The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: February 10, 2008

MDM Interview: The Role of the Master Distributor

United Stationers, with sales approaching $5 billion, is a master distributor of business, foodservice and janitorial supplies, and recently moved into the industrial space with the purchase of ORS Nasco, a master distributor of industrial supplies with sales of close to $300 million.

MDM recently sat down with United Stationers'CEO Dick Gochnauer to talk about United's recent move into the industrial sector, as well as what the company is seeing in the various market segments it serves. United Stationers has recently embarked on a journey to expand its e-commerce capabilities with its distributor customers.

It also plans to spread best practices from its core competency -office products distribution -into other segments: JanSan (served by its ...

Commentary: Master distribution evolves with shifting markets

The role of master distribution has shifted significantly. That's why we wanted to understand more clearly why United Stationers diversified with the acquisition of ORS Nasco in December.
Dick Gochnauer addresses (see page 1 interview) how United adds value in two places: marketing and logistics. Different forms of support services have evolved to fill these two needs in highly fragmented and consolidating markets. These include buying/coop/marketing groups, master wholesalers, hybrid catalog/master distributors, independent logistics providers (CoLinx in power transmission) and joint ventures between manufacturers ( There's a mix of competition and cooperation across all these entities.
Distributors and manufacturers have leveraged these tools to ...

Wholesale Revenues Rise 9.2% in 2007

Wholesaler-distributor revenues were $4.316 trillion last year, up 9.2 percent from 2006, unadjusted for seasonal variations. Wholesale revenues for durable goods were up 5 percent, and nondurable goods sales were up 13 percent.

Here's the breakdown in sales by sector for 2007:

Automotive...................................... 2%           
Furniture.......................................... 8%           
Lumber......................................... -13%           
Apparel.......................................... 5%
Prof. Equipment............................... ...

MDM News Digest 3803

HD Supply, Orlando, FL, will not move forward with its deal to sell its HVAC business to Watsco, Coconut Grove, FL, HD Supply spokeswoman Erica Crosling confirmed to MDM. The potential sales of the HVAC business to Watsco was always dependent up on a transaction that was beneficial for our customers and associates, and maximized value for the company,"Crosling said. "After carefully weighing the options and taking these concerns into consideration, we have decided to retain and grow our HVAC business."More
ProBuild Holdings, Denver, CO, supplier of building materials to professional contractors, has finalized its purchase of substantially all of the assets of Atlanta, GA-based HD Supply ...

Craig Riley Joins Modern Distribution Management Team

Craig Riley has joined Modern Distribution Management as Associate Publisher to help grow MDM's online information and education services focused on wholesale distribution. The move follows a year when MDM saw its weekly e-newsletter base grow 35 percent, and its daily Web site traffic increase 50 percent.

Riley has more than 20 years of publishing and sales experience, most recently as publisher of Industrial Distribution magazine. Riley will have responsibility for working with MDM's existing online marketing partners and for developing MDM's online advertising and sponsorship programs internationally.

Our online offerings are focused to help wholesale distribution executives stay informed and ahead of the curve,"said Tom Gale, MDM publisher and president of ...

Monthly Wholesale Trade: Sales & Inventories December 2007

Sales. December 2007 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers'sales branches and
offices, were $376.6 billion, down 0.7 percent from the revised November level and up 10.6 percent from December 2006, said the U.S. Census Bureau. The November preliminary estimate was revised downward $1.1 billion or 0.3 percent. December sales of durable goods were down 2.0 percent from last month, but were up 1.6 percent from a year ago. Compared to last month, sales of electrical and electronic goods were down 4.3 percent and sales of computer and computer peripheral equipment and software were down 4.0 percent. Sales of nondurable goods were up 0.4 percent from last month and were up 19.3 percent from last year.

Inventories. Total inventories of merchant ...

New No-Match Regs Protect Employers

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently announced new regulations to help employers take proper steps when they learn that worker authorization information in their files is incorrect and to protect themselves from civil or criminal sanctions for knowingly employing unauthorized workers.

Since the passage in 1986 of the Immigration Reform and Control Act, employers have had to verify the identity and work authorization of all individuals, by completing an I-9 form within three days after the start of their employment. Most employers are familiar with the I-9 form, and verify work authorization by a driver's license or other form of photo identification and a social security card.

It is unlawful for employers to hire a person not ...

Setting a Retirement Date

It's not easy to grasp the idea of a retirement date, says Evergreen Consulting's Brent Grover in the MDM Audio Conference, Succession Planning: Leaving Your Business Better."This is very long-range planning,"he says.

Grover went through the same thing in 1982. At that time, he was working in the family's distribution business founded by his grandfather. The second generation needed to set a retirement date.

Grover compared the situation to a Patek Philippe watch ad: "Their advertisement says that you never actually own one, you merely look after it for the next generation."

Some companies operate that way, and "live"to pass the company on to the next generation. "I was fortunate that I came from a family that did plan,"Grover says.

MDM February 10, 2008

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