What does it mean to be a distributor and service provider today? The first challenge is to cut through all the noise from so many sources to get our message across to customers. Based on research by UC Irvine, it takes an average of 23 minutes to refocus once someone is distracted, and the average worker spends 28% of their time reading and replying to emails. Given these facts, how much time is left to work on real issues, let alone listen to sales? Adding to the distraction, the industry is not replacing machinery with new equipment in most cases. This new style of frugality is unmistakable in the numbers. The usable lifetime of mechanical equipment in the US has consistently risen over the course of the last decade and now stands at levels unheard of since the 1940s. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the average age of a machine is ten years, which is well over the seven or eight years that were typical during the 1960s and 1970s. The real reason that B&D has been around for over 72 years is that we continue to be useful to customers. If you strip down the hype and spit polish, being useful is what we are and what we do. We faced the reality several years ago that we will never be able to invest a billion dollars to compete with Amazon (or the other pure-logistics-type national entities) and that our real strength is knowledge and service. Since we are still family owned, we must try harder to make a difference in this market.