The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: November 25, 2007

Preparing for Uncertainty in 2008

The economy and the decline of the dollar top the concerns of many (though not all) distributors and manufacturers, according to the latest MDM survey. Here are the key issues that surfaced in the November poll.

As in the past few years, distributors are paying close attention to consolidation trends among suppliers, competitors, end-users and ERP providers, materials costs, sales force development, supplier relationships, recruiting and retaining talent and controlling benefits costs. Private label, foreign competition and global sourcing have also moved front and center.

We also asked consultants in wholesale distribution to share what they see developing. Here are starting points to help plan for 2008.

1. Plan for ...

State of Construction Mixed

The Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributors Association ( had more than 5,600 participants at its November 2007 show in Nashville, TN, the second-largest turnout in the association's history. As always, the show's annual meeting included State of the Industry addresses from the association's president, Greg Drouillard, president of Target Building Materials Ltd., Windsor, Ontario, and a representative from a manufacturer member, Tim Tevens, president and CEO of Columbus McKinnon Corp., Amherst, NY. Here are notes of interest from those speeches.
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State of Construction
In Canada, said Greg Drouillard, housing was 8 percent ahead in 2006 but the market has cooled in areas where heavy industry has experienced plant closures and subsequent job ...

MDM Interview: New Firm Invests in Distribution

Sensing a need for outside investors with a firm grasp of distribution businesses, a group of industry veterans, as well as consultants Adam Fein and Brent Grover,&nbsp ; has formed the first private equity firm that will invest exclusively in distribution companies. The goal is to use the principals'and investors'experience, expertise and networks in the industry to help management maximize the growth and profitability of portfolio companies, says Jim Miller, a principal in the firm.

MDM: Where did you come up with the concept for Supply Chain Equity Partners?
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Jim Miller: The idea actually came from the distribution industry itself. Supply Chain Equity was created to fill a void in the distribution sector that was expressed by ...

Hagemeyer Accepts Buyout Terms

Electrical distributors Rexel and Hagemeyer have reached an agreement on Rexel's all-cash offer of & euro; 4.85 for Hagemeyer's assets, valuing the company at & euro; 3.1 billion (US$4.5 billion).

The offer was approved by the boards of Rexel, Sonepar and Hagemeyer. Rexel has secured committed debt financing for the all-cash offer.

As previously announced, Rexel has agreed to sell Hagemeyer's North American, Asian-Pacific and selected European businesses to Sonepar after completion of the sale.

The overall transaction will combine the strengths of three major players in the distribution of electrical supplies. The transaction will broaden Rexel's footprint across Europe, while significantly consolidating Sonepar's position in North America and ...

Commentary: Look Beyond the Headlines

Many sources are predicting a more significant slowdown in 2008 than previously thought, as several articles in this issue address. Perhaps the only predictable certainty for 2008 is that the attention deficit disorder the mainstream media suffers from will be epidemic. Not only is it an election year, but the credit crunch and residential construction downturn will give most reporters severe whiplash. It will be even harder to get an accurate read on the real shifts taking place in the economy.

We don't predict the future, but we do try to offer observations and insight from our coverage of diverse distribution sectors inNorth America and abroad so our readers can plan and react quickly. Our lead ...

News Digest 3722

United Stationers Supply Co., Deerfield, IL, has agreed to acquire ORS Nasco Holding Inc., an affiliate of Brazos Private Equity Partners, LLC, for $180 million. ORS Nasco, Muskagee, OK, is a master distributor of industrial supplies, selling exclusively to independent distributors. The company has annual sales of $285 million. Acquiring ORS Nasco will diversify our product offering and provide us entry into the estimated $22 billion wholesale industrial supplies market," said Richard W. Gochnauer, president and CEO of United Stationers. United Stationers is a $4.5 billion master distributor of office, technology, janitorial and breakroom supplies. More

Philips Holding USA Inc., a subsidiary of ...

MDM November 25, 2007

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