The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: March 25, 2007

Technology Case Study: Graybar’s Lessons Learned

Electrical distributor Graybar rolled out its new IT system in 2003-2004; the three-year implementation was anything but easy for the $5 billion company. But CFO Beatty D'Alessandro, who oversaw the implementation, says distributors can mitigate the risks inherent with such a transition. Here's how.

Most distributors who are implementing or even considering switching to a new business system may place too much worry on whether the technology will work and what it will cost but not enough on other risks inherent with the transition.

The fact of the matter is if you're with a name-brand software company, the technology is going to work. This is not splitting the atom or curing cancer -we're talking about billing material, and shipping material, and ...

MDM Interview: Strategic Player to Financial Buyer

In 2006, Charles Banks retired as CEO of global building materials and plumbing/HVAC distributor Wolseley plc. Banks had nearly 40 years with Wolseley and its subsidiary Ferguson. He decided to apply that vast experience elsewhere at retirement and joined the private equity firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, long-time investors in the distribution world. He serves as an operating partner for the firm, meaning his job is to help improve purchased companies to boost value for CD & R.

CD & R is an owner of electrical distributor Rexel and lab supply wholesaler VWR International. Both companies may be sold or up for IPOs in the coming months.

Banks recently sat down with MDM to talk about his transition from leading and building a public company to working for a ...

Report: Housing Market in Transition

While most housing markets throughout the country experienced a year of decline in 2006 following the boom levels of the previous two years, 2007 is expected to be a year of transition, with growth emerging in many areas, according the National Association of Home Builders'(NAHB) Regional Housing Starts Forecast.&nbsp ;

The forecast, available through NAHB's, reports on regional and state-by-state housing forecasts and analyzes the health of local housing markets.&nbsp ;

The earlier boom in housing can be attributed largely to excess demand generated by historically low interest rates coupled with aggressive mortgage lending practices, a combination that made homeownership more affordable but also attracted investors and speculators into many ...

Monthly Wholesale Trade: Sales and Inventories for January 2007

Sales. January 2007 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers'sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $333.4 billion, down 0.9 percent from the revised December level, but were up 6.2 percent from the January 2006 level. The December preliminary estimate was revised downward $0.5 billion or 0.2 percent. January sales of durable goods were virtually unchanged from last month, but were up 5.7 percent from a year ago. January sales of nondurable goods were down 1.8 percent from last month, but were up 6.7 percent from last year.

Inventories. Total inventories of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers'sales branches and offices, after ...

Commentary: Fill the Information and Service Vacuum

Many if not most distributors measure product fill rates, and often report to customers in order to document their value. But how many distributors measure information fill rates? How well do you meet customer information needs, from a speed and quality standpoint?

A recent panel discussion on changes in distribution touched on a key observation. An astute panel member observed that velocity is a critical skill for a distributor today. Some may argue that hasn't changed. Customers have always demanded high fill rates and on-time deliveries. But there is a difference.

Velocity is defined by speed and direction. Direction is all about how your company is positioned to meet customer needs. Customers expect and demand fast when it comes to logistics and product delivery. But ...

MDM News Digest 3706

Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc., Peabody, MA, has agreed to acquire North Coast Commercial Roofing Systems, Inc., a Twinsburg, OH-based distributor of commercial roofing systems and related accessories, with 16 locations in eight U.S. states. North Coast gives Beacon with its first locations in three states: New York, Ohio and West Virginia. North Coast had sales of about $253 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006. Beacon had sales of $1.5 billion in 2006.More ...
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January U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $297.48 million, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors'Association and The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by ...

MDM March 25, 2007

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