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The Lead

Jack Keough: MSC Renames BDNA

July 23, 2014 10:03 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

It was less than 18 months ago that MSC Industrial Direct made one of the biggest acquisitions in its history, acquiring Barnes Distribution North America (BDNA). Now MSC is re-branding BDNA to integrate the company, while still retaining its own identity.

Jack Keough: Fastenal To Close 45 Stores In Second Half Of 2014

July 16, 2014 10:07 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The decision was reached after company executives discussed whether to consolidate some...

To Catch A Thief

July 8, 2014 5:13 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Jack Keough takes a closer look at employee theft - and asks if you have any checks and balances...

Jack Keough: Study Shows Importance Of E-commerce For Distributors

June 18, 2014 10:30 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Distributors that establish a proper e-commerce site could see big benefits, according to a...

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A Closer Look: HD Supply To Rebrand Its Business Unit Groups

June 12, 2014 9:48 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

HD Supply is in the midst of rebranding to unify its business units under the HD Supply brand with new logos and business unit names, CEO Joe DeAngelo said in a conference call with financial analysts.         

Jack Keough On Starting Your Own Business

May 30, 2014 2:44 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Over the years both as a business editor and editor of Industrial Distribution, I’ve interviewed hundreds of business owners and not one of them ever said they regretted their decision to start their own business.        

Jack Keough: Robbie The Robot, Now On The Factory Floor

May 23, 2014 12:21 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

If you were to ask someone to describe their perception of a robot, they might think of Robbie the Robot, the fictional figure that appeared in the 1956 B-movie, The Forbidden Planet. Robbie was a fictional 7-foot tall robot that walked on mechanical legs.

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Jack Keough: Eaton To Restructure Industrial Segment

May 12, 2014 4:58 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Eaton says that in the second quarter it will be restructuring its industrial segment, which could mean the loss of an unspecified amount of jobs. The industrial sector includes hydraulics, vehicle, and aerospace units.     

Jack Keough: Motion Industries Sees Improved Growth In 2014

April 25, 2014 2:30 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Motion Industries had a challenging 2013 as it ended the year down 0.5%, but company executives reported last week that sales rebounded 4% in the first quarter despite the cold and stormy weather. GPC now expects industrial sales to increase 5 to 7% this year.

MSC Sees Improvement In Manufacturing, Government Sales

April 16, 2014 9:36 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Jack Keough weighs in on MSC Industrial Direct's second quarter earnings, including MSC's President and CEO Erik Gershwind's comments to financial analysts that manufacturing, particularly the metalworking sector, has “improved considerably” from what had been occurring during the past 18 months.

Jack Keough: A Talent For Management

April 1, 2014 12:08 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

It’s a waste of time for many companies to hire a manager who isn’t cut out for the job or try to adapt them to the role without proper mentoring and training.                

Hertz May Spin Off Construction Rental Business

March 17, 2014 9:29 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | News | Comments

The sale could fetch up to $4.5 billion. The segment has previously accounted for some $1.1 billion of Hertz revenues.                           

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Kaman Distribution Grows Relationship With Parker With Latest Acquisition

March 11, 2014 11:10 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

According to Jack Keough, the Kaman Distribution Group is well on its way to becoming of the largest distributors for Parker Hannifin. In addition to B.W. Rogers, Kaman has acquired several Parker distributors in the past few years.     

Relationships Are Still Important in Distribution

March 1, 2014 1:58 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Articles | Comments

When I walk into the restaurant, I’m always greeted with a warm good morning, my coffee is poured, and my order quickly entered. The food is good, the service is excellent, but its price is higher than the “new” diner located only a few streets away. Yet I choose to go to “my” restaurant, primarily because of the relationships I have developed.

Jack Keough: Motion Industries Optimistic About 2014

February 25, 2014 4:38 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Motion Industries, one of the largest industrial distributors in the country, faced a challenging year in 2013 with sales dropping slightly in each of the first three quarters. However, sales increased 3% in the final quarter, encouraging company executives to be optimistic for 2014.

John Buckley: A True Leader

February 21, 2014 3:28 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Jack Keough: My friendship with John went back more than 20 years ago when we met at the annual convention of the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. We ended up working together on several projects.       

Distributors Remain Optimistic About 2014 After Sluggish Quarter

February 5, 2014 11:05 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

As quarterly earnings reports roll in for publicly-traded companies, it is apparent that the last quarter was not a great one for many industrial distributors despite the rise in sales. Yet many distributors say they’re optimistic about 2014 and expect a number of sectors to rebound, including non-residential construction, petrochemical, and oil and gas.

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Fastenal Has Disappointing Quarter But Remains Optimistic About 2014

January 21, 2014 5:20 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Fastenal had warned in December that its sales and margins were deteriorating, and instead of improving as company officials had expected, the trend went in the opposite direction, causing the company’s stock to drop sharply after it reported fourth quarter earnings.

Jack Keough: Manufacturing Rebound To Continue In 2014

January 3, 2014 2:30 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Manufacturing rebounded in 2013 and forecasters are predicting that 2014 could be another good one for the sector. In fact, manufacturing has grown for seven consecutive months, according to government reports.        

Jack Keough: Buyers Looking To Internet For Purchasing Help

December 11, 2013 10:02 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Buyers are increasingly turning to the Internet to make purchasing decisions, according to two research reports. One survey of 443 buyers provided important insights regarding how they react to marketing messages and the information sources they consider most important.

A Closer Look: MSC Outlines Plans For Strategic Growth

December 3, 2013 3:06 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The last quarter was not an especially good one for distributors serving the industrial markets. Sequestration, the government shutdown, and a slowdown in orders overall took its toll on many distributors who had expected the second half of 2013 to be much stronger than the first half.

Six Groups Bidding For ITW's Packaging Business

November 26, 2013 9:31 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | News | Comments

Illinois Tool Works announced in September it was initiating a process to sell the industrial packaging unit, as the conglomerate continues to streamline its diversified business lines.              

Jack Keough: Shutdown, Sequestration Had Effect On Distribution

November 6, 2013 10:17 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The brief shutdown of the federal government and sequestration has had an effect on the business operations of distributors and manufacturers and could impact earnings in this quarter, says Jack Keough.         

Fastenal Continuing To Ramp Up Vending Machine Business

October 16, 2013 10:28 am | by Editor | Blogs | Comments

Company CEO Will Oberton said although vending machine signings were down from where the company wants them to be, “we believe we’re moving in the right direction.”               

Jack Keough: More On The Future Of The Independent Distributor

September 24, 2013 9:19 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

A few weeks ago, Jack Keough wrote an article about the future of the independent distributor. He received feedback from a number of distributors, some of whom said they will survive because of services they provide their customers. Others, however, don't know if that is the answer to the independents' problem.

Jack Keough: Relationships Only Go So Far

September 10, 2013 2:25 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Relationships are often described as the key to success in business, particularly when it comes to selling. And to a degree that’s true. But you’ve got to do more than that if you’re going to keep a customer.       

Google Takes Further Aim At Industrial Markets

August 22, 2013 2:22 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

It was bound to happen: Google Shopping for Suppliers has added a new selling category to the site, with mechanical components joining electrical and measurement products in the site's offerings list.         

Lowe’s Gets Go-Ahead For Orchard Supply Purchase; HD Supply Raises Support

August 13, 2013 12:02 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Jack Keough takes a look at two construction powerhouses: Lowes and HD Supply. What's behind Lowes's acquisition of Orchard Supply? And how will HD Supply's recent IPO give them a leg up in the market?        

Looking Ahead To The Second Half Of 2013

July 31, 2013 9:33 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor, Industrial Distribution | Blogs | Comments

Jack Keough takes a closer look at the numbers: at the beginning of this year, numerous manufacturing and distribution executives predicted that business would be flat or slightly up in the first half of this year and then would pick up more in the second half. That hasn’t happened – or at least the signs of increased business haven’t shown up yet.

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