It’s been well-documented that 2015-2016 was a rough stretch for the industrial supply market. Low oil prices, rig counts and overall industrial product demand took a toll on a large portion of our readership, forcing many distributors and suppliers to take drastic measures to get by. For some, this included divesting non-profitable business segments, product line consolidation and headcount reduction.
Thankfully, things began to turn around in the fourth quarter of 2016 and recovery has continued so far through 2017. And though industrial market conditions are still a way below their booming mark of 2014, distributors and suppliers are far more optimistic now than they were a year ago. Be it discussions at industrial tradeshows, commentary from market analysts or with distributor executives, the current vibe is positive across this sector.
However, since our Big 50 List is based on these companies’ 2016 sales figures, much of our 2017 list still reflects distributors’ struggles throughout last year. Many of them have shown considerable recovery since then, leading us at ID already looking forward to seeing higher sales dollar amounts in our 2018 list. Despite the hardships of 2016, the minimum sales figure for our 2017 list was 19 percent higher than a year ago.
As the industrial distribution market evolves faster with each passing year, compiling our Big 50 List becomes tougher. Divestments, acquisitions, product line consolidation and expansion make it more challenging to determine what companies to include. But it makes it all the more interesting.
Click here to view the full Big 50 feature in our September/October Digital edition, which includes commentary about, or by, those companies. Here's part one (Nos. 50-31), part two (30-11) and part three (top 10) of our video countdown.
Congratulations to the companies on our 2017 Big 50 List, and here’s to wishing for continued market success going forward.
— Mike Hockett, Editor
|Rank, Company||2016 Sales||Headquarters||CEO (*also president)||Locations||Employees|
|1. Würth Group||$13.2 billion||Kunzelsau, Germany||John Martin||400+||73,000+|
|2. W.W. Grainger||$10.1 billion||Lake Forest, IL||D.G. Macpherson||631||25,000|
|3. Sonepar North America||$9.6 billion||Charleston, SC||Halsey Cook*||988||N/A|
|4. HD Supply||$7.4 billion||Atlanta, GA||Joe DeAngelo||500||14,000|
|5. Airgas||$7.0 billion||Radnor, PA||Michael Molinini||1,100||17,000|
|6. Motion Industries||$4.6 billion||Birmingham, AL||Tim Breen||539||6,511|
|7. Fastenal||$4.0 billion||Winona, MN||Dan Florness||2,451||20,174|
|8. Descours and Cabaud||$3.6 billion||Lyon, France||Alain Morvand||657||13,000|
|9. MRC Global||$3.0 billion||Houston, TX||Andrew Lane*||300||4,100|
|10. Winsupply||$3.0 billion||Dayton, OH||Roland Gordan*||580||5,900|
|11. MSC Industrial Supply||$2.9 billion||Melville, NY||Erik Gershwind*||104||6,406|
|12. Applied Industrial Technologies||$2.5 billion||Cleveland, OH||Neil Schrimsher*||559||5,000|
|13. NOW Inc.||$2.1 billion||Houston, TX||Robert Workman*||300||N/A|
|14. Interline Brands||N/A||Jacksonville, FL||Kenneth Sweder||N/A||N/A|
|15. Edgen Murray||N/A||Baton Rouge, FL||Dan O'Leary||N/A||N/A|
|16. Wolseley Industrial Group||$1.4 billion||Newport News, VA||Rob Braig, VP||160||3,500|
|17. Kaman Industrial Technologies||$1.1 billion||Bloomfield, CT||Steve Smidler, President||250||2,294|
|18. F.W. Webb||$1.0 billion||Bedford, MA||Jeff Pope, President||90||2,200|
|19. DXP Enterprises||$962 million||Houston, TX||David Little||174||2,000|
|20. ERIKS North America||N/A||Pittsburgh, PA||Ben Mondics*||140||2,000|
|21. Global Industrial||$716 million||Port Washington, NY||Bob Dooley, President||9||1,072|
|22. EIS Inc.||$716 million||Atlanta, GA||Larry Griffin, President||50||1,200|
|23. Bossard||$686 million||Zug, Switzerland||David Dean||60||2,100+|
|24. United Distribution Group||N/A||Briston, TN||Darrel Cole*||67||800|
|25. Bearing Distributors Inc. (BDI)||$662 million||Cleveland, OH||Carl James||198||1,547|
|26. Turtle & Hughes||N/A||Linden, NJ||Jayne Millard||19||N/A|
|27. EWIE Group||$420 million||Ann Arbor, MI||Manoj Sachdeva||20||900|
|28. BlackHawk Industrial||$400 million||Broken Arrow, OK||Bill Scheller||26||600|
|29. Gas & Supply||N/A||Baton Rouge, LA||Mike Templet, President||49||N/A|
|30. FCX Performance||$346 million||Columbus, OH||Tom Cox||45||800+|
|31. SBP Holdings||$331 million||Pearland, TX||Don Fritzinger||50||970|
|32. R.S. Hughes||$326 million||Sunnyvale, CA||Bob McCollum||50||525|
|33. Ohio Transmission Corp.||$326 million||Columbus, OH||Philip Derrow||31||800|
|34. Production Tool Supply||$315 million||Warren, MI||Lawrence Wolfe*||25||574|
|35. Wajax Industrial Components||$282 million||Mississauga, ON||Steve Deck, President||117||2,300|
|36. Border States (Industrial)||$278 million||Fargo, ND||Tammy Miller||97||2,200|
|37. Lawson Products||$277 million||Des Plaines, IL||Michael DeCata||N/A||1,590|
|38. AWC||$275 million||Baton Rouge, LA||Bob Wenyon*||28||400|
|39. Hisco||$260 million||Houston, TX||Bob Dill||38||460|
|40. DGI Supply||$254 million||Wheeling, IL||Jeff Waller*||35||520|
|41. Ryan Herco Flow Solutions||$246 million||Burbank, CA||Randy Beckwith||32||370|
|42. Kimball Midwest||$227 million||Columbus, OH||Pat McCurdy*||4||1,300|
|43. Crescent Electric (Industrial)||$218 million||East Dubuque, IL||Marty Burbridge||167||1,800|
|44. Tencarva Machinery||$208 million||Greensboro, NC||Ed Pearce||28||370|
|45. CBT Company||$186 million||Cincinnati, OH||James Stahl Jr.||3||208|
|46. Hydradyne||$174 million||Fort Worth, TX||David Parks, President||32||525|
|47. Shively Bros.||$163 million||Flint, MI||Scott Shively||12||327|
|48. IBT Industrial Solutions||$158 million||Merriam, KS||Michael Flannery||45||450|
|49. Fairmont Supply||$135 million||Washington, PA||Paul Fichiera||15||216|
|50. Bridgestone Hosepower||$132 million||Orange Park, FL||J. Palmer Clarkson||41||485|
We always feel for those companies that come close, but narrowly miss our annual Big 50 List. Here's who was just outside the cut this year:
51. Valin Corporation — $131 million
52. Mahar Tool Supply — $119 million
53. Cummins-Wagner — $114 million
54. Womack Machine Supply — $111 million
55. JGB Enterprises — $104 million
All Big 50 companies are ranked according to 2016 total worldwide sales from North Ameircan operations, and all figures are reported in USD (in some cases converted based on the estimated exchange rate). We obtain information for publicly-traded companies based on annual reports, earning statements and company verifications. For the privately-held companies, we rely on self-reported data and follow-up interviews. Recently published press releases and company website information is also used to supplement data for this report. The Big 50 interviews were conducted via email, survey and phone by Industrial Distribution editorial staff.
All Big 50 candidates must have a considerable presence in the U.S.
We elect to refrain from listing any companies we are unable to obtain confirmed revenue numbers for and/or haven’t published company information in more than 3 years, at which point it is difficult to make an accurate estimation of their placement on the Big 50. Therefore, there are a small number of companies we estimate would have earned a place on this year’s list that were omitted. Those companies include McMaster-Carr, Vallen, SunSource and Perry Supply.
For those of you who don’t see your company names (but think you should): Please contact us with your information and we’ll add you to our pool for next year. As always, your feedback is appreciated.
Please feel free to reach out to ID’s editor, Mike Hockett, with comments or questions: firstname.lastname@example.org