Day: January 13, 2009

Baird Survey: Industrial Distributors See Sales Drop in 4Q

The fourth quarter Baird Industrial Distribution Survey, from Robert W. Baird Inc., indicates the industrial economy is in recession.

On average, respondents' fourth quarter revenues were down significantly, with increased pricing offsetting unit volume declines. Expectations are for continued declines through 2009, though the trajectory should not be as severe as it was in recent weeks which were negatively impacted by abnormal holiday closures.
 
Baird's Industrial Distribution Research Team, led by senior research analyst David Manthey, CFA, collected feedback on fourth quarter results from nearly 300 independent and captive distributors with combined annual revenue in excess of $30 billion. Key survey findings include:

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Pelican Products Buys Hardigg Industries

Pelican Products, Inc., Los Angeles, CA, a manufacturer of plastic injection molded protective cases, has acquired Hardigg Industries, South Deerfield, MA, a manufacturer of roto molded protective cases. The Hardigg brand name will continue to identify the company's high-end roto molded shipping cases, leveraging brand recognition.

Pelican Products was supported in the acquisition, valued at about $200 million, by the New York and San Francisco based private equity group Behrman Capital.

Collectively the new entity will employ more than 1,500 employees in 12 countries. ...

Key Financial Metrics for Distributors to ‘Manage the Panic of 2009’

Brent Grover was our speaker on an MDM Webcast this week, and as always with his background as a CEO and CPA, addressed a range of focus points for distributors to review as they manage the panic of 2009, the title of his talk. Brent is far from an alarmist, but he argues that this downturn is structurally different than others most business executives have experienced.
 
He covered the details, levers and pain points across several financial areas - financing, credit, cash flow, cost control - and how distributors can sharpen their focus in each. As moderator, I felt it offered some benchmarks and tools for distributors of all sizes to form the core of an executive team meeting on how to tighten the seams of the ship, even in the middle of a ...