MDM Podcast: How Singer Industrial has Navigated Several Years of Change - Modern Distribution Management

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MDM Podcast: How Singer Industrial has Navigated Several Years of Change

In the past 2 years, Singer Industrial divested a business unit, rebranded, made over a dozen acquisitions and added plenty of greenfields. CEO Craig Osborne tells us how his company has handled it all.
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Singer Industrial has frequented MDM’s news headlines over the past several years, as the distributor of industrial rubber and fluid power products sold off its Bishop Lifting Products unit in 2022 before completing 10 acquisitions during 2023 alongside plenty of greenfield expansion. 

The company also rebranded from SBP Holdings to Singer Industrial in early 2023.

So, given that activity, I recently invited Singer President and CEO Craig Osborne onto the MDM Podcast to discuss his company’s transformation and how it has managed all of that past and ongoing change.

Craig Osborne

“You’ve got to have a good team, which we do, to be able to manage so many moving pieces,” said Osborne, who is on MDM’s Editorial Advisory Board. “We’ve kept our focus on the customer and what solutions and products they need; how we can support them; and where geographically we can serve them better. As we do that, keeping the customer front-and-center keeps our eye on the ball for how to manage the growth and strategy.”

The Singer team also includes Sam Petillo, who leads the company’s Industrial Rubber Division as its President. This past May, he received the prestigious Carver Award from the National Association of Hose and Accessories Distributors (NAHAD) at its annual convention, which recognizes outstanding commitment to industry excellence. Petillo previously served as NAHAD President from 2019-2020.

“Sam is a great talent. He is a phenomenal leader communicates well and knows everybody in the industry,” Osborne shared. “I remind him that he’s only halfway through his career so that we get to keep participating in his knowledge base. It’s awesome having him on the team.”

Today, Singer Industrial has about 100 locations across the U.S. and Canada, backed by over 1,400 employees. The company had a 2023 revenue of approximately $600 million, which is poised to vault the company up a handful of spots on MDM’s Top Industrial Distributors List, on which it placed 40th last year, along with No. 4 on hose/hose accessories distributors and No. 15 for fluid power distributors.

The company’s most recent bolt-on acquisitions include HOSER Inc. (Greenville, SC) in a deal that closed on Dec. 20, and Ray Lewis & Co. (Lisbon, OH), which closed Dec. 1.

Osborne shared a wealth of acquisition advice during MDM’s virtual M&A Summit held in early 2023, some of which you can find in the following MDM Premium articles that came out of that event:

We explore the criteria Singer prioritizes when prospecting for acquisitions, Osborne’s thoughts on AI in distribution, the labor situation, supply chain lead times in the markets Singer serves and what demand looks like for them right now.

We also looked forward to what Singer wants to look like a year or two from now and its technology priorities, which includes a major tech project his company is currently working through.

Check out the full episode via the audio player above, and you can find all of our past MDM Podcasts here.

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