In 2011, MDM is recognizing distributors that are innovative in their approach to their markets. These Market Movers will be featured in this space. Johnson Air Products is the final distributor featured.
When the idea of green building began to take off a few years ago, several people believed it was “just a fad” or that it would blow over in a couple years. If it was just a fad, learning about topics such as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) wasn’t worth the time or energy.
But when LEED for New Construction became an everyday topic at Portland, OR-based Johnson Air Products, Executive Vice President Brent James knew something had to change.
In 2011, MDM is recognizing distributors that are innovative in their approach to their markets. These Market Movers will be featured in this space. Werner Electric Supply is the first distributor featured.
Employees at Werner Electric Supply are eating better and moving more thanks to its health and wellness program. And healthy employees means happy employees, like Kim Berger, a regional administrative assistant for Werner in Minnesota.
“It’s very helpful to have the support system at work,” said …
The precarious position of companies serving residential construction markets was made even worse in late 2008 by the turmoil in the financial markets. For Western Tool Supply, a distributor, and STO Industries, a fastener importer, it meant having to file for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection so they could meet their obligations and restructure. In this article, the companies tell their stories. MDM also examines bankruptcy trends and the impact of bankruptcies on the distribution channel.
For Kevin Kiker, closing down or even selling the company he founded more than two decades ago was not an option.
When the housing market crashed, and the credit crisis hit, Kiker had little choice but to file for Ch. 11 bankruptcy protection last year to save what he could of Salem, OR-based Western Tool Supply, a tool and fastener distributor. “It never crossed my mind to give up,” he says.
The task would be no small feat. At its peak, his company had grown to 75 branches in the U.S. and Canada. But due to the credit crisis and weak cash flow, bills were coming due from landlords, banks, and other vendors.
Kiker knew he had to restructure the business, or the business would not make it. “It was excruciating,” he says.
This article provides a series of short case studies MDM gleaned from its interviews with dozens of distributors for its recent 2010 MDM Market Leaders and Distribution Landscape Report. Topics covered in this article: Tapping leaders for growth market development; creating a formal process for stimulus opportunities; developing a lean initiative to better manage and understand costs; and partnering with other distributors to take advantage of new opportunities.
MDM interviewed dozens of distributors for its recent 2010 MDM Market Leaders and Distribution Landscape Report, which is being published throughout the summer in the pages of MDM and online at mdm.com.
As part of this research, we heard many stories about how distributors …
Here's a short but interesting article on a California floor products distributor who was about to move elsewhere when a town, recognizing the value the company brought to the community, made it more affordable to stay put.
As a result of the town's moves, the distributor was able to push forward on a DC expansion as it works to consolidate its warehousing and logistics operations. ...
I spoke with David DeLong, author of "Lost Knowledge: Confronting the Threat of an Aging Workforce," for the latest issue of MDM. He shared with me a case study about effective knowledge transfer from the older generation of workers to the younger.
DeLong features a host of case studies on his Web site, www.lostknowledge.com. In one, about manufacturer Boston Scientific, the company faced the retirement of highly skilled workers who were specialists in knitting, weaving and yarn texturizing work on intricate machines that knit or weave special yarn into tube-like grafts. (This plant specialized in manufacturing surgical grafts and fabrics used to treat vascular ...
Grainger, Lake Forest, IL, a distributor of facilities maintenance supplies, will host green educational events to honor Earth Day in 25 markets across the country focused on helping businesses and institutions garner the knowledge and tools needed to maintain and operate more sustainable and energy-efficient facilities. The educational events are in conjunction with the launch of an online green product catalog that provides customers easy access to more than 3,300 environmentally responsible products.
"Businesses are looking to navigate the many definitions of "green" to ultimately find ways to maintain and operate their facilities more efficiently and cost-effectively, without taxing our environmental resources," said Deb Oler, ...
There are many paths to reducing "hard-dollar"invoice expenditures for MRO materials. Here are examples of some of those provided in The 20% Solution:
Special Negotiated Discounts -To negotiate the best deal, it is essential to understand the needs, problems and objectives of each party. Example: An earth products processor required special cartridge filters for its calcining and grinding equipment.
These filters were ordered 20 at a time, at a cost of $450 each, plus freight and emergency premiums due to long lead times and lateness in ...
Purchase order costs include the entire procurement cycle: requisitioning, sourcing, placing the order, expediting, receiving, transporting, stocking, paying and so on. There are numerous soft-dollar savings that distributors can help their customers achieve, including bar coding, storeroom management, vending machines and electronic customized catalogs.
Potential cash flow and other improvements may very well exceed hard dollar savings potential. Here is one example outlined in The 20% Solution:
Consolidated Invoicing -The vast bulk of work performed in most ...
Houston, TX-based Hisco, a $191-million distributor of die-cuts, adhesives and MRO materials to the electronic assembly industry, wanted to optimize the balance between branch autonomy and centralized control in its 30 locations in the U.S., Mexico and Puerto Rico. It used the front-line experience of its branch employees to make it happen.
Hisco is 100-percent employee-owned, giving it an entrepreneurial feel, with no employee or executive holding more than 3 percent of the company's stock.
And so while branch managers at Hisco are empowered to run their branches, make hiring decisions and manage assets to best-serve the needs of customers in individual markets, it was important to Hisco that some functions be centralized for efficiencies and that the ...