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MDM Executive Interview Collection: Grainger, MSC Industrial Supply, Rexel, Airgas & Lewis-Goetz

Five interviews from 2011-2012 in one place for MDM Premium subscribers.

April 16, 2012
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This collection features five of the dozens of interviews MDM editors did in 2011 and 2012 with the leaders of wholesale distribution companies. In this report, you'll find insights from top distribution companies on market conditions, product strategies, acquisition approaches and human resource challenges.

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The interviews featured in this collection were published originally in MDM Premium and include:

  • Rexel Holdings USA CEO Chris Hartmann
    Recent controversy surrounding the funding of solar energy companies, led by the bankruptcy filing of Fremont, CA-based Solyndra, hasn't swayed Rexel Holdings USA, the U.S. subsidiary of Paris, France-based Rexel Group and No. 3 on MDM's top electrical distributors list, away from the alternative energy market. Chris Hartmann, executive vice president and CEO of Rexel Holdings USA, spoke with Associate Editor Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier about how the company has shifted to meet changing market needs, the future of alternative energy and the challenges Rexel and the electrical distribution industry will face going forward.

  • Former Grainger U.S. President Mike Pulick (currently Grainger International president)
    In part one of this interview, Pulick talks about how Grainger views current market conditions, where it sees strength, product line and sales force expansion and the impact of the recession of the role of the distributor. In part two, he addresses Grainger's growth drivers and why it's important to do business on the customer's terms.

  • Airgas CEO Peter McCausland
    Radnor, PA-based Airgas, No. 4 on MDM's Top 40 industrial distributors list, spent most of 2010 fending off a hostile takeover bid from manufacturer Air Products. CEO Peter McCausland spoke with Associate Editor Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier about the key drivers of growth for Airgas, goals for the company now that Air Products has withdrawn its bid, and the growing role of technology in sales.

  • MSC Industrial Supply CEO David Sandler & COO Erik Gershwind
    In this two-part interview, MSC's leaders talk about the distributor's long-term growth plans, including product expansion, private label, web strategy and acquisitions.

  • Lewis-Goetz & Co. CEO Jeffrey Crane
    Lewis-Goetz plans to remain active on the acquisition front. In part one of this interview CEO Jeffrey Crane talks about the distributor's focus in M&A on its core product area and why it's important the distributor remain in that niche as it expands. In part two, Crane discusses the link between technology and value.

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