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The U.S. wholesale distribution's sector's overall revenue outlook for 2024 moved more aligned with its historical growth average, with an even better 2025 to follow.

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This new-look issue offers research on suppliers’ changing purchase minimums, distributors’ (lack of) AI progress and geopolitical impacts; and updates on Ferguson, Home Depot-SRS Distribution and more.
This issue compares AI adoption rates in manufacturing vs. distribution; explores Grainger’s role as a ‘Problem-Solver’; examines Border States’ acquisition path; and shares takeaways from the MODEX expo.

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.

Illinois Tool Works Inc., Glenview, IL, reported revenues increased 15% in the three months ended Feb. 28, 2007. About 2% was from base revenues, 11% from acquisitions, and 2% as a result of translation and other items.
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Organic growth benefited from strong demand from international end markets; however, North American end markets continued to show signs of moderating growth or declines.
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By segment, growth was 5% in engineered products/North America; 20% engineered products/International; specialty systems/North America; 22% specialty systems/International.
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ITW is a $14.1 billion diversified manufacturer of highly engineered components and industrial systems and consumables. The company is in 49 ...
The Producer Price Index for Finished Goods advanced 1.3 percent in February, seasonally adjusted, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported. This increase followed a 0.6-percent decline in January and a 0.9-percent rise in December. At the earlier stages of processing, the intermediate goods index turned up 1.1 percent after falling 0.7 percent in the previous month, and prices for crude goods climbed 8.9 percent following a 6.3-percent decrease in January.
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Among finished goods in February, the index for energy goods moved up 3.5 percent compared with a 4.6-percent drop a month earlier. The rate of increase for consumer foods prices accelerated to 1.9 percent in February from 1.1 percent in January. Excluding prices for foods and ...
January 2007 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, were $333.4 billion, down 0.9% from the revised December level but up 6.2% from January 2006.
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January sales of durable goods were virtually unchanged from last month, but were up 5.7% from a year ago. Sales of metals and minerals, except petroleum, were up 4.4% from last month.
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January sales of nondurable goods were down 1.8% from last month, but were up 6.7% from last year.
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Total inventories were $396.7 billion at the end of January, up 0.7% from last month and up 9.2% from a year ago. End-of-month inventories of durable goods increased 1.1% from December and were up 9.3% from last January. Compared to last month, inventories of motor vehicle and ...

Graybar, St. Louis, MO, reported sales of $5.009 billion in 2006, up 16.6% from last year. Profit was $57 million, more than double the year before.
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Growth in the electrical market increased 16.6%. Electrical sales were strong in the construction sector. Sales in the comm/data market rose 17% year-over-year.
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In an SEC filing, Graybar attributed the increase in sales to demand in the electrical and communications/data markets. Also, copper-based products, mainly wire and cable, went up in price in the past year, positively impacting sales.
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Profit growth was attributed to double-digit growth in gross margin, coupled with attention to controlling expenses. Graybar also reported productivity gains as a result of the company's new technology ...

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 ...

Fastener distributor Bossard's sales dampened the group's overall global revenues in 2006. Sales in the dropped 9.5% from 2005. Bossard attributed the decline to falling demand from larger customers -which comprise 50% of the company's overall sales.

Overall, the Bossard Group sales were up 8.7% to CHF 560 million (Swiss francs), and 7.6% in local currency. Translated, sales were roughly US$458 million for the year. Asia saw the largest growth rate, at 42%. sales doubled, and the had a sales increase of 56.6%. sales were up 29.8%.

Bossard saw sales in Central Europe grow 15.5% to CHF 300 million (US$245 million, Euro 186 million). All European countries reported double-digit growth rates. was up 13.1%, Scandinavia up 12%, up 13.8% and Eastern Europe up 38%. <br ...

January U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $297.48 million, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association and The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the USMTC program, was down 9.8% from December, but up 30.9% from the total of $227.23 million reported for January 2006.

These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTC program.

While early forecasts for 2007 have suggested it is unlikely that growth in our industry's sales will surpass the results of 2006, January has made an impressive start, says John J. Healy, AMTDA president. Results were well above year-ago levels in almost every ...


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 ...
The Timken Company, Canton, OH, will close its production facility in Sao Paolo, Brazil, by the end of the year. Timken will maintain a sales, marketing and warehousing presence in Brazil to meet the needs of customers and distributors.


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Timken will support its future growth in the Brazilian market with its global manufacturing resources, along with new warehousing operations and a network of 35 distributors located in Brazil.


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The closure of the facility in Brazil is part of Timken's ongoing efforts to improve the performance of its Automotive Group. The company previously announced a restructuring initiative in 2005 and a workforce reduction in 2006, which are on track to deliver expected savings of approximately $40 million and $35 million, ...

This article details two mid-sized distributors' experiences with global sourcing and is adapted from presentations at the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors' annual meeting, with additional information provided through follow-up interviews with MDM.

To use a cliché, the devil is in the details. Andrew Berlin, president of Berlin Packaging, says this has never been truer than when sourcing from China.

And one more cliché," he says. "You get out of it what you put into it."

Berlin should know. He's been sourcing from China for his customers and suppliers for almost 20 years, and understands the value of taking the time required to set up a profitable transaction rather than ...


In Part II of MDM's interview with Wolseley CEO Chip Hornsby, he addresses the differences between the global building materials and HVAC/plumbing distributor's North American and European markets, and Wolseley's aim to grow significantly on the European mainland -doubling its market share every five to seven years.


MDM: Can you talk a little about the European distribution landscape?


Chip Hornsby: The first thing I had to understand -we laugh about it all the time -was that in fifth-grade geography they didn't teach us that there's another continent out there called the UK. And then there's Europe. And those 22 miles are bigger than the ocean between us and them. I get asked all ...


Home Depot CEO Frank Blake reinforced his drive to refocus on the business' retail division at the company's annual investor and analyst conference at the end of February.


To that end, Blake told participants that acquisitions outside of the retail core won't be a priority for us. HD Supply acquisitions have slowed and will continue to, with the exception of White Cap's recent purchase of concrete distributor GSI General Materials.


Soon after the annual meeting - at which HD executives only briefly touched on the possible sale of HD Supply, and then only in response to a question - reports started to emerge on private equity firms' interest. Many analysts and industry-watchers expect the supply division to be sold, despite Blake's insistence that a decision has not ...

As this first quarter comes to a close, it's a good time to evaluate the annual plan created in September, or in January for those who subscribe to JIT strategic planning. This is when most plans start rotting on the shelf. The end-of-quarter flurry is too hectic to perform a disciplined review. Then a new cycle starts.


Perhaps you know where you are on the most important scale - your own internal sense of behind, on or ahead of plan year-to-date. Your sales force is crystal clear where they are. Most of the time that's good enough. But with as volatile as current markets, customers, competition and the economy are, your company might benefit from a more formal review process with your entire executive team. Consider a different approach to the typical rearview mirror ...

Grainger, Chicago, IL, distributor of facilities maintenance supplies, has released a new specialty catalog for plumbing products and supplies. Products offered through the catalog include water heaters and coolers, pipes, valves, fittings, fixtures, faucets and water filtration systems. The catalog is 316 pages, with more than 16,000 Plumbing, Valves and Fittings, of which 12,000 are new to Grainger's offering. An additional 1,500 products that are related to Plumbing bring the total to about 17,750 items. More ...


Nucor Corp., Charlotte, NC, has acquired 96 percent of Toronto-based Harris Steel for C$46.25 in cash per share. Nucor intends to eventually buy ...


Janitorial Supplies represented a market in 2006 of $19.98 billion, according to estimates by Industrial Market Information, Minneapolis.



These charts show the top ten industries, by SIC code, consuming these products; and the 2006 end-user consumption of these groups sorted by the nine government market regions.


Click on Related Document below to see the charts and breakdown by end-user.

...

Modern Distribution Management's January Inflation Index, which measures a cross-section of industrial supplies, was up 0.59% from the previous month, and up 3.27% from January 2006.


Summary of&nbsp ; MDM Inflation Index for the past 12 months:

January 2007 Index 268.7
December 2006 Index&nbsp ; 267.1
November 2006 Index 266.5
October 2006 Index 265.9
September 2006 Index 265.6
August 2006 Index 265.2
July 2006 Index 264.0
June 2006 Index 263.0
May 2006 Index 262.1
April 2006 Index 262.1
March 2006 Index 262.1
Febuary 2006 Index 261.2
January 2006 Index 260.2


Please click below on Related Document to view a print-ready pdf of the&nbsp ; MDM Inflation Index for January 2007, listing the ten ...

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