Bluff Manufacturing Receives Industry Award

FT. WORTH, TX – BLUFF MANUFACTURING has earned the prestigious MVS (Most Valuable Supplier) Award for 2016. The MVS Award is granted by the industry’s trade association, MHEDA (Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association). This newly initiated Award recognizes companies who have demonstrated an exemplary commitment to their dealer network, their employees and their community.
To qualify for the MVS Award, BLUFF MANUFACTURING was required to meet a series of criteria in a number of areas important to the distributor companies who do business with them. In addition to confirming an on-going commitment to safety, MVS Award winners have demonstrated an overall commitment to business excellence by documenting programs in the following areas:
 
  • Industry Advocacy
  • Distributor Advocacy
  • Business Networking
  • Continuing Education
  • Business Best Practices
“We are thrilled to receive this recognition from MHEDA. The Bluff team is passionate about partnering with material handling sales professionals to bring the best solutions in the timeliest manner to industry users. To be recognized for both the support that we provide to our distribution networks and also the internal best practices of our company is something that we are proud of.” says Andrea Curreri, President of Bluff Manufacturing. “We pride ourselves on our commitment to business best practices and education that enhances the selling efforts of our distributors to meet customer challenges with quality solutions.”
“MHEDA members represent the best of our industry; companies that take the initiative and make the investments to be not just good, but great at what they do” said 2015 MHEDA President Mark Milovich of Lift Atlanta, Inc. “Recognition as a MHEDA MVS further demonstrates the member’s desire to shine above the brightest stars in all areas of running their business- both internally and externally. MHEDA’s MVS member companies are simply the ‘Best of the Best’!” 
BLUFF MANUFACTURING
For more than 40 years, Bluff Manufacturing has been recognized as an innovative leader in the fabrication and design of high quality dock, warehouse, and safety equipment. Bluff Manufacturing, whose customers include Frito Lay, Lumber Liquidators and Airgas, adheres to the American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) MH30.2 standard, ensuring the highest quality products and providing customers with the greatest possible value. Based in Fort Worth, Texas, Bluff Manufacturing serves the entire U.S., Central & South America and the Caribbean through a national distributor network, and the company’s 7 distribution warehouses ensure quick delivery of the standard items in the company’s product line including yard ramps, dock boards, and dock levelers. Bluff Manufacturing acquired B&L Structures in June 2010, expanding its portfolio to include steel structures such as, cantilever rack, stairways, free standing conveyor support structures, catwalks, work platforms, caged ladders, and mezzanines. For more information, visitwww.bluffmanufacturing.com. 
Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA)
MHEDA is the only national trade association dedicated solely to improving the proficiency of the independent material handling distributor. MHEDA represents close 650 companies in the material handling equipment business. Located in suburban Chicago, the association provides services to companies seeking to improve their business through education, networking, benchmarking and best practices. For more information, visit www.mheda.org.

11 Secrets to Keeping Employees Happy (Without a Raise)

487804616
Want to retain your best employees? Your first thought may be to offer them a raise, but as it turns out, the old adage is right: Money doesn’t buy happiness.
“Bonuses, company perks and paid days off aren’t enough to keep employees happy,” said Pete Pedone, president and founder of home audio/video system design firm Interactive Home. “Showing an employee how much the company appreciates, respects and values them on a personal level is much more gratifying.”
Many studies have shown that employees with high job satisfaction are generally more productive, engaged and loyal to their companies. Hiring managers, HR experts and business leaders weighed in on the best ways to keep employees satisfied when salary isn’t the driving factor.
Be transparent
“Our employee engagement survey found that the No. 1 contributor to employee happiness is transparency. Money and promotions are important, but what people want to know is the truth about the state of the company. The cost of improving transparency is almost zero, but it requires an ongoing dialogue between management and staff.” – B.J. Shannon, manager of customer happiness at TINYpulse
Make work-life balance a priority
“To engage the workforce and remain competitive, it’s no longer sufficient to focus solely on benefits. Top employers create an environment where employees feel connected to the organization and have a positive work experience that’s part of a rich, fulfilling life. David Ballard, assistant executive director for organizational excellence at theAmerican Psychological Association
Encourage communication in common areas
“Businesses should take steps to create spaces where employees can easily communicate and share ideas. Casual conversations in the break room can become collaborative conversations. Make it inviting and effective, with nice furniture, tables, and snacks and beverages, if possible.” – Tom Heisroth, senior vice president at Staples Advantage
Create a career pathway
“[Our research] found that providing developmental support, such as training opportunities and career mentoring, to employees who do not believe there are attractive career opportunities for them within the company led to such employees leaving the organization. It’s critical for businesses to have regular career planning discussions with their employees. As part of training and development, make sure employees are aware of the different types of career paths or job opportunities throughout the company.” – Maria Kraimer, business professor at the University of Iowa
Recognize and reward employees
“Achievement and recognition are high motivators for employees. If they take risks, reward them. Give them a coupon to go out for dinner, an extra day off, tickets to a show, etc. The small stuff adds up.” – Charley Polachi, managing partner at Polachi Access Executive Search
Help employees be healthier
“We are seeing employers increasingly realize the importance that health and productivity programs can play in their efforts to control health care costs and maintain a productive workforce. While the outcomes of any one tactic can’t be guaranteed, high-effectiveness companies with thoughtful, multifaceted programs are reaping clear returns on their investments in workforce health.” Wendy Poirier, health and group benefits leader at Towers Watson
Offer benefits beyond the basics
“There are many ways to supplement salary by assisting employees in other areas of their lives. You can offer an extra level of life insurance or disability insurance for employees to protect their incomes. Other ancillary benefits, such as dental, optical [and] wellness, are all well received by employees. And gym memberships and transit benefits are great perks to keep employees happy and healthy. It is important to [provide] higher benefits so your employees know that you truly care about them and their families.” – Bobby Hotaling, president and CEO of The Hotaling Group
Cut back on emails and meetings
“Many employees feel that a flooded inbox and a constant string of meetings waste time and hinder productivity. Replace some of those emails and meetings with technology that helps them save time and collaborate more efficiently.” – Sydney Sloan, director of customer and social marketing at Jive
Make employees part of the big picture
“The best benefit you can provide to your employees is the opportunity to make a difference through their work and help guide the course of the company. Benefits such as clear and frequent communication on company happenings, individual and department direction, and big-picture company direction make all the difference in employee happiness.” Anthony Smith, CEO and founder of Insightly
Keep in touch
“A one-on-one conversation with an employee or group dinner goes a long way. Whether it be a private conversation at the start of the day, taking them out to lunch or even a beer after work, [it] helps keep that bond. Once you stop ‘showing the love,’ you begin to lose employees. A small company has to go the extra step.” – Pete Pedone
Ask employees for their input
“Companies should consider surveying their own workforce to gauge their satisfaction levels. Insights from employees themselves can point employers in the right direction for shaping a more a positive and creative work environment, and for developing more formal career development programs. By partnering with employees to improve their satisfaction levels, employers will reap business benefits today and tomorrow.” – Sandy Mazur, president of Spherion
This article was originally published in 2014 and was updated Jan. 4, 2016. Additional reporting by Business News Daily contributor Dave Mielach.
 

IT’S A LASER TAG ARENA!

6c8ae0b6-f0c8-4651-9c4a-296f19871ae9When was the last time you built a mezzanine whose design criteria included floors that can be shot through? That was the task given to us by Scene 75, the largest indoor entertainment center in the country and the latest finalist in the “Top Family Entertainment Center in North America” from International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions (IAAPA). They set out to build a unique 2 story laser tag structure to thrill their guests in their new facility.

We have been showing you pictures of this project for the last few months as our monthly contest. A few came close (and we gave them prizes), but no one guessed a laser tag arena.

We haven’t had a chance to get there yet (too hard at work on other Steel Structure projects!) If you are in the Cincinnati, OH (Milford to be exact) area- check out Scene 75 and let us know how much fun the Laser Tag is. Like some of our Mezzanine work, you can only see our product in a few locations in the structure. The true test is the strength. Laser Tag structures need to be solid, safe, and dependable. Bluff is proud to be the product beneath so much fun.

OSHA- Issues with dock safety?

d7657192-9ac2-4acb-a36c-21142c532c30
OSHA can drop by any facility at any time, unannounced. Workmans comp issues slow down the productivity of an operation. Safety is a primary concern for all of us. Bluff’s Speedy Board, a unique innovation, allows your driver to stay in the safety of the forklift cage and removes the need for a second worker to help with board placement. Safety and efficiency!  Now that is something to get excited about.
With SpeedyBoard® we take the steel “T” board design and “kick it up a notch” or two. Fork cutouts are added to the leading edge of the board, allowing your driver the ability to “scoop” the board and move it into place and to retrieve it for storage when the job is done.

Social Media Soup

ThinkstockPhotos-483466838
There are so many choices for engagement, getting information, providing information, words, pictures, videos…Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, Periscope, Snapchat, Tumblr..What’s a marketing person to do?  How do we chose where to spend our time?
Every day brings something new. We find it fun & exciting here, but for most companies it can be exhausting and confusing.  In general, the latest thing all of these places value is engagement.  What does engagement mean?  Engagement in social media means people engaging with your content – a Facebook post, a Tweet or a Periscope Video.  When “they” see people viewing it, “they” show that content more.

We like you.  We really, really like you.

If you let us know you are posting we will like you and retweet, repost, re-everything you.  What that will mean is that more people are likely to see your information.  Here’s how to do it:
  1.  If you haven’t already, set up a business account on:
    1. Facebook
    2. Twitter
    3. Instagram (note:  you can only post from a smart phone)
    4. LinkedIn
    5. Periscope  (note:  sign up with your Twitter account & only from a smart phone)
  2. Like Bluff.  Click on each of these things and give us a “like”.  We might not know about your page.  Once you like us, we will like you and set up alerts to like and comment on your posts.
    1. Facebook
    2. Twitter
    3. Instagram
    4. LinkedIn
    5.  Periscope (if you link your Twitter account to this, you can have the option to bring those contacts to Periscope.  We use that option)
  3. Create Content.  Going to each of these sites to create content can take a lot of time.  There are tools like Hootsuite (we use this) and Buffer.  That can help – you post once, set up a time, and the tool does the rest for you.  In our next newsletter, we will talk about tips for content. We will watch and like your posts.  Alerts can be set up.  When we see you post we will do our best to like the posts. If we miss them just tag us  in the following ways:
    1. Facebook – in the comments section type Bluff Manufacturing.  Our name should pop up and it will tag us
    2. Twitter – in the tweet tag @bluffmfg or send us a message.  We should have alerts set up to see your content
    3. Instagram – send the image to us at BLUFFMANUFACTURING
    4. Periscope – send us a direct tweet to @bluffmfg and we will follow…
If you want support for products contact Sales Support at 800-433-2212.  If you’d like support with marketing, contact Amy at 817-546-8558 or email for a lifeline to discuss more.