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Keeping Layoffs to a Minimum

Distributors increase focus on efficiencies, cuts beyond the work force

April 25, 2009
Wholesaler-distributors are searching far and wide for ways to cut costs without cutting people. Here is a look at how some distributors have approached the process.
When business began to soften in November for W.P. & R.S. Mars Co., Bloomington, MN, the industrial distributor began preparing for a rough 2009. Then sales plummeted in January, and executives in the company knew some serious decisions had to be made.
The management team was pulled together to brainstorm ways to reduce expenses that wouldn't involve layoffs. Our employees are so important to us that we wanted to make cuts in every area before we considered reducing our staff, says controller Beth Ahrens.
A desire to avoid layoffs is common among ...

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