April 25, 2012 - Modern Distribution Management

Day: April 25, 2012

First Quarter 2012 MDM-Baird Survey: Solid Growth Continues Across Sectors

Robert W. Baird & Co., in partnership with Modern Distribution Management, conducted a survey of more than 500 distributors and manufacturers to gauge business trends and the outlook for the distribution industry in diverse sectors. Here is a summary of first-quarter results and distributor and manufacturer expectations for the second quarter and full year of 2012.

Expectations for revenue growth in 2012 remain solid among respondents to the first-quarter 2012 MDM/Baird survey, though at a lower rate than seen in other recent surveys. On average, survey respondents expect revenue growth of 7 percent in the second quarter of 2012 and 5.6 percent for the full year.

These forecasts come on the heels of a strong first quarter, with overall average revenue growth of ...

MDM Interview: Bold Growth Plans for Morrison Supply

In November 2011, private equity firm Advent International made a majority investment in Morrison Supply Company, Fort Worth, TX, a distributor of plumbing and HVAC supplies. Chip Hornsby, an Advent operating partner and former CEO of Wolseley, joined Morrison as CEO. Hornsby and Stephen Hoffmeister, a partner with Advent International, recently spoke with Associate Editor Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier about the goals for Morrison, the differences between private equity-backed companies and public companies, and the importance of focusing on people when trying to grow.

Hornsby was also featured in the April 2012 Executive Briefing. Watch his interview here.

MDM: Because different private equity firms have different goals for the companies they invest in, could you tell me a little bit about Advent’s philosophy?

Stephen Hoffmeister: We were founded in the ‘80s as a venture capital firm, and as a legacy of our founding, we are very much a growth-focused investor. Our goal is typically to double or triple the size of the businesses in which we invest. Our philosophy is to support growth in our companies in a way that is reasonable and sustainable and to do it in a way that those achievements are permanent in the long term. When you think about this context and what we can accomplish, it is reasonable to think about substantially growing the size of Morrison Supply over a four- or five-year timeframe.

MDM: What attracted Advent to Morrison?

Hoffmeister: Morrison is the leader in the Southwest plumbing supply market, and we really view that as a terrific position in a relatively more attractive market. The Southwest market, in terms of the macro-market as well as in the general economy, is in a relatively better place than most of the rest of the U.S. Candidly, we’re looking at a lot of opportunities both within the re...

The Impact of Rare Earth Price Volatility on Distributors, Manufacturers

Jaw-dropping price increases for rare earths the last few years sent distributors selling related products searching for ways to survive the volatility, with demand for the vital mineral fluctuating and supply declining. This article examines the impact of this volatility on electrical distributors and manufacturers.

In response to the market’s unprecedented price hikes – rising by as much as 500 percent – distributors that depend on rare earth metals have had to raise prices while looking for alternative suppliers and possible substitutes.

Rare earths are an abundant group of metals important to the manufacture of electronic goods, including flat-screen TVs and cell phones, to industrial products such as jet engines, lasers and fluorescent lights. It’s also become an irreplaceable metal used in clean energy products such as hybrid and electric vehicles, LEDs and wind turbines.

MDM Pricing Trends Report: First Quarter 2012

This report was formerly called the Inflation by Commodity Group Report.

This report is researched and produced by MDM editors.

These product groups provide a snapshot of inflation trends based on the Producer Price Index from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. First quarter 2011 pricing levels are compared with first quarter 2012, and fourth quarter 2011 with first quarter 2012.

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  • Abrasives
  • Adhesives & Sealants
  • Metal Cutting Machine Tools
  • Metal Forming Machine Tools
  • Pumps, Compressors, & Eqmt
  • Ind. Material Handling Eqmt
  • Rubber & Plastic Hose
  • Rubber & Plastic Belts & Belting
  • Ind. Rubber Products, nec
  • Ind. Safety Eqmt
  • Metal Valves (not fl uid power)
  • Steel Mill Products


  • Softwood Lumber
  • Hardwood Lumber
  • General Millwork
  • Gypsum Products
  • Hardboard, Particlebd, Fiberbd
  • Plywood
  • Plastic Construction Products
  • Wood Ties, Siding, Shingles, Shakes


  • Electrical Machinery & Eqmt
  • Electronic Components & Accs
  • Integrating and Measuring Instruments
  • Motors & Generators
  • Wiring Devices
  • Transformers & Power Regulators
  • Switchgear, Switchboard, etc. Eqmt
  • Communications & Related Eqmt
  • Electric Lamp Bulbs & Parts
  • Nonferrous Wire & Cable
  • Fabricated Ferrous Wire & Cable Products

Power Transmission/Bearing

  • Mechanical Power Transmission Eqmt
  • Ball & Roller Bearings
  • Plain Bearings & Bushings
  • Speed Changers, Drives &
  • Gears

Fluid Power

  • Fluid Power Eqmt
  • Fluid Power Valves
  • Fluid Power Hose/Tube Fittings
  • Fluid Power Pumps & Parts
  • Fluid Power Actuators/Accum/
  • Cylinders


  • Plastic Resins & Materials
  • Plastic Products (Overall)


  • Nuts, Bolts, Screws, Rivets,
  • Washers (overall)
  • Aircraft Fasteners
  • Externally Threaded Fasteners
  • Internally Threaded Fasteners
  • Nonthreaded Metal Fasteners


  • Hardware (overall)
  • Builders’ Hardware


  • Cutting Tools & Accs (overall)
  • Hand & Edge Tools
  • Power-Driven Hand Tools
  • Precision Measuring Tools
  • Small Cutting Tools
  • Tools, Dies, Jigs, Molds, Fixtures


  • Industrial Gases
  • Welding Machinery/Equipment


  • Sanitary Paper Products


  • Boxes
  • Packaging & Ind. Conv. Paper
  • Packaging Products from Plastic
  • Pulp, Paper and Allied Products


  • Air Cond. & Refrigeration Eqmt
  • Heating Eqmt
  • Plumbing Fixtures & Fittings

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