I've interviewed plenty of manufacturers throughout my career, and many distributors as well. But it wasn't until I sat down with Tom Fodell, president of Barnes Distribution – the focus of this month's Distributor Profile, page 18 – that I heard a distributor talk about Lean quite so passionately.
As companies find more and more in the way of technology improvements around material handling, the loading dock has not been ignored. Interestingly, the customer concerns driving these tech updates seem to reflect the old adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Not surprisingly, energy savings and safety around the loading dock seem to be the two dominant issues.
Cleveland-based Barnes Distribution is part of the Barnes Group (BGI), an international aerospace and industrial manufacturing and services provider, serving a wide range of end markets and customers. In 2007, Barnes Group Inc. celebrated its 150th anniversary, making it one of a handful of American companies that have flourished over three separate centuries.
Sentiment regarding the prospects for the U.S. economy in the year ahead increased among U.S. industrial manufacturers, while uncertainty around outlook for the world economy prevailed, according to the Q4 2012 Manufacturing Barometer released by PwC. According to PwC’s survey, 48 percent of respondents expressed optimism about the 12-month outlook for the U.S. economy.
Industry Huddle is a new business-to-business social media site where companies can create connections and relationships with other companies without all the noise of other, less targeted services. Industrial Distribution had a chance to chat with Zac Haines and Robert Vocke, VP of Marketing for Industry Huddle, about the endeavor, and what the project’s goals are going forward.
The ID Big 50 Watch List—an effort we developed in order to shine a light on a different kind of distributor. It may not be as long of a list as The Big 50. It may not hone in on companies of a certain size, or those that fall strictly within the MRO wheelhouse. But what it does do is focus around the “ones to watch” —as in, companies that are making some noise out there and aren’t afraid to talk about it.
Without a modern asset tracking software system, distributors maintain asset balances manually by noting the size and number of cylinders as they are delivered to and returned from their customers. This method consumes a substantial amount of time to maintain and is susceptible to manual error.
Check out some progressive companies that are targeting the needs of distributors around the globe. As part of Industrial Distribution's new corporate profile series, these companies are helping distributors everywhere get the job done.
ORS Nasco Inc.'s headquarters takes up 18,000 SF, the entire second floor, of the Pawnee building in the TechRidge Office Park at 41st Street and Mingo Road. The firm is North America's largest "pure" wholesaler of industrial supplies, including welding, safety, electrical, oilfield and construction products.
Larson Electronics has been producing the brightest and most durable spotlights in the industrial space since 1967. Magnalight serves the public as well with powerful lighting options for hunters, boaters and anyone needing a light they can depend on.
From ringing bells to fireplace logs crackling, the sounds of the holiday season is a near-distant memory. However, for employees in loud workplaces, these sentimental noises may become an even more faint memory of the past if the proper precautions aren’t taken.
Uline, a family-owned business since 1980, is the leading distributor of shipping, industrial and packaging materials to businesses throughout North America. Uline offers its customers the finest quality and best selection of products with the quickest service in the industry. They believe good service is worrying about the details so the customer doesn’t have to.
Founded in 1993, QA1 Precision Products, Inc. quickly became the #1 name in rod ends, spherical bearings, custom linkages and similar products. With its start in rod ends and spherical bearings, QA1 built its foundation on quality and affordability being the number one priority. QA1 also became a leader in manufacturing shock absorbers and struts for the motorsports industry.
xTuple has a mission — to help companies of all sizes successfully implement powerful and easy-to-use open source Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software to grow their business profitably. This means that xTuple provides enterprise-class technology products and services at an affordable cost - the lowest Total Cost of Ownership of any ERP system on the market.
Superior Rotary Tools was founded in 1961 as a specialty abrasive convertor. Based out of Dayton, Ohio the company mainly focused on specialty abrasive products such as cartridge rolls, square pads, cross pads and flap wheels. Driven by the ingenuity of its workers, Superior Abrasives quickly built a reputation as provider of engineered metal working solutions.
For more than 32 years, Texcel has been dedicated to bringing outstanding products and services to exceed customers’ expectations, whether through a simple, friendly phone call to help place an order, or through heavy involvement in research and development to ensure that we provide the most cutting-edge and dependable products to the industry.
Brush Research is a privately owned company located in Los Angeles, California. They have been in the business of solving difficult finishing problems with brushing technology since 1958. BRM was one of the first companies to advocate the critical need for finer surface finishes to optimize performance. Concepts such as plateau finishing were pioneered by their founder, Steve Rands, and are now commonplace goals across many industries.
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently completed its annual adjustment to the seasonal factors used in the monthly Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) Manufacturing Report On Business® and the monthly Institute for Supply Management™ (ISM) Non-Manufacturing Report On Business®. Economists and managers who track these indexes will note these changes are effective with the January 2013 ISM Manufacturing Report On Business®.
Climate change presents near-term risks to businesses, according to the report. Fifty-one percent of the risks that disclosing companies associate with drought or extreme rain are already having an adverse effect on company operations, or are expected to within five years, say those businesses.
Although leaders within your business would like to believe disasters won’t occur, failing to prepare for one puts your workers and bottom line at risk. Several disaster-related hazards can impact your business including, fires, natural disasters, chemical spills, medical emergencies, blackouts and more.