Here's Which Industrial/Electrical Distributors & Suppliers Made Fortune's 2020 Most Admired List

Household names expectedly populated the list, but find out which companies were rated better than others.

Fortune2021 Feb1 21 Social2

On Monday, Fortune unveiled its annual "World's Most Admired Companies" List for 2021 — the publication's survey-based reputation ranking of large companies.

After a year where consumers relied more than ever on technology giants, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft took the top three spots, with Apple leading the way for a 14th-straight year.

Before I get into which industrial distributors and major suppliers made the list, I suggest taking a quick look at Fortune's list methodology in their own words:

"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 winnowed the assortment to the highest-revenue companies in each industry, a total of 670 in 30 countries. The top-rated companies were picked from that pool of 670; 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."

See Fortune's full methodology here.

Companies were rated on nine criteria: Innovation, People Management, Use of Corporate Assets, Social Responsibility, Quality of Management, Financial Soundness, Long-Term Investment Value, Quality of Products/Services and Global Competitiveness. Each criteria was given a score from 0 to 10, those scores were averaged for an overall company score.

The top 50 highest-rated companies were considered Fortune's "All-Stars", and were the only ones on the list to be ranked overall. But the Most Admired List includes ratings for all companies on the list, including where they ranked within their industry.

No industrial distributors were among the 50 All-Stars, though a handful of industrial products-relevant retailers and suppliers were. The Home Depot, which just acquired what was left of HD Supply after years of divestments from the latter and owns fellow previous ID Big 50 List company Interline Brands, was No. 19;  Adhesives, safety and PPE supply giant 3M was No. 24; and Home improvement retailer Lowe's was No. 47.

Without further adieu, here's which industrial and electrical distributors made Fortune's "World's Most Admired Companies" list, where they ranked in the category of "Wholesalers Diversified" and their score (out of 10):

  • Grainger BlackGrainger - 7.63, 1st. It's the eighth-straight year the MRO products giant has topped this category. Grainger topped diversified wholesalers in all criteria except Quality of Products/Services, where it was second.
  • Graybar - 7.03, 2nd (2nd in 2020)
  • WESCO International - 6.57, 3rd (tied for 5th in 2020)
  • Fastenal - 6.42, 4th (3rd in 2020)
  • HD Supply - 5.59, 5th (9th in 2020)
  • Genuine Parts Company - 5.58, 6th (tied for 5th in 2020. GPC owns Motion Industries — No. 2 on ID's Big 50)

And here's what other notable industrial or electronic parts suppliers/wholesalers made the list and where they ranked in their industry in alphabetical order (excluding automakers):

  • Arrow Electronics - 7.56, 1st in Electronics and Office Equipment Wholesalers
  • Bosch - 7.1, 2nd in Motor Vehicle Parts
  • Bridgestone - 6.15, 6th in Motor Vehicle Parts (Bridgestone owns Bridgestone HosePower — No. 40 on ID's Big 50)
  • Caterpillar - 8.01, 2nd in Construction and Farm Machinery
  • Continental - 6.06, tied for 7th in Motor Vehicle Parts
  • Cummins - 6.48, 4th in Industrial Machinery
  • Deere - 8.15, 1st in Construction and Farm Machinery
  • Emerson Electric - 6.14, 6th in Industrial Machinery
  • Fortive - 6.29, 5th in Industrial Machinery
  • Illinois Tool Works - 6.58, 3rd in Industrial Machinery
  • Michelin - 7.03, 3rd in Motor Vehicle Parts
  • Oshkosh - 7.15, 3rd in Construction and Farm Machinery
  • ScanSource - 6.29, 4th in Electronics and Office Equipment Wholesalers
  • Siemens - 6.99, 1st in Industrial Machinery
  • Stanley Black & Decker - 6.84, 2nd in Home Equipment & Furnishings
  • Trane Technologies - 6.98, 2nd in Industrial Machinery
  • Volvo - 6.57, 4th in Construction and Farm Machinery

View Fortune's full 2021 "Most Admired Companies" list here.

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