Survey Your Employees to Determine Tech Needs


survey tech needs

In the February issue of Hardware Retailing, retailers shared their insights on how they assess their technology needs, find technology solutions and implement those programs in their operations. One way leadership can determine if technology is a good fit or the types of tech they might need is by creating a survey for employees to ask for their insights on the operation’s tech needs.

Here are some questions you can include in a survey for employees to gauge your tech needs

  1. What are the three biggest pain points in your specific role?
  2. Are you aware of any technologies that you think would make your job easier?
  3. What technologies have you seen in use outside our operation that might be a good fit here? 
  4. Are there any tasks you are doing manually more than 2 or 3 times a week?
  5. Have customers mentioned any technologies they would like to see in our operation?
  6. How are you currently utilizing [specific technology]?
  7. How has the technology you currently use help you be more efficient at your job?

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Participate in the Q4 Independent Retailer Index Survey


Independent Retailer Index

Participate in the Q4 Independent Retailer Index survey! The Independent Retailer Index, developed by the North American Hardware and Paint Association (NHPA) in partnership with The Farnsworth Group, serves as a regular measure of the independent channel’s performance. Discover how your business is faring and determine where you can make adjustments.

Take the survey to:

  • Help us measure how the industry is performing
  • See how your business is faring compared to your peers
  • Determine where you can make adjustments.

All survey participants will automatically receive the complete data report for the quarter emailed to them prior to public release. Click here to take the survey today!

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Save $400! Register Now: 2023 NHPA Independents Conference


Registration is now open for the 2023 NHPA Independents Conference! Held in Dallas, Aug. 2-3, the event will bring together members of the home improvement industry from across North America for two energetic days of keynote speakers, presentations and panels, industry awards, exhibits and networking.

This year’s conference theme is all about making technology work for you—from improving productivity to streamlining operations, enhancing the customer experience and protecting your business.

Click here to learn more and register for the event.

A Can’t-Miss Experience at the 2023 NHPA Independents Conference

The conference theme is “Putting Technology to Work for You” and will feature keynote speakers from tech industry giants, industry-leading speakers and retailer panel discussions.

The event will also play host to two highly respected NHPA award programs, the Young Retailer of the Year Awards reception and the Top Guns Awards.

In addition to the education, conference sessions and networking opportunities, NHPA will also be inviting technology and service vendors to exhibit and meet with attendees.

Click here to view the speaker lineup and here for the conference schedule.

“We’re excited to bring the home improvement industry together for an event focused on real-world technology solutions,” says NHPA president and CEO Bob Cutter. “This remains a growing area of opportunity in the independent channel, and we encourage retailers, distributors and other channel members to attend and learn from each other and our dynamic keynote speakers, formerly from Amazon and Google, who will present at the conference.”

10 Reasons to Attend the 2023 NHPA Independents Conference

  1. Learn how you can keep up with technology from Chris Hood, former head of business and innovation strategy for Google.
  2. Amazon strives to outperform everyone else, but how do they do it? Hear from John Rossman, the former Amazon executive who helped launch Amazon Marketplace.
  3. Discover scalable best practices on managing cyberthreats from the world’s biggest retailers.
  4. Hear from home improvement retailers on lessons learned from cybersecurity incidents.
  5. Independent retailers will discuss how they are using technology to improve operations like inventory management and employee productivity.
  6. Learn how successful retailers are expanding the customer experience beyond brick and mortar with digital tools like social media, email and more.
  7. Hear from retailers being honored for their innovations in technology at the 2023 Top Guns Awards and connect with this year’s Young Retailer of the Year honorees.
  8. Visit with dozens of leading technology and retail service providers to explore what’s possible for improving your business in the Retail Solutions Hall.
  9. Network with retailers, wholesalers and manufacturers at this industrywide event.
  10. Receive an early bird discount and save $400 when you register before April 1!

Register to Attend—And Save $400 With Early Bird Pricing

We’ll see you in Dallas on Aug. 2-3! Seats are limited—and so are rooms in the block at the host hotel! Save $400 with early bird registration. Visit the conference website at to register to attend today.

In addition to the keynote speakers, education and networking opportunities, NHPA is also inviting independent home improvement channel service providers to exhibit and meet with attendees. If you are a service provider, contact NHPA director of sales Scott Gilcrest at to find out how you can participate in this event.

About the North American Hardware and Paint Association

Founded in 1900 by a group of retailers, NHPA is a not-for-profit trade association whose mission is to help home improvement, paint and decorating outlets in the U.S. and Canada become better and more profitable retailers. Governed by a board of independent hardware and paint retailers, NHPA fulfills its mission by providing how-to management resources, product discovery, training programs and networking opportunities for the industry it serves. Learn more at


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Do it Best Names New Vice President of E-Commerce


Building on its commitment to drive member growth online and in-store, Do it Best has selected a proven e-commerce leader to steer its e-commerce division, announcing Allison Flatjord as the company’s vice president of e-commerce. She replaces Nick Talarico, who was recently promoted to executive vice president of sales and marketing.

Flatjord joined Do it Best in 2022 as the company’s director of e-commerce. Under her leadership as vice president of e-commerce, the company has developed a winning strategy and state-of-the-art platform to advance its members’ online competitiveness while also driving more traffic to their stores. She will be featured at the Do it Best Spring Market Kickoff on March 11 in Orlando, Florida, where she will introduce members to the new e-commerce solution.

“While we’ve actively supported our members’ online sales efforts for more than two decades, we launched our new e-commerce division last year to demonstrate its critical importance in growing member sales,” says Dan Starr, president and CEO. “Allison has been centrally involved in that initiative from the very beginning, and I couldn’t be more pleased to see her now leading this team. Our members will be excited about the options we’ve developed to take their e-commerce to the next level.”

Prior to Do it Best, Flatjord was the chief marketing, merchandising and digital officer for a national party supply retailer where she actively grew online sales and repeat purchases while leading an overhaul of their web platform. She also served as the chief marketing and merchandising officer for a national clothing and lifestyle brand where she directed the replatforming of their e-commerce site, resulting in a doubling of sales in just four years. Flatjord holds a masters in business administration from the Harvard Business School.

“I’m honored to step into this leadership position at Do it Best and contribute to such an important initiative,” says Flatjord. “We have built a world-class e-commerce team to drive store sales and traffic that will help our members compete and win for years to come.”


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HDA Announces New Dates for the 2023 Group Merchandising Conference


Hardlines Distribution Alliance (HDA) has announced the new dates for the 2023 Group Merchandising Conference (GMC). The conference will be held May 8-11 at the Embassy Suites Atlanta – Buckhead. The new dates will allow attendees to take advantage of a spring timeline and provide more time for distributor attendees to strategize their own fall markets.

“With the earlier time frame, we are excited for all attendees to embrace more opportunities that will result in more growth and development of intra-group business,” says Steve Synnott, CEO at HDA.

In addition to the new dates, all attendees will be treated to the highly interactive and quality event they have grown to expect at the GMC. With the opportunity to display products, brochures and digital resources in each hotel suite, manufacturers can count on uninterrupted, one-on-one meetings with dozens of distributor members at one venue. With this format designed to maximize ROI, all attendees can look forward to forging relationships that build new business opportunities.

“The GMC is not your typical trade show,” says Jim Depolo, national sales manager with VP Racing. “It is a much better format to actually interact with and gain new business from new and existing customers.”

Manufacturer and distributor attendees can also take advantage of the social networking opportunities at receptions and meals that take place throughout the event. Atlanta’s Buckhead neighborhood boasts dozens of restaurants near the hotel, allowing guests to easily make dinner plans on the Monday and Wednesday evening of the conference.

“Having the ability to meet together as manufacturers and distributors brings great value to all parties,” says Rick Berry, a buyer at Buttery Company. “Key relationships are built in these meetings that could potentially have huge success in many aspects of our business.”

Click here to hear from Synnott and HDA president Shari Kalbach on how the organization has evolved and insights into business in 2023. 


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Disposable Vapes To Get Your Tastebuds Watering

When you are keen to try vaping to help you give up smoking, but you find it daunting when looking at all the available vaping devices, you may want to choose the easy option and go for a disposable vape. A disposable vape means you do not have to worry about charging batteries, replacing coils or atomisers, or topping up your e-liquid. Once your disposable vape is finished, you dispose of it accordingly and start using a new device, making it simple to carry on vaping with little effort. Below is some fantastic disposable vaping devices that are packed full of flavour to help you control your nicotine cravings and stop you from going back to smoking cigarettes again.

Berry – Fantasi Bar Disposable Vape

Fantasi Bar is a name many vapers know, and they are renowned for making delicious disposable vapes, such as their Berry flavour version. It is packed full of the juicy and delicious taste of mixed berries that will have your tastebuds watering when you try it for the first time. With each device having around 600 puffs, equivalent to around 48 cigarettes, and costing less than £6, it is significantly cheaper than smoking cigarettes. You can help keep your cravings at bay by using a disposable vaping device and enjoying the delicious flavour of tasty berries.

Apple Peach – Elf Bar Disposable Vape

Elf Bar is another name that many vapers will know, and they offer a wide selection of flavours for their disposable vapes, including apple peach, which is one of the most popular flavour combinations. Elf Bar disposable vapes also have around 600 puffs in each device, and they also cost less than £6, so they are a cost-effective solution to smoking, and their products taste delicious. You can enjoy the tanginess of apples mixed with the sweetness of peaches and enjoy this flavoursome combination of fruits in your disposable vaping device.

Blue Razz Lemonade – Geek Bar Disposable Vape

Geek Bar is another name synonymous with quality in the vaping world, and their disposable vaping devices are some of the most popular with vapers. They have a wide assortment of flavours available, with one of the most popular being blue razz lemonade. You can enjoy the taste of delicious blueberries mixed with lemonade, and your tastebuds will have a party every time you take a drag on your disposable vape. Geek Bar disposable vapes are also less than £6 each and contain around 575 puffs in each device.

Blueberry Ice – Geek Bar Disposable Vape

Another popular flavour of disposable vape from Geek Bar is their blueberry ice, which gives you a sweet and refreshing hit with every puff. It combines the sweet flavours of blueberry with a cooling menthol hot, and it is a flavour profile that many novices and experienced vapers love. Each disposable vaping device from Geek Bar contains around 575 puffs, and they can be an excellent tool to help you quit smoking cigarettes for good. Costing less than £6, they are also significantly cheaper than a pack of cigarettes, so they can save you money and be healthier for you than smoking.

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