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Today in Distribution

The complete daily resource for distribution professionals

Second Annual National Manufacturing Day Slated For Oct. 4, 2013

February 12, 2013 5:07 pm

After a successful initial celebration last year, the next Manufacturing Day has been scheduled for Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. Manufacturers, educational institutions and others are encouraged to host events that will highlight the importance of manufacturing to the nation’s economy and draw attention to the many rewarding high-skill jobs in manufacturing fields.

Product Focus: Cutting Edge Of Value

February 8, 2013 5:04 pm | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor

The right tool for the job is more than just a saying – it’s a reality. It’s also a saying never truer than when discussing cutting tools. A hammer of any size or shape will usually pound at least a few nails for you, but a blade designed for plywood is never going to make much of a dent in concrete or steel.

Product Focus: Lubricants Can Be Cool, Too

February 8, 2013 5:02 pm | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor

While not touted as the most exciting products of the day, what this glitch in popularity doesn’t emphasize about lubricants is how extremely necessary they are to get nearly any job done in the industrial marketplace. A good lubricant, and a competent lubrication strategy, can be the key to a well-oiled shop, literally and figuratively.

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Product Focus: It’s The Air You Breathe

February 8, 2013 4:59 pm | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor

An all too common problem, DC air quality is as important of a factor as any when it comes to maximizing energy efficiency and worker safety and productivity. The options to solve the problem have come a long way, and when put into practice, can yield savings across the board for distributors.

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WMS: Have A System - And Use It

February 8, 2013 4:55 pm | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor

As margins are pulled ever tighter for distributors in this still uncertain economy, one way to make sure to pull them in your favor is to make a new year’s resolution to whip your warehouse into an efficient shape. One way to do this is by implementing a warehouse management system, or reevaluating the one you currently have in place, be it simple or sophisticated.

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The Fundamental Sales Competency

February 8, 2013 4:50 pm | by Tom Reilly, Author of "Value Added Selling"

When reduced to its single dynamic, buying and selling is an information exchange. Accordingly, the fundamental competency in which salespeople must achieve mastery is communicating. Communicating in sales means asking the right questions, listening, and explaining the value of a solution to the buyer.

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Legal Watch: The Trouble With Websites

February 8, 2013 4:45 pm | by Fred Mendelsohn, Partner at Burke, Warren, Mackay & Serritella, P.C. in Chicago

There are now over 600 million active websites available on the Internet, and this number continues to grow every day. In a world ruled and fueled by technology, creating a website has become increasingly easy—as simple as choosing a hosting site, selecting color schemes, inserting text, and clicking “Okay.” While easy to do, website creation has spawned an array of legal concerns that are important for businesses to consider.

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Industry Focus: An Industry Gets Active

February 8, 2013 4:31 pm | by C.A. Burkhardt, Senior Managing Director of HT Capital Advisors

The year 2012 followed 2011 as a very active year for industrial distribution mergers and acquisitions. As in the first six months of 2012, there was merger/acquisition activity in most industrial distribution segments in the last six months of the year as indicated by the selected transactions discussed in this article.

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A Fool With A Tool Is Still A Fool

February 8, 2013 4:27 pm | by Michael Menard, Author, Cofounder & President of The GenSight Group

Any software you implement in your organization should enable or enhance a business process. Unfortunately, many people mistakenly believe that the software or technology itself is the solution, when in reality, technology is at best 10 percent of the value equation—the other 90 percent is based on the human factor.   

A Closer Look With Jack Keough - MSC Industrial Direct, Inc.

February 8, 2013 4:20 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor, Industrial Distribution

MSC, one of the largest MRO distributors in the country with more than $2 billion in annual sales, has achieved remarkable success over the years, but it wasn’t that long ago when it was considered just a regional metalworking distributor.

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Innovation is Overrated: What Really Separates Growing Companies From Those Who Stay Stagnant

February 8, 2013 4:15 pm | by Curtis Alexander, Author and Business Growth Strategist

If I told you that you had to grow your company by 30 percent this year, how would you do it? Nine out of ten executives or business owners automatically respond with one of the most popular buzzwords today: innovation. Like the original owners of Icy Hot, they think they have to invent a new process, product, or something similar to get those kinds of returns.

A Year for the Tried-and-True

February 8, 2013 4:10 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor

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.

Teaching An Old Dock New Tricks

February 8, 2013 9:39 am | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor

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.

The VMI DNA

February 6, 2013 5:22 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor

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.

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PwC: U.S. Industrial Manufacturers Are Optimistic

February 6, 2013 4:59 pm | by PwC

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.

A B2B Kind Of Social Media

February 6, 2013 9:39 am | by Abbigail Kriebs, Associate Editor

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.

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The Big 50 Watch List 2013

February 5, 2013 12:01 pm | by Anna Wells, Executive Editor

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.

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Argyle Welding Supply Works Smarter With TrackAbout

February 1, 2013 1:49 pm | by Barcoding, Inc. and TrackAbout

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.

2013 Corporate Profiles

January 31, 2013 5:25 pm

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.

Corporate Profile: ORS Nasco

January 31, 2013 5:16 pm

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.

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