July 2023 News

AD distributors hit new sales record
AD is reporting that member sales in the first six months of 2023 reached a new record of $37.8 billion, an increase of 5% across 14 divisions and three countries. Purchases by member companies from AD suppliers reached $9.7 billion. Net distributions to members grew 5% to a record $673.9 million.

Three engineers join fluid pumps maker Blacoh 
Blacoh Industries Inc. introduces three new engineers to its team: Michael Harvilla, Ruben Fernandez, and Melanie Arriaga. Blacoh Industries is a certified Women’s Owned Enterprise in the fluid control industry since 1976, dedicated to improving the efficiency and safety of fluid pumping systems.

Consumer confidence rises to two-year high
By Tim Quinlan and Jeremiah Kohl
Not since the outset of the pandemic has consumers' assessment of the present situation been stronger than it is today. Meanwhile, amid broad improvement in labor market measures, overall confidence rose to its highest since July 2021, and expectations came up as well.

Economists: Industrial Production Report was a gut punch 
By Tim Quinlan and Shannon Seery, Wells Fargo Economics Group
This is not the sort of triple play you want to see. Manufacturing, utilities & mining production all fell for a second-straight month in June. This highlights the tough job for the FOMC: raise rates enough to slow the jobs market and take the swagger out of consumer spending without causing collateral damage in the industrial sector.

Emerson receives Bosch Global Supplier Award 
Global technology and software company Emerson received the 2023 Bosch Global Supplier Award, placing the company among a select global group of Bosch’s most valued suppliers helping drive innovation in pursuit of sustainability targets and their commitment to climate neutrality.

Acme Tools marks 75th anniversary
Acme Tools is celebrating its 75th anniversary in the tool and equipment industry and its evolution from a small electric motor repair company founded in 1948 to an omnichannel premier retailer today.

Grainger sales climb 9%
On July 27, Grainger reported results for the second quarter of 2023 with sales of $4.2 billion, up 9.0%, or 10.1% on a daily, constant currency basis, and diluted EPS of $9.28, up 29.1% compared to the second quarter of 2022.

Walter's Allegro announces changes to sales team
WALTER Surface Technologies, an international metalworking and safety solutions supplier, has announced the retirement of a valued employee and the appointment of a new Eastern US safety sales manager.

IRS ends unannounced visits to taxpayers
On July 24, the Internal Revenue Service announced a major policy change that will end most unannounced visits to taxpayers by agency revenue officers to reduce public confusion and enhance overall safety measures for taxpayers and employees.

NAW endorses Rep. Smucker’s Main Street Tax Certainty Act
The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW) released the following statement endorsing H.R. 4721, the Main Street Tax Certainty Act introduced by Congressman Lloyd Smucker (R-PA):

Bobcat donates $250,000 in grants to parks 
Bobcat Co. a global compact equipment, innovation,and worksite solutions brand, has extended five grants, each worth $50,000, to parks across the nation as part of its partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

Q2 net sales rise 1% for Kimberly Clark
Kimberly-Clark Corp. delivered net sales of $5.1 billion for the second quarter, up 1%, with organic sales growth of 5%. Gross margin was 33.7%, up 350 basis points; adjusted gross margin was 34.0%, up 380 basis points versus the prior year, driven by favorable net revenue realization and productivity, offsetting inflation.

3M Q2 sales decline 4% YOY
3M reported second quarter sales of $8.3 billion, down 4.3% year-on-year, with an organic sales decline of 2.2% year-on-year.

NAW: Massive disruption if UPS drivers strike
The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors (NAW), the voice of the $8.2 trillion wholesale distribution industry that employs over 6 million U.S. workers, released the following statement after conducting a survey of potential impacts to NAW member companies:

Chicago Fed index inches downward
The Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) edged down to –0.32 in June from –0.28 in May.

Protective materials maker Chase selling to KKR
Chase Corp., a global manufacturer of protective materials for high-reliability applications across diverse market sectors, has entered into a definitive agreement to be acquired by an affiliate of investment funds managed by KKR, a global investment firm. The all-cash transaction is valued at approximately $1.3 billion, including the assumption of debt.

DSG celebrates 13th Minnesota grand opening 
Dakota Supply Group (DSG) opened its new location in Mankato, Minnesota and celebrated a grand opening July 19.

IDCO welcomes new member, Charter Industrial Supply 
IDCO announced Charter Industrial Supply as the newest member. With a solid reputation built on reliable performance, quality service, and unwavering commitment to customer satisfaction, Charter Industrial Supply brings its customer-centered philosophy and expertise to the cooperative's network.

Snap-on Inc. reports near 5% uptick in Q2 sales 
Snap-on Inc. reported net sales of $1,191.3 million in the second quarter of 2023, which represented an increase of $54.7 million, or 4.8%, from 2022 levels, reflecting a $63.0 million, or 5.6%, organic sales gain. This was partially offset by $8.3 million of unfavorable foreign currency translation, the company said.

Turtle earns Ecovadis silver medal
Turtle, a large privately-held electrical and industrial distribution company specializing in integrated supply, placed in the top 16% of companies assessed by Ecovadis in its industry. Its 63 out of 100 score was an improvement of seven points over its previous score in 2021, earning Turtle a second silver medal.

Economist: Fed's hawkish pause, plus jobs report, CPI make for complicated landscape
By Christopher Chidzik
As we quickly approach the Summer Economic Outlook Webinar, hosted by AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology, it would be worthwhile to take note of all of the events that have taken place since the last webinar. In the eight weeks since AMT last hosted Mark Killion, director of U.S. industry at Oxford Economics, we have seen a hawkish pause from the Federal Reserve, two strong jobs reports, one big GDP revision, and a lower-than-expected CPI reading.

Sandvik manager to speak at Women in Manufacturing Summit
Addressing ways women professionals can overcome obstacles in male-dominated industries, Aisha Mills-Hendrix, regional sales manager, Sandvik Coromant, will present at the Women in Manufacturing (WiM) SUMMIT 2023. The event, set to take place in San Diego, Sept. 25-27, will bring more than 1,000 attendees from various industries across the country. Mills-Hendrix will deliver her presentation, “Breaking the Glass Ceiling: Advancement, Self-Advocacy, and Resilience” on Tuesday, Sept. 26, 1-1:45 p.m.

Scott Feldbush joins Martin Inc. leadership team
Martin Inc., a provider of custom-tailored solutions for maintenance, repair, operation, and production supplies, welcomes Scott Feldbush as executive vice president, IT and operations. In this crucial role, Scott will be responsible for spearheading the company's technological advancements, streamlining operations, and driving the achievement of business objectives.

ADI recognized on 'Selling Power's' top 50 list
ADI Global Distribution, a wholesale distributor of security, AV and low-voltage products, announced it has been named to Selling Power's "50 Best Companies to Sell For" list for 2023. This is the third consecutive year ADI has been featured on the distinguished list.

Sellars adds vice president of marketing
Sellars Absorbent Materials, a Milwaukee-based manufacturer of wipes, absorbents and towel and tissue products, has hired Michelle Gross as vice president of marketing.

Q2 rates erode for freight forwarders  
The majority of freight forwarders surveyed confirm business slowdown in Q2 but are hopeful for better demand betting hopes on the peak season. A recent survey conducted among freight forwarders by Container xChange, an online container logistics company, reveals a prevailing sentiment of caution and concern amongst the freight forwarders globally.

Cutting tool orders now 20% above 2022
May 2023 U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $210.6 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 10.8% from April’s $190 million and up 20% when compared with the $175.5 million reported for May 2022. With a year-to-date total of $1 billion, 2023 is up 16.1% when compared to the same time period in 2022.

Ingersoll Rand emphasizes innovative products in Sustainability Report
Ingersoll Rand Inc. published its 2022 Sustainability Report, “Progress Powered by Sustainable Performance” on July 14, detailing how the company’s sustainability strategy drives two clear and compelling growth paths: (1) advancing customers’ sustainability goals with innovative products and services, and (2) supporting customers in high-growth, sustainable end markets through existing products and new product innovation. The report also focuses on the significant sustainability improvements within its own operations.

Generac harnesses power of music for a good cause
Representatives from Generac Power Systems presented the American Red Cross of Wisconsin with funds to purchase a new ProMaster 3500 blood services vehicle during a visit to the organization's downtown Milwaukee office on July 12.

Hy-Brid Lifts announces regional director of sales 
Hy-Brid Lifts, a manufacturer of aerial lift equipment, has appointed John Davis as director of sales covering the South-Central region. Davis’ responsibilities will include providing customer support as well as continuing the growth and channel development of the Hy-Brid Lifts line of low-level scissor lifts.

Enrollment surges for new ISA certification program 
The Industrial Supply Association (ISA) says enrollment for its new Emerging Leaders Channel Certification (ELCC) program has exceeded the association's expectations. In response, ISA has opened an additional cohort scheduled to start mid-August to accommodate the demand. 

Small businesses get a dose of optimism in June
The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index shot up 1.6 points to 91.0 in June, the largest over-the-month upswing since August 2022, wrote Wells Fargo economists Charlie Dougherty, Jackie Benson, and Patrick Barley.

Fastenal's Q2 net sales up nearly 6% 
Fastenal Company reported its net sales increased $104.6, or 5.9%, in the second quarter of 2023 when compared to the second quarter of 2022. The number of business days were the same in both periods. For the month of June, net sales grew 4.7% from June 2022.

Grainger announces plans for new Oregon distribution center
Grainger announced plans July 12 to open a 500,000-square-foot distribution center in Gresham, Oregon in 2025. The new Northwest Distribution Center will enhance customer service across the Pacific Northwest, providing the company additional capacity to continue delivering best-in-class, next day complete orders across the United States. Grainger plans to break ground this summer.

Pilz recommends review of new safety standards
Pilz, an automation company for the safety validation of plant and machinery, is urging industry review of new safety standards following release by The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) of the new edition of ISO 13849-1 in April 2023.

ISA opens registration for Fall Summit 
Registration is now open for the Industrial Supply Association's (ISA) Fall Summit October 18–20 in Orlando. The professional development event offers attendees three tracks: Women in Industry, Emerging Leaders, and Channel Pros.

Viega expanding production in Kansas
Viega announced plans to expand its production capacity in McPherson, Kansas. The first wave of these investments is approximately $14 million and will increase the U.S. production of its industry-leading ProPress products.

Kimball Midwest named one of the Best Places to Sell
Kimball Midwest, a national industrial supplier based in Columbus, has earned its seventh straight appearance on an annual list of best companies to sell for.

NAHAD sponsors Hose Safety Awareness Week
The Association for Hose and Accessories Distribution (NAHAD) will be sponsoring the first annual Hose Safety Awareness Week, September 10–16, 2023.

AWS careers trailer heads to West Virginia next week
The Careers in Welding Trailer, a 53-foot mobile exhibit presented by the American Welding Society (AWS) Foundation and sponsored by Lincoln Electric, will be at the National Scout Jamboree in Summit Bechtel Reserve, West Virginia, July 19–22. Schools, media, the general public, anyone interested in learning more about welding is welcome to visit and learn more about this crucial skilled trade.

MRC report points to ESG goals, including new hires, GHG inventory planning
MRC Global Inc., a global distributor of pipe, valves, fittings, and infrastructure products and services to diversified energy, industrial and gas utilities end-markets, published its 2023 Environmental, Social Responsibility & Corporate Governance Report (ESG Report).

Enerpac Tool sells Cortland Industrial to Tufropes
Enerpac Tool Group Corp. announced July 11 it has completed a sale of its Cortland Industrial, LLC business to Tufropes, a global manufacturer of high-performance synthetic fiber ropes and netting solutions.

Abrasive Technology acquires Precision Swiss
Abrasive Technology LLC, a leading developer and manufacturer of superabrasive products for the dental, aerospace, medical, and industrial end markets, has announced the acquisition of Precision Swiss LLC, a swiss machining and milling company.

Fastenal uses ISO certification to support ESG initiatives
Fastenal Company announced the publication of its 2023 ESG Report. The report, which recaps Fastenal's performance and progress in 2022, was produced with reference to the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) standards and aligns with the ESG disclosure and reporting frameworks established by the Sustainability Accounting Standards Board (SASB) and the Taskforce on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Ingersoll Rand names new CIO, SVP
Ingersoll Rand Inc., a global provider of mission-critical flow creation and industrial solutions, has appointed Matt Emmerich as senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO), effective July 17. He will report to, chairman, president and chief executive officer.

Grainger releases 2023 ESG Report
Grainger has released its 2023 Environmental, Social & Governance (ESG) Report on, highlighting progress on its objectives.

May manufacturing technology orders up from April but continue downward trend 
New orders of manufacturing technology totaled $365.9 million in May 2023, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. May orders increased 8.6% over April 2023 but fell short of May 2022 orders by 16.7%. Annual orders for 2023 increased to $2.1 billion, nearly 15% behind orders for the same period in 2022.

Handling Systems International, Inc. expands 
Handling Systems International, Inc. (McCook, Illinois) announced the addition of nearly 60,000 square feet of manufacturing space in Chicago.

Emerson opens registration for Exchange Immerse event
Global technology and software provider Emerson will bring together customers, experts, and automation industry leaders for a three-day, process automation experience as part of the first Emerson Exchange Immerse. The conference will be held October 3-5, 2023, at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.

IDCO welcomes two new members
IDCO, a cooperative for independent distributors serving the industrial hose community, has added two new members: Custom Hydraulics and Design in Charlotte, North Carolina, and supplier Teramax in Fontanet, Indiana. 

Franklin Electric appoints global water executive
Franklin Electric Co. Inc. announced July 6 that Donald Kenney, vice president and president, global water, will be retiring after nearly 32 years with the company. Kenney was a driving force behind Franklin Electric’s Global Water growth and strategy over the last decade, and he will remain with the company through the end of July to ensure a smooth transition to his successor, Greg Levine.

AD closes merger with The Baron Group
AD has closed its previously announced merger with The Baron Group, a cooperative serving independent groundwater systems distributors, effective June 30, 2023.

Walter expands U.S. sales team 
WALTER Surface Technologies, an international company offering a wide array of productive and safe metalworking solutions, announced three new hires to further support its mission to contribute to customers' success by helping them work better.

White Cap acquires Form Tech
White Cap L.P., a distributor of specialty construction supplies and safety products for professional contractors, has acquired Form Tech Concrete Forms Inc., a provider of concrete forming and shoring rental equipment and related consumable products serving contractors through seven locations across the Southeast, Midwest and mid-Atlantic regions.

May manufactured goods orders increase slightly
New orders for manufactured goods in May, up five of the last six months, increased $1.6 billion or 0.3% to $578.0 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported July 5. This followed a 0.3% April increase.

Emerson, Australia start-up collaborate on hydrogen solutions
Global technology and software company Emerson has announced Cavendish Renewable Technology (CRT), an Australia-based startup with proprietary hydrogen technologies, will work with Emerson’s automation and software portfolio to accelerate the deployment of CRT’s hydrogen production solutions.

Sonepar signs partnership with U.S. Army PaYS program
Sonepar has signed an agreement as part of the United States Army Partnership for Your Success (PaYS) program.

Construction spending to date 3% up vs. '22
The U.S. Census Bureaur reported total construction spending during May 2023 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $1,925.6 billion, 0.9 percent (±0.5 percent) above the revised April estimate of $1,909.0 billion.