Grainger, WESCO, HD Supply Make Fortune's 'Most Admired Companies' List

Fortune's annual 'World's Most Admired Companies' List was unveiled Friday, which included six diversified wholesalers. Three of them were well-known industrial distributors, along with the parent company of two others.

Id 33743 Fortune Most Admired 2017

On Friday Fortune revealed its annual 'World's Most Admired Companies' List of 2018, which is a reputation-based ranking of companies around the world.

The list included six companies classified as diversified wholesalers, and three of them are well-known industrial distributors: Grainger, WESCO International, and HD Supply. Genuine Parts Company — the parent company of industrial distributors Motion Industries and EIS Inc. — also made the list.

Fortune's Diversified Wholesaler companies had the following rankings (overall score):

  1. Grainger
  2. Graybar Electric
  3. WESCO International
  4. Genuine Parts
  5. HD Supply
  6. VWR

Grainger repeated atop the diversified wholesalers list for a fifth straight year, and the sixth time in the past seven years. It was second in 2013. WESCO moved down one spot from 2017 and Genuine Parts moved up two spots. View 2017's diversified wholesaler rankings here, and 2016's here.

Fortune shared each company's industry score in past years, but didn't this time because of a weak distribution of responses.

Fortune's 'Most Admired' list scores each company on nine different attributes of reputation to tabulate its overall score:

  • Innovation
  • People Management
  • Use of Corporate Assets
  • Social Responsibility
  • Quality of Management
  • Financial Soundness
  • Long-Term Investment Value
  • Quality of Products/Services
  • Global Competitiveness

Here's the overall top 10 of 2018, along with their movement compared to 2017:

  1. Apple (No. 1 for 11th straight year)
  2. (same)
  3. Alphabet (+3)
  4. Berkshire Hathaway (same)
  5. Starbucks (-2)
  6. Walt Disney (-1)
  7. Microsoft (+2)
  8. Southwest Airlines (same)
  9. FedEx (+12)
  10. JPMorgan Chase

The list features a 'Top 50 All-Stars' section, while companies outside the top 50 didn't have a ranking assigned to them. No wholesalers (diversified, electronic/office products or healthcare) made the Top 50.

Noteable companies in the industrial supply sector to make the top 50 include:

21. 3M (+2)
22. Home Depot (+10)
30. General Electric (-23)
33. UPS (+2)
36. Exxon Mobil
43. Caterpillar

Companies included in Fortune's 'Industrial Machinery' sector were :

  • Dover
  • Cummins
  • Illinois Tool Works
  • Ingersoll-Rand
  • ABB
  • Emerson Electric
  • Siemens

Fortune's Electronics and Office Equipment Wholesalers rankings were:

  1. Arrow Electronics
  2. Tech Data
  3. Synnex
  4. ScanSource

Here's Fortune's methodology explanation for the Most Admired Companies List:

"As we have in the past, Fortune collaborated with our partner Korn Ferry on this survey of corporate reputations. We began with a universe of about 1,500 candidates: the 1,000 largest U.S. companies ranked by revenue, along with non-U.S. companies in Fortune’s Global 500 database that have revenues of $10 billion or more. We then winnowed the assortment to the highest-revenue companies in each industry, a total of 680 in 29 countries. The top-rated companies were picked from that pool of 680; the executives who voted work at the companies in that group."

"To determine the best-regarded companies in 52 industries, Korn Ferry asked executives, directors, and analysts to rate enterprises in their own industry on nine criteria, from investment value and quality of management and products to social responsibility and ability to attract talent. A company’s score must rank in the top half of its industry survey to be listed."

"Because of the weak distribution of responses, only the aggregate industry scores and ranks are published in Food Services, General Merchandisers, Construction and Farm Machinery, and Network and Other Communications Equipment. Results were not published in the following categories owing to insufficient response rates: Cable and Satellite Providers, Petroleum Refining, Pipelines, and U.S. Energy."

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