Avnet's new business unit, Rorke Global Solutions, will deliver comprehensive solutions that meld hardware, software and services in support of the unique business requirements of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), independent software vendors (ISVs), and channel partners. Industrial Distribution recently had the chance to speak with Mr. Kostalnick about the new venture and what it would mean for Avnet customers.
For nearly 50 years, Athea® has manufactured and private labeled the highest-quality and -performance industrial chemicals and wet wipes. A family-owned company, Athea is now in its second generation of leadership. After 35 years of producing specialty chemicals, Athea began manufacturing wet wipes, and is now a vertically-integrated converter and manufacturer of canister, refill roll, flexible flow pack, and single pack wipes.
Nothin' but Blue Skies tells the story of how the country's industrial heartland grew, boomed, bottomed, and hopes to be reborn. Through a blend of storytelling and reportage, Edward McClelland delivers the rise, fall, and revival of the Rust Belt and its people.
Industrial Distribution's Jack Keough recently hosted a webinar entitled "Distributors: How to Use Technology to Improve Your Bottom Line." The event examined the role of technology in today’s distribution marketplace and how it can be used to improve bottom-line performance. The audience had the opportunity to ask our panelists questions at the end of the webinar, and the answers are here in an exclusive Q&A.
It didn’t take long for the novelty of social media to fade, and the search for practical application and measurable impact of these vehicles to become a priority. Despite the commercial success of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and several other platforms, manufacturers and distributors are still seeking out answers as to whether the time spent on social outreach is worth the effort.
There is one absolute that applies to every company, independent of industry: You cannot expect to operate efficiently without dedicated and skilled employees. When looking at the manufacturing industry specifically, finding a highly skilled workforce has proven to be one of the greatest challenges.
Industrial Distribution was able to speak with Texas A&M’s Dr. Barry Lawrence, Program Director and Professor of the Industrial Distribution Program at the university. Dr. Lawrence outlines why he feels higher education is important in the lives of working professionals, and how the landscape of the industry is forcing this issue.
Executing pre-close homework is the most critical factor to a successful merger or acquisition for manufacturers and distributors (M&D). Private equity investors and strategic acquirers know the financial risk of a failed investment is much greater than the transaction costs incurred to perform adequate discovery and pre-close planning.
Ergonomics can be thought of as much like a dinner table setting: Everything should be in easy reach and no one should have to reach too far or stretch into an unnatural position to get at what they need, says Ed Metzger, president of BioFit. “By ensuring that workers have the freedom to move comfortably and naturally, companies can prevent many of the musculoskeletal injuries and fatigue that leads to lost time and productivity.”
Price optimization enables companies to focus on elevating everyone’s performance, even though territory, customer and product mixes differ. Industrial Distribution recently had the chance to speak with Eric Hills, Senior Vice President and Chief Evangelist of Zilliant, a company specializing in price optimization.
According to PwC’s study, the increase in average three-year ETR is due in part to an improved business climate and a decrease in companies reporting losses. In 2009, one in four companies in the study was in a loss making position; by 2012, the ratio was much smaller at one in 10.
When it comes to the current American manufacturing workforce, there are two truths most commonly accepted: that the people are getting older, and that the younger generations aren’t able or aren’t ready to pick up the slack. When it comes to the former, Van den Bossche says there’s no debating the real data — the median age of manufacturing workers has increased from 40.5 to 44.7 between 2000 and 2012.
Since it’s almost certain that every organization will experience a cyber security incident at some time, you need to be well prepared in advance. According to the 2013 Verizon Data Breach report, 22 organizations, mainly in manufacturing and professional services, with only one to 100 employees became a victim to cyber espionage last year.
In 2012, Bob Purvis and Don Chargin launched the E-commerce site American Made MRO. Industrial Distribution had the chance to speak with Purvis and Chargin about the endeavor: how it got its start, why they feel it is important, and where the venture is headed.
The headlines often trumpet news about declining commodity prices. So why don’t these reductions ever seem to result in price reductions from suppliers? Suppliers will never volunteer to lower their prices, of course. Because of that, the only way for purchasers to parlay falling raw-materials expenses into real cost savings is to arm themselves with critical knowledge that can give them an edge in price negotiations.
Paul Glover is an author, speaker, and business management coach, as well as a regular contributor here at ID. Hoping to give our readers a little more background on where Paul is coming from as a contributor, we asked him a few questions about his skills, his business, and his theory on the shifting economy as management styles are changing.
The Minit Charger is a battery fast-charging technology that is designed for on-road electric vehicles, automated guided vehicles, and material handling applications. Minit Chargers can provide a safe charge for an electric lift truck in approximately 15 minutes. The benefit of the system is that electric industrial lift trucks recharge quickly and when it is convenient for workers and their various shifts.
There is no dispute that intermodal transportation is on the rise and shows no signs of slowing down. Many experts feel the expansion of the Panama Canal, which is scheduled for completion in 2014, will only fuel the trend. In addition, rising fuel costs, highway congestion and increased trucking legislation have led many companies to look at moving freight via railcar or cargo ship.
Only nine percent of the 335 global respondents of the 2013 KPMG 2013 survey say they have complete visibility of their supply chains. That number is even lower among U.S. executives, with only seven percent claiming complete visibility.
Kahn Tools is a new industrial supply company that exclusively sells American made products, founded by industry veteran Mark Kahn. Mark was the former president of Production Tool Supply for over 30 years. He has returned from retirement to create Kahn Tools, launching their eCommerce site on May 6th of this year.