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In The News:

MDM News Digest

February 25, 2003

Distributors have been hit again with a dramatic increase in group health insurance premiums, according to data compiled by the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), Washington, DC, from Jan. 17 through Feb. 7. For the second year in a row, the average premium increase was 19%, according to the NAW survey.

Buckeye Industrial Supply Company, Columbus, OH, has acquired Kashway Supply, Nicholasville, KY to expand market coverage and offer customers new technical products and enhanced application expertise. Buckeye, a value-added distributor specializing in metal working cutting tools, will incorporate its inventory management and streamlined order processes with Kashway's general line MRO expertise to benefit manufacturers in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

Fledgling buying group NetPlus Alliance, Lockport, NY, got a shot in the arm with the addition of 35 new members through a merger with Equity Industrial Associates, bringing NetPlus membership to 90 companies. Dick Noel, president of Equity Industrial Associates and Dan Judge, president of NetPlus Alliance, announced that Equity's Industrial Supply members have been merged into NetPlus Alliance.

Distributors and manufacturers in the North American power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) industry forecast brighter days ahead for their businesses in 2003. That's based on responses to the most recent annual member survey conducted by the Power Transmission Distributors Association.

Case study: Return on net assets trend ranking pays off. This article examines how a distribution company developed an effective system (after a few years of false starts) to focus branches and frontline employees on the key factors to improve profitability.

Machine tool sales were down for the year in 2002, but ended on a strong note. December U.S. machine tool consumption totaled $198.19 million, according to AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association and AMT - The Association for Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was up 45.5% from November and up 18.1% from the total of $167.84 million reported for December 2001. With a year-end total of $2,060.04 million, 2002 was down 22.8% compared to 2001.

Lab Safety Supply, subsidiary of W.W. Grainger, plans to acquire Gempler's, a division of Gempler's, Inc. Gempler's is a direct marketer serving the $3 billion agricultural, horticultural, grounds maintenance and contractor markets. Gempler's, with 2002 annual sales of more than $30 million, sells tools, safety supplies, clothing and other equipment, many of which are not easily found in other catalogs supplying these markets. Lab Safety intends to distribute Gempler's products out of its Janesville, WI facility.

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