The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: September 9, 2008

United Stationers Makes Leadership Changes

United Stationers Inc., Deerfield, IL, master distributor of business, jan-san and industrial products, has tapped Stephen A. Schultz to the position of group president, LagasseSweet and ORS Nasco.

In this new role, he will assume responsibility for setting and monitoring the delivery of strategic goals and objectives for both business units. Schultz joined Lagasse, the company's janitorial and breakroom supplies division, in early 1999 and has served as its president since 2001.
 
Todd A. Shelton has been promoted to president of LagasseSweet after serving since 2005 as its COO. Shelton joined Lagasse in 2001, directing its financial and operational functions. In his new role, he will be responsible for leading LagasseSweet in the development and execution of ...

Machine Tool Consumption Falls June to July

July U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $303.44 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 down 21.5% from June but up 5.7% from the total of $287.02 million reported for July 2007. With a year-to-date total of $2,655.14 million, 2008 is up 15.5% compared with 2007.

These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTC program.

Despite the consecutive 1.3% increases in Durable Goods orders for June and July, manufacturing technology orders turned down sharply in July, with much of the downturn in ...

MDM Interview: Take Strategy to the Front Lines

Many leaders understand the importance of matching strategy with operations, but few companies have systems in place to actually do so, according to Robert Kaplan and David Norton, creators of the widely used Balanced Scorecard performance measurement tool and leading advocates for customer profitability analysis. Kaplan recently spoke with MDM Editor Lindsay Young about the challenges inherent with effective strategy implementation in a wholesale distribution company.
 
In their latest book, The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage, Kaplan and Norton present a formal systems approach to implement strategy at every level of an organization. The authors'six steps, as shown in the graphic on page 4 of this issue, ...

More Optimism in MDM Survey

The twice-yearly MDM Survey on the Economy was conducted during the last two weeks of August. A similar survey was conducted in February. Here's what MDM found overall, as well as a breakdown in distributor and manufacturer responses.
 
Concern over the state of the U.S. economy has grown among MDM readers over the past six months even as more believe conditions may soon stabilize.
 
Concern over the current state of the economy grew most among manufacturers who responded to the survey, with 25.4 percent saying they were very concerned"and 59.7 percent answering "concerned."In February, those numbers were 25 percent and 50 percent, respectively.
 
Distributors showed slightly less concern, with 24.1 percent being "very concerned"and 56.2 percent ...

Commentary: A Difference in Degrees

As a pivot point in the flow of products from the point of manufacturing to end use, distributors have several key roles -scout, gatekeeper, product and solution provider, marketer, arbiter. Every successful distributor combines these roles into a unique set of skills that creates value for customers as well as suppliers. Distributors create the most efficient market system into highly fragmented industries and local economies by effectively managing these market relationships both upstream and down. It's a fairly simple equation that is complex to execute well.
 
Not that most distributors have time to sit around and ponder their place in the universe. But that's just it. The interview that leads this issue touches on a key differentiator that separates a relatively few ...

Anixter Agrees to Buy World Class Wire & Cable

Anixter International Inc., Glenview, IL, a distributor of communication products, electrical and electronic wire &cable, fasteners and other small parts, has agreed to acquire World Class Wire &Cable Inc., Milwaukee, WI, for $62 million in cash and the assumption of debt.
 
World Class is a distributor of electrical wire and cable. It has a single operating site in Waukesha, WI, and has about $60 million in annual sales. The acquisition will complement Anixter's presence in the Midwest.
 
Anixter International has locations in 248 cities in 50 ...