November 25, 2010 - Modern Distribution Management

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November 25, 2010

Grainger Leverages Global Network

Facilities maintenance distributor W.W. Grainger, Chicago, IL, with more than $6.2 billion in sales last year, held its annual analyst meeting this month. This article provides an overview of the key talking points during the meeting, including Grainger's strategic focus locally and globally, its supply chain improvements and its approach to product expansion.

Details in this article were taken from Grainger's annual analyst meeting webcast, available at

Leveraging its global infrastructure, both in supply chain improvements and by transferring best practices across borders, was a constant theme in Grainger's executive presentations at its annual analyst meeting this month.

In fact, President and CEO Jim Ryan said that Grainger is increasingly thinking of itself as a global supplier. As much as 25 percent of the business is with large companies that are expanding or have expanded internationally. "If you are a supplier …

Grainger Leverages Global Network Read More »

Commentary: Repaving the Last Mile … Profitably

The term "last mile" comes from telephone, cable and data communications industries to describe the final critical link in service delivery.

It's been used by every industry where the toughest problems are in service or product delivery to individual customers – connecting each individual node to the larger network tends to be the most difficult and expensive part of the process. Wow, perfect analogy for distribution!

Essentially, this "last-mile problem" has defined the value creation …

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Taking Control Amid Uncertainty

This article provides a summary of key points made by speakers on the State of the Industry at the November Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributors Association annual trade show and convention. Robert Devers, executive vice president and COO at A-Jax Co. Inc., and Andy Johnson, president of Mar-Mac Wire, spoke about the uncertainty facing the industry and how STAFDA members should respond and evolve to the challenges uncertainty brings.

While the recession may be over, uncertainty will continue to be a part of the recovery for the foreseeable future. With that in mind, the presenters for the annual State of the Industry reports at the November meeting of the Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributor Association offered advice for managing through the uncertainty and evolving.

In her opening remarks to the more than 4,200 attendees, Executive Director Georgia Foley reminded the audience of last year's speeches on the impact of the economy …

Taking Control Amid Uncertainty Read More »

MDM Executive Briefing Summary: A Roadblock to Business Plan Success

While the specifics in different forecasts are all over the board, the general consensus is that 2011 will be a challenging year. The latest Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI economic forecast puts U.S. GDP growth for 2011 at 2.8 percent, and expectations are that there will be little to no growth in new construction during the year.

"We're looking ahead to 2011 being kind of a difficult year for a lot of companies," says Brent Grover, managing partner of Evergreen Consulting, LLC. Job growth is not occurring, particularly in wholesale distribution, and companies are still putting off capital expenditures.

In his conversation with MDM Publisher Tom Gale for the latest episode of MDM's Executive Briefing Webcast (available free to subscribers at, Grover provided an overview …

MDM Executive Briefing Summary: A Roadblock to Business Plan Success Read More »

U.S. Market Analysis: Cutting Tools – High Speed Steel/Carbide 2009

Cutting Tools - High Speed Steel (HSS) and Carbide represented a market in 2009 of $xxx billion, according to estimates by Industrial Market Information.

These charts show the top ten industries, by SIC code, consuming these products; and the 2009 end-user consumption of these groups sorted by the nine government market regions.

U.S. Market Analysis: Cutting Tools – High Speed Steel/Carbide 2009 Read More »

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