Raising the Bar Again

Here at Hinda, we believe in pushing our limits and exceeding our own expectations. In 2004, we developed the Undisputed Leader Initiative (ULI), an internal program that aims to improve quality of service, develop innovative ideas and engage our suppliers, clients and program participants. In an attempt to maximize efficiency, maintain competitiveness in the industry and achieve operational excellence, we continually re-examine and revamp our business operations.

The ULI program was established as a way to put goals around our core functions (order rate, shipping errors, etc.) in an effort to improve customer satisfaction and maintain quality improvement. Before the program, there wasn’t a formal procedure in place for measuring our business operations.

“By publicizing our goals and getting people to work together, we get a bigger impact,” says Dave Pellissier, Director of Information Technology. “It creates peer pressure and self pressure to attain the goals.”

Now, on a year-to-year basis, the ULI team examines the goals achieved in order to find out ways to improve upon them. Just recently, changes were put in place to make the ULI team a more formalized quality improvement team. They plan to raise the bar even further and breathe new life into the program.

Starting in the warehouse, the ULI team hopes to work with the warehouse staff to optimize the way we’re shipping and improve efficiency. Currently, they’re looking at alternate shipping solutions and automation.

Along with revamping the internal metrics we assess our business with, we’re also looking to upgrade our exterior certifications. We’ve been PCI compliant for three years now. The PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) provides a framework for developing a credit card data security process, including fraud prevention, intrusion detection and appropriate reaction to security incidents. We’re looking to become ISO 27001/2 compliant within the next year. This will establish a more comprehensive information security program at Hinda. ISO 27001/2 is an industry standard security framework which will help with RFPs, security audits and other dealings with large companies.

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Merchandise Monday: Think Pink

No longer a color fit for females only, pink has become the color of hope. Standing strong as a proud indicator of breast cancer awareness, the power of pink has hit everything from ribbons to handbags - all with a mission to help support breast cancer research. Even the NFL adopted the color during breast cancer awareness month in October, when players took to the field wearing pink armbands and pink shoes.

Sporting the feminine color for a worthy cause, several manufacturers recently began offering pink products to support breast cancer research. Here are a few of our favorite pink products available today.

Cuisinart® Smart Stick® Hand Blender

The versatile stick design lets users blend ingredients right in pots, pitchers, bowls or the clear plastic beaker that's included. The powerful 200-watt motor operates with an easy one-touch control, while the dishwasher-safe blending shaft and beaker make cleanup easy.

Cuisinart® Mini-Prep® Plus Three-Cup Food Processor

The perfect little helper for small food preparation, from chopping herbs or bread crumbs to finely grinding hard cheese. The special Auto Reversing Smart Blade™ makes it easier to process both soft and hard foods.

Kitchenaid® Cook for the Cure® Five-Speed Blender

The Artisan® Series blender features five speeds plus Pulse Mode and a Crush Ice feature to handle all of your blending tasks. A 0.9 horsepower motor and Intelli-Speed® Motor Control ensure a superb, consistent performance.

Cuisinart® Electric Cookie Press

This easy-to-use press turns out professional-looking cookies in minutes. There are 12 cookie discs to choose from, including special seasonal patterns. Eight designer pastry tips are also included for decorating cookies and desserts or filling pasta shells, deviled eggs or pastries.

Conair® The Power of Pink Ionic Hair Styler

Ionic technology helps promote shiny, healthy hair. The Power of Pink hair styler offers three heat/speed settings for precision styling and a removable filter for easy cleaning.

Eco Silicone Collapsible Lunch Box

This very clever lunch box is made from BPA-free, food grade silicone and biodegradable Eco Plastic. Compress it to 1/3 of its size so that it is easy to carry and store when you are done. As an added bonus, this set comes complete with its own innovative two-sided spork that snaps into the lid.

Eco Steel Cup

The eco cup can be reused for years and holds 16 ounces of your favorite hot liquid. Enjoy at home, work or on the go. It features double wall insulated stainless steel and a reusable silicone lid and sleeve.

Conair® Travel Smart® The Power of Pink Luggage Lock

With lightweight and sturdy housing, this heart-shaped lock is both resettable and TSA-recognized.

A portion of the proceeds from each of these products will be donated to breast cancer research. What are your favorite pink products? Do you know of merchandise that supports another cause? Let us know. We'd love to hear from you.

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Merchandise Monday: Gadget Gifts

Traditionally, Black Friday is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Consumers storm the stores in search of the best deals and the hottest products. This year was no exception. Big ticket items (like televisions, cameras, laptops and game systems) were offered at unbelievable prices. If you were able to cross some of these items off your holiday shopping list, may we suggest a few off-the-beaten-path gift options for those left on your gift list? These gifts are quirky in nature, yet they're sure to bring joy to any recipient.

CandyMan™ Motion-Activated Candy Dispenser

Perfect for dispensing unwrapped candy, unsalted nuts and gum balls, the CandyMan™ motion-activated candy dispenser is fun for families and perfect for the office. The easy-fill top makes it simple to load in candy. Just wave your hand under the dispenser and the perfect amount of your favorite treat pours out.

Boogie Board™ Paperless LCD Writing Tablet

The Boogie Board™ turns sticky notes and memo pads “green” with envy. Write on the pressure-sensitive LCD screen with the included stylus, or even your fingernail, without wasting paper or ink. The tablet displays your notes until you erase them with the touch of a button. 

Cocktail Master

Cocktail Master automatically mixes and dispenses your favorite cocktail creations at the push of a button! It holds 600mL of delicious mixed drinks and includes a side measuring guide for following drink recipes with ease.

Wireless Key Finder

This wireless key finder locates your lost keys with the press of a button. Simply press one of the color-coded pager buttons on the compact wireless transmitter, and the matching key fob will answer with a loud, clear alarm from anywhere in your home.

Old Fashioned S'mores Maker™

Bring the enjoyment of roasting marshmallows over a campfire flame into the comfort of your kitchen! The Old Fashioned S'mores Maker™ has a charming appeal and roasts nine to 12 marshmallows at a time.

Tocky Alarm Clock

Tocky will jump from your night stand and roll away to get you out of bed. With Tocky, there's never a dull morning. He's outfitted with a microphone so that you can record your own sounds. Tocky can also upload MP3s. Listen to your favorite tracks as they roll around your room! He's a breeze to use with his touch sensitive interface. Just spin your finger around the dial to change the time or the track.


Do you have any more gadget gifts to add to the list? Did you participate in Black Friday shopping this year? If so, what were you after? Did you get what you wanted? Leave a comment and let us know - we sure appreciate it.

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Click & Mortar Newsletter - November 2011

Get up to date with the most recent happenings at Hinda! We released the latest issue of our Click & Mortar newsletter last week. Did you miss it? Check it out!

This issue includes:

  • Infinite Award Possibilities with our new award assortment: infinitEâ„  
  • Raising the Bar Again with our Undisputed Leader Initiative
  • Announcing the 2011 Golden Carrot award winners
  • Hinda Spotlight: Meet Kevin Joyce, HR Administrator

 Click here for the current issue of Click & Mortar.

If you know someone who would benefit in receiving communications like this from Hinda, have them e-mail Alisa Schafer and ask to be added to the distribution list.

Everyone on the Hinda team wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving!

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Merchandise Monday: Watch Out!

Watches are no longer the standard timepieces they once were. With consumers attached to their cell phones, watches have become less about time telling and more about fashion. These accessories are now playing a vital part in an outfit. Rightfully so, the new trends are worthy of runway shows. We looked at some of the new designs hitting the shelves this season and came away with a few notable takeaways.

For Him

Whether you're dressing up a business suit or dressing down on a casual Saturday, watches are the perfect accessory for men. Without being too flashy, they add a touch of sophistication and style to any outfit. This season, three prominent trends have been spotted on the shelves and on the streets.

All Black

The classic, all-black designs exude simplicity and versatility. This Casio casual classic analog watch is constructed with a resin case, black stationary resin bezel and a comfortable black rubber bracelet with an adjustable buckle clasp.


Built for far more than time telling, multifunctional watches are packed with features fit for the adventurous type. The Citizen Skyhawk A-T watch features atomic timekeeping, the world time in 43 cities, two alarms, 1/100 second chronograph, 99 minute countdown timer, a perpetual calendar and more.

Square Face

Dress to impress with a square-faced watch. The perfect addition to formal attire, these timepieces portray sophistication and modern style. This TAG Heuer Monaco watch features simple lines, steel and black Swiss made automatic movement and a black alligator strap.


For Her

It seems as though the boyfriend-style has made its mark on women's watches. A majority of the new selections continue to feature an oversized face and band. In addition, three new trends were prevalent in this season's selections.

White & Gold

Forget traditional silver - the hot items this year feature bold golds and clean whites. Glammed with glitz, the gold Stella watch from Fossil features a shiny gold ion-plated stainless steel bracelet and round case. Dazzling in white, this Michael Kors chronograph watch features a white acetate bracelet and a stainless steel bezel embellished with crystal accents.

Jelly Bands

Sporty and fashionable, the Tahitian Jelly Bean watch from Michele features a dose of playful luxury in an irresistible range of colors. With a bold dial size and a sporty strap and bezel.


One of the newest trends to hit the market, tortoiseshell is one of the most versatile and flattering color schemes available. This Michael Kors watch pairs a toirtoiseshell band with a stainless steel rose gold and glitz case.


Have you seen these styles lately? What do you think? Are any of them around to stay? Which do you like best and which do you hope goes out of style? Sound off in the comments section.

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Consumers are Refusing 3D Technology

Back in August, we speculated that the future of TV looked bleak for 3D technology, as manufacturers seemed to favor Internet-ready TV over 3D. Recent survey results* have shown that more than half of American HDTV buyers refuse to shift to 3D technology.

More than likely, this is not welcome news to the manufacturers who have poured money, faith and resources into 3D technology, with hopes that it would soar in popularity with consumers. Panasonic® recently announced annual net losses of $5.5 billion, while Sony® is considering restructuring in order to revive its flagging television sector.

So, what exactly is veering consumers away from 3D? Price, availability of 3D programming and 3D glasses are all posing as barriers. Like any new technology, the price has decreased since it was first released a few years ago. Still, of those planning to buy a new HDTV set in the coming year, 40% will not buy a 3D TV due to a lack of available 3D programming and 30% believe the glasses are still a problem.

What do you think? Are you planning on buying a new HDTV in the coming year? If so, are you planning on buying a 3D TV? Why or why not? Do you think 3D TVs have a future? Sound off in the comments section.


*The online survey was conducted by shopping and review website Retrevo.com.

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Utilizing Mobile Apps for Customer Loyalty

Can mobile apps save customer loyalty programs? An article in Customer Relationship Management magazine posed this question back in their May issue. Consolidation is key, as most consumers don't have the wallet space for a stack of loyalty cards. That, and without constant use, they're usually out of sight and out of mind. Using mobile applications, consumers could use their smartphone as a one-stop device for accessing their loyalty programs.

Several retailers have already successfully implemented mobile loyalty apps. That comes as no surprise. With the rise of smartphone popularity, a push for simplicity and a decline in reward card usage, it's no wonder retailers are altering their loyalty programs.

Take a look at Starbucks. This year, they rolled out a mobile app that allows customers to link a credit card and pay with their phone. With the app, you can access your Starbucks Card balance directly from your phone. And, you can reload your Starbucks Card using any major credit card. The app provides you with a unique barcode that links directly to your gift card. To pay, the cashier simply scans the barcode on your phone and your amount is deducted from your balance. In addition, the app provides a built-in loyalty program. With each purchase, you earn stars. And - you guessed it - the more stars you earn, the bigger your perks. With five stars, you reach "Green Level" and will enjoy such perks as free select flavored syrups, free soymilk and a free tall beverage with each pound of coffee, among others. After you collect 30 stars, you earn "Gold Status" for one year and are treated with a free drink for every 15 stars you accumulate, a personalized gold card and personalized offers, among others.

There are several other examples out there of mobile applications enhancing customer loyalty. Foursquare is most used for checking in to venues and letting friends know your where-abouts. But, retailers are using it as a way to earn loyalty by rewarding check-ins with discounts, freebies and incentives to become the mayor.

What other companies or start-ups are utilizing mobile apps for customer loyalty? Do you think it's a good idea? Do you see it gaining popularity in the future? Sound off in the comments section.

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