Recommended Reading: ORS Nasco to Keep ‘Separate Identity, Structure’

Essendant CEO says company's industrial business won't rebrand.

When Essendant Inc. rebranded from United Stationers two years ago, the Deerfield, IL-based master distributor planned to bring all of its businesses under one banner. But the company has since decided that ORS Nasco would retain its legacy name and "maintain a separate identity and structure," according to President and CEO Bob Aiken in MDM Interview: Essendant’s Path Takes New Twist.

"We’re operating our industrial companies separately from our office products and jan-san business because it’s, for the most part, a different set of customers that we’re serving with a different set of products," Aiken told MDM.

Industrial is about 20 percent of total revenue at Essendant, which reported sales for 2016 of $5.4 billion, up 0.1 percent from 2015. ORS Nasco, whose name derives from the old moniker, Oklahoma Rig & Supply, was initially going to be rebranded as Essendant, just as other legacy company names, including Lagasse.

But ORS Nasco will remain intact. Aiken said the strategy for the business now is "to continue to focus on those industrial distributors to make certain that we’ve got that broad product range that’s required to be successful in the industrial space."

"As we looked at what our customers at ORS Nasco really want from us, putting those items on our common (Essendant) platform didn’t create enough value for those distributors," Aiken said. "Going to market as ORS Nasco, we’ll operate off a separate logistics platform but capture the benefits of scale from a large company like ours where it makes sense in the back office and shared services. That’s the right strategy for ORS Nasco."

Read more about Essendant's plans for ORS Nasco and other market moves in MDM Interview: Essendant’s Path Takes New Twist.

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