July 25 2008
For years, manufacturers have used the concept of lean to improve efficiencies in their operations. Now distributors are moving forward with their own lean initiatives - looking at ways to reduce costs by improving internal processes. In this article, a dental supplies distributor shares its experience with lean.
At the beginning, going lean seemed so simple to Chuck Cohen, president of Wilkes-Barre, PA-based Benco Dental: Assign someone to identify waste and work with employees to eliminate it.
But when some employees seemed unable to overcome the "We do that already" attitude, he realized it wasn't so simple.
"Lean is the most seductive yet complicated process I've ever been involved in," Cohen says. "It's really easy to do OK at it. It's ...
MDM: Is lean is something that you're seeing a lot more of in distribution?
Perry Daneshgari: I see more sparks of interest, but is it being applied more? Not yet, but there ...
Evergreen Consulting CEO Brent Grover recently interviewed Andrew E. Randall, president of TriState Capital Ohio, Cleveland, OH, about distributor relationships with bankers in a tough climate, where credit markets are tight, and financial institutions have become cautious and conservative.
Randall says this environment may continue for another 12 months or so but will create opportunities for banks not affected by current economic challenges to look at well-structured and well-priced opportunities. Randall offered up a recent transaction as an example: a senior debt financing for an acquisition by Supply Chain Equity Partners, a private equity group based in Cleveland, OH, with an exclusive focus on wholesaler-distributors. The transaction typified the type of borrower ...
Most distributors focused on North American markets are recording single-digit growth. Those focused solely on construction-related markets have recorded steep declines and net losses -a fundamental change. Manufacturers with business abroad have seen double-digit growth, but when they break it down, North American sales are low single digits, flat or negative. As a result, many distributors and manufacturers are focusing on profitability.
As we wrote recently in MDM, distributors should make up ...
The purchase fits with Applied's strategy to continue building out its fluid power unit, according to Warren E. Bud"Hoffner, who oversees Applied's fluid power group.
"It's just a great fit for Applied, and we've always thought that,"Hoffner told MDM. "FPR ran these companies as standalone firms in each local or regional market. That fits very well with how we're structured."
The last large acquisition Applied made in the U.S. fluid power market was Spencer Industries Inc., Kent, WA, a regional fluid power distributor with about $65 million in ...
The Fastenal Company, Winona, MN, reported sales for second quarter ended June 30, 2008, were $604.2 million, up 16.3 percent over the prior-year period. Profit was up 26.4 percent. Sales for the first six months were up 16 percent from the first six months of 2007. Profit was up 26.2 percent. More
UK-based Wolseley plc, distributor of plumbing and heating products to professional contractors and supplier of '
These select product groups provide a snapshot of inflation trends based on the Producer Price Index from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Second quarter 2008 is compared with second quarter 2007, and first quarter 2008 with second quarter 2008. Graphics depict trend for that product from the start of 2007.
The product groups in this report: