April 2023 News

Applied Industrial Technologies' net sales up 15%
Applied Industrial Technologies, a value-added distributor and technical solutions provider of industrial motion, fluid power, flow control, automation technologies, and related maintenance supplies, reported fiscal third quarter net sales increased 15.4% to $1.1 billion from $980.7 million in the prior year. 

Grainger Q1 sales move up 12%
On April 27, Grainger reported results for the first quarter of 2023 with sales of $4.1 billion, up 12.2%, or 14.5% on a daily, constant currency basis, and diluted EPS of $9.61, up 36.0% compared to the first quarter of 2022.

ISA launches new certification for emerging leaders
During the ISA23 convention April 17–20, the Industrial Supply Association (ISA) announced the launch of its new Emerging Leaders Channel Certification (ELCC) – a multi-layered, channel-centered certification program designed to develop the next generation to lead.

STAFDA convention to feature new 'Women in Distribution' luncheon
The Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) will be holding its first “Women in Distribution” Luncheon on Sunday, November 5, from Noon to 1:30 p.m. during its 47th Annual Convention & Trade Show, November 5-7 in San Antonio, Texas.

Two customer-centric hires at World Distribution Services 
In a strategic move to elevate the overall customer experience, World Distribution Services (WDS), a provider of innovative warehouse logistics solutions, has welcomed two seasoned professionals to its leadership team: Brian Noonan, senior vice president of customer solutions, and Nicole Butcaris, director of customer experience.

Brennan to acquire SRM Industries
Brennan Industries has acquired SRM Industries of Houston, Texas, including its RHINO family of products. SRM has been marketing hydraulic hose protective products such as its RHINO Sleeve and RHINO Wrap since 2005.

Kubota awards OTR 
OTR Engineered Solutions was recognized with a Supplier Excellence Award from Kubota Manufacturing of America (KMA) and Kubota Industrial Equipment (KIE) during their annual supplier conference. This yearly award is given to KMA’s and KIE’s top suppliers for outstanding quality, delivery, and cost commitment.

New regional sales director at Walter Surface Technologies
Walter Surface Technologies has appointed Branon Tidwell as regional sales director for the Lone Star region. He assumed his new role on March 20.

Abrasive Technology introduces realigned leadership team
Abrasive Technology, LLC, a developer and manufacturer of superabrasive products for the dental, aerospace, medical, and industrial end markets, has realigned its leadership team of industry experts focused on innovative solutions towards corporate and customer growth. 

Columbus McKinnon to acquire montratec 
Columbus McKinnon Corp., a designer, manufacturer and marketer of intelligent motion solutions for material handling, has executed a definitive agreement to acquire montratec GmbH, an automation solutions company that designs and develops intelligent automation and transport systems for interlinking industrial production and logistics processes. montratec provides its modular, intelligent monorail transport systems for the electric vehicle (EV), semiconductor, electronics, life sciences, aerospace and other industries.

Winsupply names its Company of the Year
Winsupply Inc., one of the nation’s largest wholesalers, has named Winsupply San Antonio Tx Co., its overall Company of the Year. Each year, Winsupply recognizes its top performing companies in plumbing, heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC), industrial, electrical, waterworks, pumps, turf irrigation, and fire fabrication.

'PT WORK Force' expands resources for employers
The PTDA Foundation – the charitable arm of Power Transmission Distributors Association – said it has expanded recruitment and retention resources available through its PT WORK Force initiative, thanks to contributions made by companies and individuals this year.

Grainger announces 2023 elected directors
During W.W. Grainger's annual meeting of shareholders in Lake Forest, Illinois, on April 26, Chairman and CEO D.G. Macpherson provided a company update that included financial and operational highlights from 2022 as well as an update on the company's environmental, social and governance (ESG) program. 

Kimberly Clark reports 2% sales growth
Reporting its first-quarter results, Kimberly-Clark Corp. says it delivered strong top-line growth, with net sales of $5.2 billion, up 2% with organic sales growth of 5%. On a combined two year basis, organic growth increased 8%.

Motion names new senior vice president and CFO
Motion Industries, Inc., a distributor of maintenance, repair and operation replacement parts, and a provider of industrial technology solutions, has promoted Patrick Cummings to senior vice president and chief financial officer, effective immediately.

Q1 results reported, 3M restructures senior management
On April 25, 3M reported first quarter sales of $8 billion, down 9.0% year-on-year, with organic sales decline of 4.9% year-on-year, a 1.3% headwind from divestitures, and a 2.8% headwind from foreign currency translation due to strength of U.S. dollar.

Index points to steady economic growth in March
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) was unchanged at –0.19 in March. Three of the four broad categories of indicators used to construct the index made negative contributions in March, and two categories deteriorated from February. The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, increased to +0.01 in March from –0.09 in February.

Sparrows makes changes to senior management team
Sparrows Group (Sparrows), an engineering and maintenance services specialist for the global energy and industrial sectors, has made senior management changes following the company's acqusition by Altrad Group last year. Sparrows will remain operating autonomously as an individual entity.

Kimberly-Clark Professional sponsors My Green Lab
Kimberly-Clark Professional, a global provider of contamination control solutions for cleanrooms and laboratories, has become a sponsor of the My Green Lab Ambassador Program. This RightCycle Program is the first large-scale recycling effort for non-hazardous lab, cleanroom, and industrial PPE waste.

ERP-provider Savance Enterprise adds e-commerce with Billtrust partnership 
Savance Enterprise, an ERP software solution for industrial and other types of distributors, has formed a new partnership with Billtrust, a leading e-commerce software and B2B payments solutions provider. The strategic relationship between Savance Enterprise and Billtrust gives distributors the strength of both a leading ERP and easy-to-navigate eCommerce solution in one seamless package for an optimized customer experience.

Snap-on's Q1 sales climb nearly 8% YoY
Snap-on Incorporated reported first quarter net sales of $1.2 million, an increase of $85.2 million, or 7.8%, from 2022 levels, reflecting a $109.2 million, or 10.2%, organic sales gain, partially offset by $24.0 million of unfavorable foreign currency translation.

NAW evolves "Facing the Forces of Change" into next chapter
The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) has published the latest chapter in its new "Facing the Forces of Change" initiative.

February '23 cutting tool orders up 20% vs. 2022
February 2023 U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $196.9 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the Cutting Tool Market Report collaboration, was up 0.2% from January’s $196.5 million and up 17.5% when compared with the $167.6 million reported for February 2022. With a year-to-date total of $393.4 million, 2023 is up 20.1% when compared to the same time period in 2022.

Zircon merges with Harmony Energy Technologies
Zircon Corporation has entered into a merger agreement with Harmony Energy Technologies Corp. The merger closed on April 14, 2023.

Craig Vogel receives ISA's Lifetime Achievement Award 
The Industrial Supply Association presented Craig Vogel with its John J. Buckley Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed by ISA to an individual in the MROP channel for his or her longstanding service in the industrial supply industry. ISA recognized Vogel for making significant contributions to the success of the industry and has earning the respect of his associates and peers.

Turner names 3M as Supplier of the Year
Turner Supply, an industrial distribution company, has named 3M as its Supplier of the Year for 2022. The award recognizes 3M's exceptional performance in quality, delivery, innovation, and cost-effectiveness, and the strong partnership that the two companies have built over the years.

MSC's Kim Shacklett awarded at ISA conference
During the opening program of the ISA23 conference, the association awarded Kim Shacklett, senior vice president of sales & customer success at MSC Industrial Supply Co., as the winner of the 2023 Women’s Influence Award. The award honors an extraordinary individual from an ISA member company for her impact and commitment to advancing the development and influence of women in the industrial supply channel.

PTDA Foundation seeks award nominations
The PTDA Foundation is seeking nominations for its Wendy B. McDonald Woman of the Year Award and Robert (Bob) K. Callahan Advancing Leaders Award – nominations for both are due June 9. Both awards will be presented at the PTDA 2023 Industry Summit in Amelia Island, Florida in October.

Industry veteran appointed CFO at Optimas
Optimas Solutions, a global industrial manufacturer/distributor and service provider, announced today the appointment of Phil Battaglia as chief financial officer. Battaglia possesses over 25 years of financial management and reporting expertise, most recently leadership experience at Caterpillar Inc.

Winsupply's Wilson Corp. names president
Andrew Goetz, a Dayton construction executive, has been named the new president of Wilcon Corporation, a Winsupply Company, effective April 17, 2023.

AD receives Top Workplace recognition 
AD has been named a Top Workplace in the Delaware Valley for the fifth consecutive year. The Top Workplaces list is based solely on employee feedback gathered through a third-party survey from employee engagement technology partner Energage, LLC.

New Weiler Abrasives program helps distributors add value
Weiler Abrasives, a provider of abrasives, power brushes and maintenance products for surface conditioning, has expanded the focus of its end-user support programs, broadening its workforce to help end users better meet their surface finishing challenges.

AFFLINK president and CEO to retire
After more than 20 years of service to AFFLINK/PFG, its employees, distributor members, preferred suppliers, and countless industry friends and colleagues, President and CEO Dennis Riffer has decided to “hang up his cleats” so he can spend more quality time with his wife Mitzi, his two daughters, and especially, his grandchildren.

Global Shop Solutions promotes Trent Maynard
Global Shop Solutions, a supplier of ERP software for manufacturers around the globe, is has promoted Trent Maynard to director of product and engineering. Prior to his promotion, Maynard served as an R&D Manager and created some of Global Shop Solutions most impactful product advancements to meet customer needs and position the company for new growth.

Sonepar to buy Butler’s Electric Supply 
Sonepar announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire Butler’s Electric Supply of Wilmington, Inc. A family-owned business since 1948, Butler’s Electric branch location will be integrated into Sonepar’s Capital Electric brand at closing.

Fed: March industrial production .5% up over 2022
The Fed reported industrial production rose 0.4% in March and was little changed in the first quarter, increasing at an annual rate of 0.2%. Releasing information on the annual revision to industrial production and capacity utilization, the board said April 14 that manufacturing and mining output each fell 0.5 percent in March.

Fastenal reports 9% YoY increase for Q1
Fastenal Company, a wholesale distributor of industrial and construction supplies, reported a net sales increase of 9.1%  in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the first quarter of 2022. Net sales for the quarter were $1.8 billion.

Ideal Tridon acquires Irish couplings manufacturer
Ideal Tridon Group, a global manufacturer of clamping, coupling, and support products, has acquired Advanced Couplings Limited (ACL). Founded in 1986 in Roscommon, Ireland, ACL manufactures and supplies stainless steel clamp-type tube connections to the food, pharmaceutical, and associated process industries.

DSG celebrates grand opening 
Dakota Supply Group (DSG) celebrated the official Grand Opening of its new Otsego, Minnesota, location on April 12. Special guests on hand included: Otsego Mayor Jessica Stockamp, Otsego City Council Members, MN Department of Employment and Economic Development, Catalina Valencia, MN State Rep. Walter Hudson, MN State Senator Eric Lucero, Construction Partners from RyRyan, Cushwake, Interstate Development, Colliers along with members of the DSG team.

TV Contractor Mike Holmes keynotes at STAFDA 
Mike Holmes, professional contractor and popular TV host,will keynote the general session of the 47th Annual Convention & Trade Show of the Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA). The meeting convenes November 5–7 at the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, Texas.

Executive appointment at Ingersoll Rand
Ingersoll Rand Inc. has appointed Enrique Minarro Viseras as its senior vice president and general manager of the global Precision & Science Technologies (PST) segment, reporting to Vicente Reynal, chairman, president, and chief executive officer. Minarro Viseras will transition from his current role as senior vice president and general manager of the Industrial Technologies and Services, Europe, Middle East, India and Africa (ITS EMEIA) business unit.

Hospeco merges with Monarch Brands 
Hospeco Brands Group is merging with Monarch Brands, dramatically expanding Hospeco Brands Group’s offering of wiping solutions and microfiber and adds complementary new lines to an already robust product mix.

BlackHawk gains eight locations with acquisition
BlackHawk Industrial, a distributor of metalworking and other mission-critical industrial products, has acquired Stock’d Supply (“Stock’d”) headquartered in Chattanooga, Tennessee, along with its seven other locations in Chicago, Illinois; Franklin, Indiana; Lincoln, Nebraska; Louisville, Kentucky; Mocksville, North Carolina; Rock Hill, South Carolina; and Yankton, South Dakota.

PTDA to host 2023 Canadian conference
The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) will convene for the PTDA 2023 Canadian Conference in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada June 6–8. Delegates in the power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) industry, representing PTDA distributor and manufacturer companies, will be in attendance to broaden cross-channel networks, expand connections and deepen business relationships.

New manufacturing tech orders nearly 50% above Feb average
By Christopher Chidzik
New orders of manufacturing technology totaled $467.8 million in February 2023, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. February 2023 orders were 33% above January 2023 and 1.6% below February 2022. Year-to-date orders for 2023 totaled $819.6 million, 10.7% below the first two months of 2022.

Best Working Wipes expands partnership 
Petty’s Garage has become the newest online source for buying Orbizorb, LLC products, including Best Working Wipes, which work on a variety of applications including the automotive and garage industry.

ESAB acquires Swift-Cut Automation
To grow its leadership in the global fabrication, cutting equipment, and consumables markets, ESAB has acquired Swift-Cut, a manufacturer of light industrial CNC plasma and waterjet cutting machines based near Birmingham, England.

3BG Supply acquires Missouri electric MRO distributor
3BG Supply Co. (3BG), an Indiana-based, technology-enabled distributor of industrial supplies, has completed its acquisition of Controls and Electric Motor Company (CEMCO).

Motion AI opens new facility in Massachusetts
Motion Industries, Inc., a distributor of maintenance, repair and operation replacement parts and a provider of industrial technology solutions, has opened a new location in Beverly, Massachusetts. 

Kimball Midwest picked as a Top Workplace 
Celebrating its centennial this year, Kimball Midwest has been named one of Central Ohio’s Top Workplaces for 2023. The national, Columbus-based industrial supplier has received the recognition for 11 consecutive years from Columbus CEO magazine.

MSC: Net sales rise 11.5% 
MSC Industrial Supply Co., a distributor of metalworking and maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) products and services, reported its fiscal Q2 net sales of $961.6 million represent a YoY increase of 11.5%,11 percentage points above the Industrial Production (IP) Index.

Manufacturer new orders dip over half a percent
The U.S. Census Bureau reports new orders for manufactured goods in February, down three of the last four months, decreased $3.9 billion or 0.7 percent to $536.4 billion. This followed a 2.1 percent January decrease.

Weiler Abrasives appoints new CEO
Folowing a global search, the board of directors of Weiler Abrasives has chosen Arjang “AJ” Roshan-Rouz as the company's next CEO, effective March 27. He succeeds Chris Weiler, who served 15 years as CEO and remains with the company as executive chairman.

Singer Industrial teams up with Uni-Draulik
Singer Industrial (formerly SBP Holdings) has joined forces with Uni-Draulik Inc. As of March 31, Uni-Draulik will operate within the Fluid Power Division of Singer Industrial, which will increase Singer Industrial’s North America footprint to approximately 85 locations with over 1,000 employees.

NEFCO buys Southwest Fastener
NEFCO, a specialty supply partner to the professional construction trades, has completed the acquisition of Phoenix-based Southwest Fastener. This is NEFCO’s eighth acquisition since 2017. The addition of Southwest Fastener expands NEFCO’s geographic presence into the Southwest with three new locations in Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas.

Applied Industrial Technologies acquires Advanced Motion Systems Inc.
Applied Industrial Technologies has acquired Advanced Motion Systems Inc. (AMS), a provider of automation products, services, and engineered solutions focused on a full range of machine vision, robotics, and motion control products and technologies. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Grainger named one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For
Grainger, broad line distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) products serving businesses and institutions, has been named one of the Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2023 — the second consecutive year the company received the recognition.

AD member distributors awarded for growth, sales performance
AD Industrial & Safety – U.S. and AD Safety Network awarded members for their growth and sales performance during their 2023 Spring Network Meeting. Each year, members receive category growth awards recognizing the member companies that significantly grow their business and are seen as leaders among their peers.

Manufacturing contracts for fifth consecutive month
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in March for the fifth consecutive month following a 28-month period of growth, say the nation's supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business. The report was issued today by Timothy R. Fiore, CPSM, C.P.M., Chair of the Institute for Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Business Survey Committee.

Newsweek names Franklin Electric a top trustworthy company
Franklin Electric Co., Inc. has been named to Newsweek magazine’s list of America’s Most Trustworthy Companies 2023 – the company’s second consecutive win. This national recognition is presented by Newsweek and Statista Inc.

Long-time leaders retire at DENSCO Products 
DENSO Products and Services Americas, Inc., an affiliate of global mobility supplier DENSO Corp., has announced the retirement of Senior Vice President Richard Shiozaki and Vice President of Sales Fran Labun.

Supply chain tech company taps new CEO
Verusen, an AI-powered supply chain materials intelligence company, has appointed Scott Matthews as chief executive officer and board director. Scott joins Verusen to lead day-to-day operations alongside Founder Paul Noble, who will transition to the position of chief strategy officer.

BlackHawk's COO receives top honor
BlackHawk Industrial, a distributor of metalworking and other mission-critical industrial products, announced its chief operating officer, Tonya Pivarnik, has been named as one of the Top 10 Inspiring Female Leaders of 2023 by the digital business magazine, Industry Era for Women.

Airgas welcomes 55 schools into growing national welding program
Fourteen returning high schools and 41 new ones from 22 states have been selected to participate in the Airgas High School Welding Education Initiative Class of 2023. The program continues to expand and help students across the country prepare for careers in welding.