2013 Big 50 List

The Big 50 list highlights a group of companies who are aggressive and progressive. This year's list shows a significant amount of revenue growth, more than typical amounts of consolidation, and even a notably absent name (Barnes Distribution, now a part of MSC). It’s a tough marketplace, and the strong survive and thrive. If anything in these pages inspires confidence, we hope it’s the leadership of an industry that refuses to slow down.

Id 955 Big 50 Logofinal 320x232

We view the ID Big 50 List as an opportunity to provide a visual snapshot of the industry, and it’s important to identify some of the larger issues influencing growth or stagnation in the industrial market, including:

The Manufacturing Economy: Though 2013 has been a bit of a laggard economically, we saw some significant gains for many of the distributors on this list in the 2012 fiscal. But as recently as April, when ID conducted its annual Survey of Distributor Operations, we saw concerns about the economy spike, after easing in 2011 and 2012. This issue ranks highest on our readers’ list of primary concerns, almost reaching the level it was in the 2009 recession. That said, economists predictions are a mixed bag, and this month’s ISM report (page 18) cites predictions from Daniel Meckstroth, Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI), of an acceleration in manufacturing activity in the second half of 2013. Bradley J. Holcomb, chair of the ISM Business Survey Committee, says “things are pointing in a very favorable direction right now” as orders and production increase and inventories decrease.

Mergers & Acquisitions: C.A. Burkhardt, Senior Managing Director of HT Capital Advisors, cited the record low federal capital gains rate as a driver for 2012 M&A activity, and there was a significant amount of consolidation recorded in the industrial sector. His prediction that 2013 would see a lot of independents positioning themselves for sale has so far been realized. In our spring survey, 35 percent of our respondents said they were actively looking to purchase another distributor, and one in five said they were agreeable to a buy-out.

The Balance Sheet: In our latest poll, 16 percent of our survey respondents told us their sales have decreased this year over last year, yet only eight percent expect they will decrease next year. On the flip side, 20 percent said their profits had decreased this last year, a group more than double the year prior.

Up in the Air: From ID’s vantage point, we still see a lot of hang wringing over the Affordable Care Act and its business and financial implications. The other core issue that seems to be keeping industrial distributors up at night is the encroachment of online B2C companies into the industrial space. The announcement of AmazonSupply.com in spring of 2012 barely had a chance to cool before Google jumped into the game. Rumblings about what Google Shopping For Suppliers will mean for the marketplace are constant, and it’s still anybody’s guess as the internet giant adds industrial categories to its site.

Regardless of the many external factors, the Big 50 list highlights a group of companies who are, for the most part, aggressive and progressive. As you thumb through this year’s list, you’ll see a significant amount of revenue growth, more than typical amounts of consolidation, and even a notably absent name (Barnes Distribution, now a part of MSC). It’s a tough marketplace, and the strong survive and thrive. If anything in these pages inspires confidence, we hope it’s the leadership of an industry that refuses to slow down.

1. Wolseley - $19.5 billion

2. Wurth Group - $12.8 billion

3. W.W. Grainger - $9 billion

4. HD Supply - $8 billion

5. WESCO - $6.5 billion

6. Anixter - $6.5 billion

7. MRC Global - $5.5 billion

7. NOV Wilson - $5.1 billion

8. Airgas - $4.9 billion

9. Motion Industries - $4.5 billion

10. Descours & Cabaud (Dillon Supply & BMG Metals) - $4.2 billion

11. Fastenal - $3.1 billion

12. Applied industrial Technologies - $2.4 billion

13. MSC Industrial Supply Co. - $2.3 billion

14.ERIKS nv - $2.2 billion

15. Edgen Group - $2.0 billion

16. WinWholesale - $1.9 billion

17. Interline Brands - $1.3 billion

18. DXP - $1.1 billion

19. Kaman Industrial Technologies Corporation - $952 million

20. F.W. Webb Company - $800 million

21. BDI - $632 million

22. The United Distribution Group - $630 million

23. EIS, Inc. - $583 million

24. IDG (Industrial Distribution Group) - $564 million

25. Bossard - $519 million

26. Turtle & Hughes - $518 million

27. Fairmont Supply Company - $390 million

28. Wajax Industrial Components - $349

29. EWIE Group - $341 million

30. BlackHawk Industrial Distribution, Inc. - $320 million

31. DGI Supply - $320 million

32. AWC, Inc. - $309 million

33. Essex Brownell - $300 million

33. Gas & Supply - $289 million

34. Lawson Products - $315 million

35. R S Hughes - $249 million

36. Hisco - $247 million

37. Hydradyne, LLC - $246 million

38. Production Tool Supply - $239 million

39. FCX Performance - $227 million

40. Womack Machine Supply Co. - $202 million

41. Tencarva Machinery Company - $197 million

42. Valin Corporation - $186 million

43. Ohio Transmission Corporation - $175 million

44. Kimball Midwest - $170 million

45. Perry Supply, Inc. - $169 million

46. Canadian Bearings Ltd. - $160 million

47. Shively Bros. - $148 million

48. IBT Industrial Solutions - $141 million

49. Machinery Systems, Inc. - $142 million

50. JGB, Inc. - $110 million

More in Home