with year-end, yet; we wouldn't be real sales reps, if we didn't think there was room for improvement. Of course, our yearly goals always include increasing business; and 2018 will be no different. We're always strategizing to not only maximize current sales, we're also investigating ways to expand our customer base. With the launch of Wonder Bible(tm) and MagicBax(tm), our movement in this area is very promising; and we're looking forward to entering new and exciting channels! All this while we're getting ready for the big show of the year - International Home & Housewares which is from March 10th - 13th. I know you're all looking forward to the sales team being out of the office for a few days! Did you know that we have a new member on the Sales Team? If you haven't met Courtney yet, please stop by and say hello! Courtney will be assisting Matt and Shaun with International and the Amazon business! Hello Everyone! Merchandising Marissa Difigola The holidays seem to have blown right past us, don’t you agree? Now that they’re over, tradeshows start back up and the Merchandise team gets busy trying to attend as many beneficial shows as possible. I have just returned from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas which is where the latest and greatest consumer technologies are shown. This was my first time attending CES and all I can say is it prepared me for the Housewares Show that is coming up in March. Over 184,000 people attend with over 4,000 exhibitors -talk about overwhelming! Some of you might have heard about the power outage due to rain on the first day of the show. A power an electronics show -HOW IRONIC! Overall, the show was great to attend with potential products in the future -keep an eye out for the next rollout! Trish just returned from the AmericasMart Atlanta Show and will be attending the Birmingham UK show and Ambiente in Frankfurt Germany the first week of February to find new and exciting products. After that, we are on to Housewares so stay tuned for some new items! Brrrr, it’s cold out there! I hope you all enjoyed the holidays and are staying warm! We had a busy 4th Quarter and below is a recap of what has been happening in the HR world and some upcoming events: • 401(k) – We had a great turnout at the Employee Education Meeting and with the 1 on 1 meetings. For those of you interested in learning more, reviewing your current 401(k) portfolio or to start contributing, please let me know and I will put you in contact with our 401(k) Advisor, Geoff Suval. • 2018 Miles in 2018 – We completed 3 group Fitbit challenges in 2017 (great job!) and we will continue to do group challenges this year. In addition to these challenges, we are doing an individual Fitbit challenge with the goal being to walk 2018 miles by the end of the year. Allstar has generously agreed to donate $2,108 to charity. The charities for the donation will be chosen by the winners who walk 2018 miles by the end of the year! • Training and Development – We are making this a priority this year and will be setting up some sessions throughout the year. More information on this is coming soon but in the meantime, if anyone is interested in any specific training, please reach out to Jackie or I and we will be happy to assist you in setting something up. • Email Rules – Keep up the good work with following the Email rules distributed in early January. As a reminder, suggestions and additions are always welcome as we will be reviewing this on an ongoing basis. • Paid Family Leave – As I mentioned in December, effective January 1, 2018, employees will be eligible for Paid Family Leave as permitted under the New York Paid Family Leave Benefits Law. New York Paid Family Leave (PFL) is job-protected, paid time away from work mandated by New York State. That means eligible employees may take NY PFL to take care of seriously ill family members, to bond with a newborn, adopted or foster child; or to attend to family issues related to a qualifying military deployment. We will be developing a more detailed PFL policy in the future to further inform you about the process for taking PFL but if you have questions ahead of time, feel free to stop by. • Promotions – We announced 7 promotions in January! Congratulations to Trish, Lauren, Teresa, Zach, Shen, Jen and Nick on your well-deserved promotions! I am always interested in hearing your comments and suggestions so please feel free to email me or stop by. My door is always open if you have any questions, comments or just want to say hi! 1

WINTER 2017/2018 Guest Writer Importing/Exporting Alcove April Ferreira Corinne Ruggieri Merchandiser Hi everyone! My name is Corinne Ruggieri, and I am the new Merchandiser at Allstar. I joined the Allstar team back in June of 2017, after leaving a company based in White Plains, New York. My experience at Allstar thus far has been great and I am thrilled to take on the new year! The Allstar team is extremely welcoming and helpful - especially my Merchandising team who has been teaching me so much since I started back in June, thank you! I am looking forward to growing even more with Allstar and ready to take on the new obstacles 2018 will bring! I was born in Yonkers, New York, and currently living in Bronxville, New York with my cute, cuddly cat. I attended Iona College and graduated in May of 2013 with a degree in Public Relations/Mass Communications. I've had a handful of great internships and jobs in the field of Public Relations, but realized the profession to be very competitive. I was thrilled when I landed an interview and job at Allstar, as the company interested me and I was ready to take on the different challenges the Merchandising field would bring. On my downtime, I enjoy going to gym and spending time with my family/friends & boyfriend. I see a bright future for me here at Allstar and I look forward to all the challenges and successes going forward! In case you missed it, here’s what’s happening. As we begin 2018 it comes with some good news for the West Coast Ports – no major labor issues are expected until 2022 when the union contract is renegotiated. However, East Coast Ports will continue to be a challenge with respect to labor because the unions have many objections to current contracts mostly regarding automation of the terminals. No bargaining sessions have been scheduled yet but hopefully union negotiations won’t pose the same problems they did in 2012-13. More on the subject to follow at another date. We have recently added a new FREE (yes, free service I know I still struggle with it myself ) called EmergeTMS. EmergeTMS is a transportation management solution created by industry experts that understands the struggles dealing with freight. It is an all-in-one system that handles freight quotes, tracking, reporting and more in one tightly organized platform. We will let you know how it goes over the next few months but we’re sure it will be a real winner. Finally, with the Chinese New Year rapidly approaching (February 16th) we are continuing to see shipping schedules getting tighter with steamships cancelling vessels and factories getting ready to close, not to mention the increasing container rates. So, when making your inquiries for goods and delivery dates please keep this in mind. Do you know how to calculate how many cartons can be stacked on a pallet from our RTO? It refers to the number of boxes/cartons stored on a layer or tier (the TI) and the number of layers high that these will be stacked on the pallet (the HI). It can also be used for the stacking pattern to load a pallet to generate a relatively stable stack. Let’s use for example the MagicBax #MB011124: Ti - (Cases) Hi - (Cases) Pallet Shipping Configuration 54” High 9 5 72” High Which means you can fit 45 cartons (9 x 5= 45) per pallet. That’s all for this edition until next time! 2

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