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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...

Hertz May Spin Off Construction Rental Business

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

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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...

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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.       

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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.

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.

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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.       

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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.

MSC To Close BDNA's Corporate Headquarters In Cleveland

July 23, 2013 10:40 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor, Industrial Distribution | News | Comments

MSC says it will merge the Cleveland facility into MSC’s new corporate headquarters in Davidson, N.C., which is slated to open next month. CEO Gershwin said that MSC was moving through the integration process and the company has decided to fold 5 of the 9 BDNA locations into MSC’s over the next 18 months.

First Amazon, Now Google. Will Other Internet Companies Follow?

July 2, 2013 2:42 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor, Industrial Distribution | Blogs | Comments

Everyone, it seems, wants a piece of the industrial supply business. One executive of a large Internet company said recently there is a perceived weakness of industrial companies in their ecommerce applications. Buyers prefer to do business with distributors who have ecommerce capabilities than those who do not.

July/August 2013

July 1, 2013 3:05 pm | by Industrial Distribution Staff | Digital Editions | Comments

Industrial Distribution's July/August 2013 issue allows our readers to weigh in on compensation, benefits, and their perceived ability to rise in the ranks in our Annual Salary Report. In addition to the survey results, Jack Keough discusses how the market is faring for the independent distributor and Tom Reilly talks about how to develop a value-added sales force. And finally, the distributor profile is a spotlight on National Oilwell Varco and the growth they are experiencing in the oil & gas sector.

Jack Keough: "I Remember When"

June 5, 2013 9:28 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor, Industrial Distribution | Blogs | Comments

As a young editor at Industrial Distribution in the mid 1980s, I would have lunch periodically with my predecessor, George Berkwitt. George was a great guy, but often he would lapse into sentences that began with “I remember when . . .”

DXP Enterprises Continues Forward In Acquisition Mode

May 22, 2013 9:30 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor, Industrial Distribution | Blogs | Comments

Jack Keough takes a closer look at DXP Enterprises and their acquisition outlook in the coming year. The Houston-based MRO distribution giant is continuing to make acquisitions and expects to make a total of three this year, after completing nine total acquisitions in 2012.

Lyon Workspace Products Sold To Equity Partnership

May 21, 2013 9:37 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor, Industrial Distribution | News | Comments

Lyon Workspace Products, formerly Lyon Metallic and then Lyon Metal, began as a manufacturer of sheet metal products . Now, Lyon is considered a “leading manufacturer and supplier of top quality lockers, industrial storage and workspace products,” according to its website. The acquisition is good news for the nearly 450 workers at Lyon Workspace.

Kaman Restructuring Completed; Possibly Looking For More Acquisitions

May 8, 2013 9:38 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor, Industrial Distribution | Blogs | Comments

Jack Keough takes a closer look at Kaman Corporation on the heels of their restructuring efforts, uncovering their possible intentions to once again enter acquisition territory. The company indicated that it may be looking at acquisitions in the fluid power or electrical automation areas, both of which have been extremely beneficial for Kaman.  

A Closer Look: The Effect on Distributors As The Economy Sputters Along

May 7, 2013 11:16 am | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor, Industrial Distribution | Articles | Comments

The stock market was humming along earlier this year, setting records on many days. Housing starts are climbing and industrial production is increasing, but beneath all that good news there still is uncertainty in the industrial and construction sectors. 

Regal Beloit Reports 2.7% Sales Drop In 1Q

May 1, 2013 2:18 pm | by Jack Keough, Contributing Editor, Industrial Distribution | News | Comments

The Regal Beloit Corporation is reporting net sales for the first quarter 2013 were $778.2 million compared to $807.9 million for the first quarter of 2012, a decrease of 3.7 percent. Net Income for the first quarter 2013 was $50.7 million compared to $49.9 million for the first quarter of 2012.

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