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The Lead

Jack Keough: MSC Industrial, Distributors Streamlining The Supply Chain

April 15, 2015 8:04 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

As consolidation continues to increase, what MSC CEO Erik Gershwind said in the company's post-financial earnings conference call should give pause to other industrial distributors as to the importance of streamlining their supply chain efforts.

Jack Keough: Looking Back, And Ahead On Fastenal

March 23, 2015 10:44 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Articles | Comments

ID contributing editor Jack Keough discusses Fastenal's 2014 – in which it closed 52 stores and...

Kaman Industrial Eyes Continued Growth After Solid 2014

March 9, 2015 9:00 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

Coming off its biggest acquisition in company history last year, Kaman Industrial Technologies...

Jack Keough: Airgas Remains Optimistic About U.S. Economy

February 10, 2015 11:46 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

After a solid third quarter of growth, Airgas executive chairman Peter McCausland and CEO...

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Jack Keough: Are Distributors Partners Or Customers?

January 21, 2015 8:56 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The word "customer," when describing the relationship between manufacturers-distributors, is often not used. In fact, the word is abhorrent to some manufacturers.                         

Jack Keough: Another Look At The Big 50

November 7, 2014 5:12 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Articles | Comments

Jack Keough discusses the trends of what made companies rise or fall on our annual list of the top 50 industrial distributors by revenue.                                 

Jack Keough: ICP Helps High School Students On Right Distribution Path

September 22, 2014 2:52 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Articles | Comments

How do we get entry-level students from high school to become interested and find out more about industrial distribution? The Industrial Careers Pathway program is helping to fill that void.                 

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Jack Keough: Family Feud

September 17, 2014 11:49 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

The case of a Northeast grocery chain will be studied for years as to how a family-owned company valued at some $3 billion can almost go out of business because of poor communication, a new management team considered greedy by employees, and an ousted CEO who was loved by his workers.

Jack Keough: Storeroom Management Remains Big Problem For Manufacturers

August 26, 2014 11:52 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Blogs | Comments

A new survey shows that manufacturers are being challenged in their ability to manage storerooms for their MRO/indirect supplies.                                   

NTN, NCIS Conduct Raid To Fight Counterfeit Bearings

August 11, 2014 10:24 am | by Jack Keough, ID Contributing Editor | News | Comments

NTN Bearing has announced the results of a joint raid that it participated in with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.                                    

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 businesses into fewer locations in some markets and identify where more stores should be opened as local market conditions dictate.     

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Jack Keough: Industry Consolidation Said To Be Increasing

July 10, 2014 12:13 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor | Articles | Comments

Distribution could be in the midst of a consolidation phase. Industrial Distribution’s latest Annual Survey of Distributor Operations, for example, shows that 25 percent of industrial distributors would be agreeable to accepting a buy-out offer, up from 19 percent last year.

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 in place to avoid it.                       

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 study by TNS, a global marketing research company, in conjunction with UPS.                

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.        

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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.

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.                           

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.

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.

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