Drum It Up! Steel Drum Industry News, Trends, and Issues

Archive for December, 2019

Dean Ricker Talks about Growth Strategy with Kellog MBA’s

December 24th, 2019 by Dean Ricker

Filed under: Cool Stuff, Skolnik Newsletter

Dec 7, 2019 — Northwestern’s Kellog Business School, Evanston, IL.

Representing companies that are creatively growing their markets, Dean Ricker, President of Skolnik, spoke on growth strategies along with other owners of growth-minded companies. While much of the media hype around “growth strategy” continues to focus on “launching” new ventures, real value is created in actually “growing” them. Ricker spoke to the initial stages of a business that are mainly focused around testing and validating various elements of the business model. Once a business has found product/market fit and a profitable unit model, it is time to scale the company. The growth stage of a business faces a unique set of management challenges. A “flat” organizational structure typified by the founding team needs to evolve to a hierarchical organizational structure with well-defined roles, responsibilities and communication. Hiring and developing the best talent is critical. Systems and infrastructure need to be upgraded and integrated. Additional capital resources may be required. Marketing becomes more targeted and sophisticated. And the leadership team still needs to focus on the competitive landscape and possible exit strategies in order to sustain and capture value in the future. All attendees valued the concepts presented.

Tired of Reading Closure Instructions? Try Our New Videos

December 17th, 2019 by Howard Skolnik

Filed under: DOT/UN, Safety, Skolnik Newsletter

Even though you may be purchasing a drum that meets the United Nations criteria for shipping hazardous materials, the proper closure of the drum is the final and most important part of the regulation. In fact, the US Code of Federal Regulations, Title 49, paragraph 178.2(c), requires that packaging manufacturers give current written instruction to the fillers about the proper closure procedure for their “manufacturer-specific” packaging. Closure Instructions are not generic. In addition, current instructions must be kept on file in the event that a filler/shipper receives a DOT Authorization Inspection.

While every SKOLNIK order is shipped with written Closure Instructions, we now have a new set of videos that illustrate the closure process for drums with bolt ring closures, leverlock closures and the 2” and 3/4” plug closure. Check them out at www.Skolnik.com and scroll down to the CLOSURE INSTRUCTION VIDEOS. We hope you enjoy the music too!

Written Closure Instructions are also available in English and Spanish at: https://www.skolnik.com/closure-instructions. Need further clarification or would like to receive a copy of the Closure Instructions that apply to your specific Skolnik shipment? Call or email us.

Why a Name Matters?

December 10th, 2019 by Jon Stein

Filed under: Skolnik Newsletter, Wine

In a recent Wine Business Editorial in the Wine Business Advisor, Elizabeth Slater wrote about the importance of names in the selling of wine. To be clear, we’re not talking about the name of the wine, which we all recognize as important, but Elizabeth makes an excellent point about the use of your employee’s names.

Elizabeth writes that: “If you want to sell something, the first step is to introduce yourself, and not just by saying: “Do you need help?” but by giving them your name, “Hello, I’m Susan, may I help you?”

She goes on to explain that: “The second step is discovering the name of the person to whom you are speaking to and using it occasionally during the discussion.”

I am sure that you have heard this before. It is one of those things we learn when we first start selling. Unfortunately, it is not something that many salespeople remember. It was recently Black Friday, so in a large amount of my emails that day, and the day before, was information on the Black Friday offers from wineries. Out of the ten emails I received offering me great deals on wine, only one of them included the names of any of their employees in the email. Some of the emails I received included a phone number with an option to call in for personal service. The idea that the customer could interact one on one with a real person would be much stronger if customers were encouraged to “Call our concierge line to speak to Anne, Michael or Catherine.”

Elizabeth suggests that one can: “Increase connections with customers by adding a small card in each customer shipment, thanking them for their purchase and signed by the owner(s), winemaker or both. The more we can personalize the service we offer; the more likely consumers are to return to our winery and/or purchase over the phone or online.”

Research has confirmed that more than 70% of customers expect a personalized service from the company they are interacting with. For younger generations, a personalized service is expected. According to a recent article in Forbes “…poor customer service is costing businesses more than $75 billion a year.”

Elizabeth concludes that: “Showing your customers that they are important to you is the best way to keep them engaged and encouraging them to continue to do business with you. While we would sometimes like to believe that it is all about the wine, there are too many other wineries out there not to make sure your customer service is as good as your wine.”

Here at Skolnik Industries, Veronica, Jason, Josip, Cathy, Bill, and Dennis are all ready to assist you in selecting your ideal stainless wine barrel. Note that our stainless steel wine barrels are reusable, easy to clean, and recyclable at the end of their service life. Check out the full line of our Stainless Steel Wine Drums here.

Everyone’s Favorite 55 Gallon Drum

December 5th, 2019 by Natalie Mueller

Filed under: Industry News

It’s the holiday season and your inboxes and web ads are probably chocked full of so-called ‘perfect’ gifts or ‘one-size-fits-all’ presents. Well, what if we told you there was a one-size-fits-all industrial container? Well, we’d be lying, but not fully. The 55 gallon drum may not be one-size-fits-all, but it is the overwhelming industry favorite. 

The 55 gallon drum, especially in stainless steel, is the most popular size and configuration container for a diverse range of uses. We call it the workhorse of the line up. It’s not too big, not too small, and is just right for packing, storing and shipping a variety of solids, liquids and, with the right treatment, even hazardous materials.

At Skolnik, we build all of our containers thicker, heavier and stronger than industry standards. Our 55 gallon drum is available in stainless steel, carbon steel, seamless steel and in salvage drums and stainless steel wine barrels. The closures and fittings are all customizable for your needs.

While we love our 55 gallon drums and they are the overwhelming favorite, that doesn’t necessarily mean they are the right drum for your use. Contact us and our team of experts will help guide you to the right container size, material and configuration for your business. We love our near one-size-fits-all container, but we also relish the opportunity to engineer and manufacture a custom barrel for your unique needs.