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The second of this three-part MDM Premium series examines Wesco’s strategy to digitalize and transform its business while developing its team and culture of excellence.

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This issue addressed what went wrong with MSC’s web pricing realignment and what they’ve done about it; the role of diversification in our 2024 Top Distributors feature; using analytics to build profit; and disruption updates from The Home Depot and Amazon Business.
This issue addressed cognitive biases’ impact on analytics ROI; distributors’ top business risks; Sonepar’s acquisition journey; a case study on rooftop solar; and more.

Market Insight Reports

See our in-depth M&A articles from the first three months of 2024, including the Home Depot-SRS blockbuster; the acquisition strategy for Ferguson and Border States; and the latest EBITDA trading multiples.
Find a wealth of data and analysis extracted from the 1Q24 Baird-MDM Industrial Distribution Survey, including trending charts and figures for revenue and expectations, plus plenty of interesting commentary.
The report features in-depth articles that recap the year that was 2023 in distribution dealmaking, a full rundown of every deal we covered in October-December, the latest EBITDA trading multiples and more.
Find a wealth of data and analysis extracted from the 3Q23 Baird-MDM Industrial Distribution Survey, including trending charts and figures for revenue and expectations, plus plenty of interesting commentary.
Find a wealth of data and analysis extracted from the 3Q23 Baird-MDM Industrial Distribution Survey, including trending charts and figures for revenue and expectations, plus plenty of interesting commentary.

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 fourth-quarter results and distributor and manufacturer expectations for 2013.

Even with uncertainty and a disruptive mid-week holiday schedule, respondents to the fourth-quarter 2012 MDM/Baird Distribution Survey passed the revenue expectations they had in the third-quarter survey. Fourth-quarter revenues were up a modest 3 percent overall for respondents, slightly higher than the forecast 2.4 percent growth. All segments represented in the survey reported positive growth in the quarter.

Respondents expect revenues to grow 3.4 percent in first quarter 2013 and raised full-year expectations to …

I’ve been a hockey fan since the 1960s. But someone has to say it: Stop paying attention to Wayne Gretzky’s advice about skating to where the puck will be. It’s been beaten to death countless times by consultants and motivational speakers.

For a long time, it worked well to follow the Great One’s advice. Good distribution companies played where the puck was – they executed well in established markets. Great distribution companies could see where the puck was going – they dedicated resources to find and monetize emerging growth opportunities.

Growth is harder to come by today; market …

Mike Marks of Indian River Consulting Group says distributors need to break out of the traditional mold of doing business and think differently about how to stand out in an increasingly busy market. In today’s business climate, distributors must do more to maintain their edge.

This is an exclusive summary of the recent MDM Webcast, What Distributor Innovation Looks Like in 2013: Rethinking Your Business Model. The program is available on-demand or on DVD at

Market share incumbents held hostage to the old ways of doing things are losing ground to “rule-breakers,” innovative market share challengers with a fresh perspective, according to Indian River Consulting Group’s Mike Marks in the recent MDM Webcast, What Distributor Innovation Looks Like in 2013: Rethinking Your Business Model.

History shows us that incremental improvements to the same business model can lead to success. The successful automotive company Porsche, for example, has focused on continuous product development along the same platform for years. And Marks says …

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

This report is researched and produced by MDM editors. View the Third Quarter 2012 pricing trends report here.

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

To view this report, log-in and click on Download pdf below the product listing.

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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
  • Metal Valves (not fluid power)
  • Personal Safety Equipment & Clothing
  • 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

Other Related Electrical

  • Lighting Fixtures
  • Nonferrous Wire & Cable
  • Fabricated Ferrous Wire & Cable

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


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


  • Industrial Gases
  • Welding Machinery/ Equipment


  • Pulp, Paper & Allied Products (overall)
  • Sanitary Paper Products
  • Boxes
  • Packaging Products from Plastic


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

To view this report, log-in and click on Download pdf below the product listing.

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Stock Building Supply, Raleigh, NC, has acquired Albuquerque Door, previously owned by Orepac Building Products. Albuquerque Door assembles pre-hung exterior and interior doors, distributes vinyl windows, and manufactures specialty architectural millwork items for national and custom builders in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe markets.

The company operates from one location in Albuquerque; the acquisition adds approximately 50 associates to the Stock family. All senior management, including manager Carolyn Kidd, will remain with the company.

Stock Building Supply now operates 321 locations in 34 states, with reported sales of $5.3 billion for the fiscal year 2006. Stock Building Supply is a subsidiary of Wolseley plc of Theale, England, which had sales in fiscal ...

While countless offices in this country have the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship pool sapping the life out of productivity this week, I'm guessing there are at least a few pools estimating the date of sale for Home Depot Supply. I don't know what the Vegas odds are, but the probability is close to 100 percent in my book that we see a deal happen. Here's why I think it will be sooner rather than later.

Home Depot CEO Frank Blake said that it was important to determine a course of action for HD Supply so that the company didn't have a foot on the dock and a foot on the boat, as MDM reported on the company's refocus on retail.

Let's get out the spyglass and look at that statement. If ...

Illinois Tool Works Inc., producer of highly engineered components, equipment, consumable systems, and specialty products, has bought Quasar International, Inc., the inventor of PCRT (Process Compensated Resonant Testing), a NDT (Nondestructive Test) method. Quasar is in Albuquerque, NM. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

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Quasar will continue to operate as an independent company, consistent with the ITW decentralized organization structure. Quasar will be associated with MAGNAFLUX, a division of Illinois Tool Works Inc., a supplier of Magnetic Particle equipment, Dye Penetrant inspection equipment, and associated chemical products used for nondestructive testing. Quasar operations in Albuquerque and Detroit will remain essentially unchanged, and ...
Beacon Roofing Supply, Inc., Peabody, MA, has agreed to acquire North Coast Commercial Roofing Systems, Inc., a Twinsburg, OH-based distributor of commercial roofing systems and related accessories, with 16 locations in eight U.S. states.

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North Coast has branches in Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. There is minimal overlap with Beacon's existing locations.

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North Coast gives Beacon with its first locations in three states: New York, Ohio and West Virginia. North Coast employs 197 associates and had sales of about $253 million for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2006.

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It will operate as a separate region under the North Coast name.

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Beacon ...

ISCO Industries, Louisville, KY, distributor and supplier of polyethylene (HDPE) piping products, has purchased Fraser Mining and Industrial Supply Company in Mansfield, TX.

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“Fraser Mining and Industrial Supply has fostered an excellent reputation across Texas and the south central United States, especially in service to the mining industry. With the similarities in our product lines and emphasis on HDPE, this move provides us with a location in the north Texas area, while giving us a strong presence in the Texas mining market, said Jimmy Kirchdorfer, president of ISCO Industries.

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ISCO also has nearby stocking and sales facilities in the Houston, Texas and Tulsa, Oklahoma areas.

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Fraser Mining and Industrial ...

Owens Corning and Saint-Gobain have agreed to merge Owens Corning's Reinforcements Business and Saint-Gobain's Reinforcements and Composites Business (a part of the entity known as Vetrotex) into a new company that will be named OCV Reinforcements.

On July 27, 2006, Owens Corning and Saint-Gobain jointly announced that they were in discussions to merge their respective reinforcements and composites businesses, creating a global company in reinforcements and composite fabrics products, with worldwide revenues of $1.8 billion (1.5 billion) and 10,000 employees.

The agreement stipulates that the joint-venture will be owned 60% by Owens Corning and 40% by Saint-Gobain. After a minimum of four years, Saint-Gobain will have the option to sell its stake to Owens Corning, and ...

San Diego, CA-based Dixieline Lumber Company, a supplier of building materials to professional builders and contractors, has purchased Sandstone Brick Company. Dixieline is a division of Pro-Build Holdings.

A lumber, truss and building materials supplier, Sandstone Brick Company, Bakersfield, CA, serves the professional contractor retail market in California's Kern County. The organization is comprised of a truss manufacturing plant and lumber distribution yard.

“The growing Southern California metro markets have performed favorably over the last few years and are expected to regain their strength in years to come. said Joe Lawrence, president of Dixieline Lumber Company. “The acquisition of Sandstone Brick Company complements our current operations in ...

F & M Mafco, Inc., Cincinnati, OH, a distributor of construction and industrial supplies, has agreed to buy Carolina Industrial Tools, Inc., Charlotte, NC. Carolina is a distributor of tools, equipment, consumables, machinery and related products.

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The Carolina Industrial Tools acquisition will expand F & M Mafco's ability to serve customers in the southeast U.S.

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Mike McKenna, vice resident of sales, said: “Not only does this acquisition carry out our strategic plan, it also adds to our already growing business in the consumables market and will give us the opportunity to establish our tool & equipment rental capabilities in this area.

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F & M Mafco is a distributor of construction tools and ...

Brady Industries, Las Vegas, NV, a janitorial supply distributor, has acquired Boulder Creek Supply, a Boise, ID-based company.

Boulder Creek was founded in 1999.  With this acquisition, Brady Industries expands its geographic footprint to seven locations with plans for further expansion in 2007.

"The Boise acquisition compliments our regional coverage of the Idaho market, said Travis Brady, president of Brady Industries. "With branches in Salt Lake City and Idaho Falls, this acquisition strengthens our regional service capabilities."

Brady Industries supplies janitorial supplies and commercial cleaning equipment and service in the Las Vegas market. Brady has expanded its offering to include a complete warewash product line along with its already extensive kitchen cleaning and sanitation program.

Columbus McKinnon Corporation, Amherst, NY, manufacturer of material handling products, has sold Larco Industrial Services, Ltd., the Canadian subsidiary of the company's wholly owned subsidiary Crane Equipment & Service, Inc.

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Larco, a manufacturer and servicer of large capacity overhead cranes based in Stoney Creek, Ontario, was sold to Canadian Overhead Handling Inc. of Montreal, Quebec. The net proceeds of the Larco sale will be used for debt reduction and general operating purposes.

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For the latest 12 months, Larco contributed revenue of approximately $10 million and operated near breakeven.

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Columbus McKinnon CEO Timothy T. Tevens said: Given its narrowly focused product line and market, Larco was not an ...

Nucor Corp., Charlotte, NC, has acquired 96% of Toronto-based Harris Steel for C$46.25 in cash per share. Nucor intends to eventually buy all of Harris and take the company private.

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Harris Steel has several business units: Harris Rebar, involved in the fabrication and placing of concrete reinforcing steel and the design and installation of concrete post-tensioning systems; Laurel Steel, a manufacturer and distributor of wire and wire products, welded wire mesh and cold finished bar; and Fisher & Ludlow, a manufacturer and distributor of heavy industrial steel grating, aluminum grating and expanded metal.

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Harris also participates in steel trading on a worldwide basis through Novosteel and in the distribution of reinforcing steel and ...

The Financial Times is reporting that three teams of private equity firms are preparing for possible bids for HD Supply. Teams include: Bain Capital, Carlyle Group and Clayton Dubilier & Rice (owner of Rexel); Thomas H Lee Partners, Goldman Sachs and CCMP; and Blackstone, Kohlberg Kravis Roberts, Leonard Green Partners and Texas Pacific Group.

&nbsp ;

Home Depot CEO Frank Blake told analysts and investors at the annual meeting this week that HD has not yet made a decision to sell. The Financial Times reports that the unit could get up to $11 billion.FT says Bain and Carlyle could be naturals for the ownership of HD Supply because of their investments in retail organizations - that said, HD Supply is a wholesale business, with a different operating structure from ...

Barnes Group Inc., Bristol, CT, has acquired the assets of the Di-Dro Manifold Systems product line from Di-Dro Systems Inc. The Di-Dro Manifold System product line will be integrated into Barnes Group Inc.'s Associated Spring business segment.

The Di-Dro Manifold System product line is complementary to Associated Spring's Nitrogen Gas Spring Manifold System product line. The addition of the Di-Dro Manifold System product line expands the company's reach in high-quality gas springs for use in diverse industrial applications requiring high force and/or compact dimensions. Applications range from tool and die manufacturers, to industrial robots, to dump trucks to waste compressors around the world.

Related Links:
<A ...

SKF has agreed to acquire ABBA Linear Tech Co., Ltd., an Asian manufacturer of profile rail guides, based in Taiwan.

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The ABBA Group has annual sales of about MSEK 250. It is headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan and has facilities in Taiwan and in China.

&nbsp ;

With the addition of ABBA's product range, SKF is reinforcing its position in linear guides. The acquisition is in line with the SKF Group's strategy to strengthen its different technology platforms and to grow in Asia.

&nbsp ;

ABBA will be part of the SKF Actuation & Motion Control business unit within the Industrial Division.

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More Breaking News
European ...

HD Supply White Cap Construction Supply, a business of HD Supply, has agreed to acquire GSI General Materials LLC, a distributor of concrete accessories, forming systems and fabricated rebar.

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GSI operates two North Carolina facilities and two South Carolina locations, and employs 72.

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HD Supply White Cap Construction Supply is the construction supply business unit within The Home Depot's HD Supply Division, a distributor of specialty hardware, tools and materials targeting construction contractors.

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With the addition of GSI General Materials, HD Supply White Cap Construction Supply will operate 160 branches in 27 states.

Related Links:
<A href=/pub/1_1/breaking-news/3740-1.html ...

Stockholm, Sweden-based AxIndustries has acquired AB Sverull, a distributor of bearings, transmissions and seals, also based in Sweden.

Sverull has annual sales of SEK 125 million with more than 45 employees&nbsp ; at offices in five cities.

After the acquisition, AxIndustries will have annual sales of more than SEK 600 million in bearings, transmissions and seals. It has mroe than SEK 1.1 billion in sales overall. AxIndustries is a part of Axel Johnson International.

Sverull will continue to be run as an independent company in AxIndustries.

More Breaking ...

USG Corp, Chicago, IL, announced its specialty distribution subsidiary, L & W Supply, will acquire California Wholesale Material Supply Inc. for $280 million.

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California Wholesale Material Supply is a distributor of building materials with annual sales of $600 million. It has 30 locations in seven Western states and Mexico and nearly 900 employees.

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The acquisition is expected to help USG enhance L & W's reach on the West Coast and in the Southwest.

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L & W Supply contributes about $2.5 billion to USG's annual sales.

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USG also announced it would build a new plant in northern California to manufacture about 1 billion square feet of SHEETROCK ...

Last week saw a feeding frenzy of rumors in distribution, with action on both sides of the Atlantic. The biggest hunters suddenly became the hunted.

The history of independent distribution channels has repeatedly provided pointed lessons that size, more often than not, is the real giant slayer. It is tough to institutionalize flexibility and strong service levels - the hallmark of local distribution - across states, much less international borders. The next few years may tell whether there is an opportunity to create a global platform that doesn't self destruct on its own growth plans.

Some might say too much money is overheating valuations and expectations. The surprise is that the M & A market in distribution (and overall) remains hot in 2007, with most expecting ...

Praxair Inc., Danbury, CT, has agreed to buy The Linde Group's industrial and medical gases business in Mexico. Linde's Mexican business operates under the name of AGA S.A. de C.V. The transaction excludes the Mexican assets of the BOC Group, which Linde acquired as part of its acquisition of BOC.

The sale of Linde's Mexican business is part of a mutual agreement between Praxair and Linde under which Linde acquired the Turkey-based industrial gases producer Karbogaz A. S. in July 2006. Karbogaz was formerly a joint venture company between Praxair and Ismail Aytemiz of Istanbul, Turkey.

AGA S.A. de C.V. has sales of about $75 million in fiscal 2006.

The acquisition of AGA S.A. de C.V. will increase our presence in the metropolitan area of Mexico City and place ...

Lone Star Fasteners, Houston, TX, has acquired LWD Precision Engineering Co. Ltd., a manufacturer of precision engineered components for the global oil and gas industry, for $6 million. LWD, based in Leeds, UK, manufactures precision machined components for valves, actuators and other related critical applications.

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"The purchase of LWD is our latest step in the strategic expansion of Lone Star's product and geographic market coverage, said Lone Star CEO Bruce Ross.

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The acquisition of LWD follows Lone Star's June 2006 acquisition of Leeds-based Grange Gaskets, a provider of standard and specialty gaskets, and related machined parts.&nbsp ; Tony Sitek, managing director of Lone Star's Grange subsidiary, will assume overall management ...
Modern Distribution Management's June Inflation Index, which measures a cross-section of industrial supplies, was up 0.54% from the previous month, and up 4.99% from June 2007.
Summary of MDM Inflation Index for the past 12 months:
June 20058 Index 285.3
May 2008 Index 283.7
April 2008 Index 282.4
March 2008 Index 281.1
February 2008 Index 279.0
January 2008 Index 277.2
December 2007 Index 275.9
November 2007 Index 274.7
October 2007 Index 273.6
September 2007 Index 273.5
August 2007 Index 273.3
July 2007 Index 272.4

Please click below to view a print-ready pdf of the MDM Inflation Index for June 2008, listing the ten individual product categories that make up the ...

Distributors, to say the least, are facing more uncertainty now than in recent memory.

In a recent MDM Webcast, Manage the Panic of 2009: New Rules for New Economic Realities," Evergreen Consulting's Brent Grover says we are now seeing the worst business conditions in his decades of work in the industry.
"Distributors are not accustomed to dealing with this uncertainty," he told participants. "Or the speed of decline in demand and prices."
Now more than ever leaders need to avoid hunkering down, and instead strategically prepare their companies for the upswing. When the downturn does reverse course, fewer companies will emerge, ...

While the lead article's title - Manage the Panic of 2009 - might seem extreme, it's important to clarify its real meaning. Reports we're hearing from distributors in January indicate they are not in panic mode. On the contrary, every distribution company has become very focused by necessity on cost control, created by the panic and instability in financial markets.
I think that's an important distinction. This isn't a typical downturn, where a company just needs to reduce costs across departments by a certain percentage until the tide turns. This time a distributor needs to upgrade financial skills.
The traditional financing and cash flow models distributors have used for decades have changed significantly, with much tighter ...
During the first part of 2008, the Brazilian economy experienced high growth in most sectors with an outlook for that expansion to continue. The first nine months saw loosened credit conditions, rising internal demand and strong export activity despite unrelenting currency appreciation.
But the fourth quarter was a different story. Growth slowed at an alarming rate.
Though the country is still in positive territory, the fourth quarter of 2008 was surprisingly on the downside, according to Fernando Sedano, an economic consultant for Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI based in Brazil. "I expect a tough first half of 2009."
On the other hand, international companies that are already doing business there are seeing continued ...

These select product groups provide a snapshot of inflation trends based on the Producer Price Index from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fourth quarter 2008 is compared with fourth quarter 2007, third quarter 2008 with fourth quarter 2008, and the full year 2007 with the full year 2008. Graphics depict trend for that product from the start of 2007.
The product groups in this report:  

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U.S. housing starts in December were down 15.5% from November, and 45% below December 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Privately-owned housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 550,000 in December.
Single-family housing starts in December were at a rate of 398,000; this is 13.5% below the November figure. The December rate for units in buildings with five units or more was 145,000.
An estimated 904,300 housing units were started in 2008. This is 33.3% below the 2007 figure of 1,355,000.

By region, the Northeast saw a 15.4% drop in housing starts in 2008, Midwest had a 35.7% decline, the South a 33.5% fall, and the West was down ...
The CEO of Sysco Corp., Houston, TX, Richard J. Schnieders, has announced his plan to retire on June 27, 2009, the end of Sysco's 2009 fiscal year. Schnieders will continue as chairman of the board subsequent to stepping down as CEO on March 31. He joined Sysco in 1982, serving as CEO since 2003.
Bill DeLaney, Sysco's executive vice president and chief financial officer, will become CEO. Delaney will continue to act as CFO until his replacement is chosen. In addition, Ken Spitler, Sysco's president and chief operating officer, has been promoted to vice chairman of the board of directors and will continue in his current responsibilities.
DeLaney has been with Sysco since 1987, and has served in his current position since 2007. Spitler joined Sysco in 1986 and was ...
Source: Statistics Canada

Canadian manufacturing sales decreased for a fourth consecutive month in November. Sales fell 6.4% to $48.4 billion, the lowest level since December 2004.

Constant dollar manufacturing sales, which are measured in 2002 prices, fell to their lowest level in almost 10 years, decreasing by 3.0% in November. Therefore, about half of the drop in the current dollar series compared with October reflected price declines. The most significant price decreases were in the petroleum and coal industry (-18.5%) and primary metal industry (-6%).

At the industry level, sales in 12 of 21 manufacturing industries decreased in November, accounting for over four-fifths of ...
Long-time industry consultant Bruce Merrifield addresses profitability in a recent post to his Web site. He says that companies have options outside of traditional downsizing moves to boost performance in these tough times.

He asks: How do we carefully: either sculpt away our corporate bloat (losing customers, products, people); or, redeploy losing-activity resources into revitalizing the ripped, profitable athlete that is hiding within the general average numbers?"
Toward the end of his post, found here, he recommends: 

  • Identifying the "super-loser" accounts that are in best ...
General Motors and Toyota both announced 2008 vehicle sales this week. General Motors said vehicle sales dropped 11% in 2008, with a 21% drop in North America and a 6.5% drop in Europe. Toyota saw its global sales drop about 5%. Distributors are feeling the ripple effect from automotive supplier customers far, wide and deep.
Automotive supplier musical chairs is in full effect from a distribution perspective. If your customer plant is still running, it might even be increasing production as work is shifted from other operations, now shut down.
As some automotive suppliers struggle and go under, some distributors are seeing tooling and production work shifted to other suppliers, again with some increase in business on that end. But the good news in January is ...
Industrial production fell 2% in December, and declines were again widespread. Output was revised up in October, but it was revised down in November; for the fourth quarter as a whole, total industrial production decreased 11.5% at an annual rate.

At 103.6% of its 2002 average, output in December was 7.8% below its year-earlier level. In December, manufacturing production dropped 2.3%.

The output of mines moved down 1.6%, and the output of electric and gas utilities was little changed. Capacity utilization for total industry fell to 73.6% in December, a level 7.4 percentage points below its average level from 1972 to 2007.

More details ...
Wholesale prices fell 1.9 percent in December, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. This decrease followed a 2.2-percent decline in November and a 2.8-percent drop in October.
At the earlier stages of processing, prices received by producers of intermediate goods fell 4.2 percent in December after decreasing 4.3 percent in the prior month, and the crude goods index declined 5.3 percent following a 12.5-percent drop in November. The slower rate of decrease in finished goods prices was led by the index for energy goods, which fell 9.3 percent in December after declining 11.2 percent in November. 
Prices for finished goods other than foods and energy (core inflation) rose 0.2 percent in December compared ...
In November 2008, U.S. distributors' sales of power transmission/motion control products experienced the largest month-to-month decrease in sales since January 2002, falling 16% when compared to October 2008, according to the latest month-end trend data from the Power Transmission Distributors Association.
When matched up against sales in the same month last year, sales in November 2008 were down by 4.1%. Accounts receivable collection days rose 7.8% since October 2008. The confidence index of U.S. distributors for November was also unchanged for the third consecutive month, remaining at 5.2 (on a 10-point scale).
Canadian distributors reported a 12.8% drop in sales in November 2008. Sales over the same period last year were down 11.2%. Accounts receivable ...
Source: Statistics Canada

Investment in non-residential construction reached $11 billion in current dollars in the fourth quarter of 2008, up 1.7% from the third quarter. In 2002 constant dollars, however, investment was down 1.2% from the third quarter.

The increase in current dollars was mainly the result of rises in institutional and commercial building construction. Investors spent $6.8 billion on commercial projects, up 1.5% from the third quarter, while in the institutional component, investment rose 3.7% to $2.8 billion. Spending in the industrial component declined 1% to $1.4 billion.

All provinces and two territories recorded advances in the fourth ...
The fourth quarter Baird Industrial Distribution Survey, from Robert W. Baird Inc., indicates the industrial economy is in recession.

On average, respondents' fourth quarter revenues were down significantly, with increased pricing offsetting unit volume declines. Expectations are for continued declines through 2009, though the trajectory should not be as severe as it was in recent weeks which were negatively impacted by abnormal holiday closures.
Baird's Industrial Distribution Research Team, led by senior research analyst David Manthey, CFA, collected feedback on fourth quarter results from nearly 300 independent and captive distributors with combined annual revenue in excess of $30 billion. Key survey findings include:

  • ...
Brent Grover was our speaker on an MDM Webcast this week, and as always with his background as a CEO and CPA, addressed a range of focus points for distributors to review as they manage the panic of 2009, the title of his talk. Brent is far from an alarmist, but he argues that this downturn is structurally different than others most business executives have experienced.
He covered the details, levers and pain points across several financial areas - financing, credit, cash flow, cost control - and how distributors can sharpen their focus in each. As moderator, I felt it offered some benchmarks and tools for distributors of all sizes to form the core of an executive team meeting on how to tighten the seams of the ship, even in the middle of a ...
According to Harvard Professor John Kotter, a sense of urgency is a desire to act on critical issues now - making real progress every day on issues that are central to an organization's success. And when an economic crisis hits (or any crisis for that matter), a sense of urgency in a business becomes all that more important if you want to come out of that crisis ahead of where you started.
Unfortunately, Kotter says the recession has created very little true urgency. Why?
He said: "People don't understand what true urgency is. The economic situation is creating a lot of false urgency, which is this anxiety-driven, anger-driven frenzy of activity where we all run in circles figuring out what to do. It is activity-focused not ...
Stop me if you've heard this one: A manufacturer, a distributor and a logistics coordinator are making a deal. The manufacturer says to the distributor, How do you want that delivered? The distributor says, "Overnight it to me on Tuesday; I need it Wednesday." Meanwhile, the logistics coordinator mutters under his breath about how much money could have been saved by sending it LTL Monday night.
Sound familiar? The first part might, but what about the second? Did you know there was another option that could meet your needs and save you money?
For a recent article, three different players - Dan Muller of The Timken Company (the manufacturer), Doug Savage of Bearing Service Inc. (the distributor), and Don Louis of CoLinx (the ...

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  • Determine market and demand.

  • Create smart prospect lists. 

Turn your sales data into actionable data with Market Prospector.  A web-based SAAS tool that gives you insight into your market, your territories, your customers and new prospects too. 

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