March 2024 News

February wholesale inventories up 0.5% from January
The U.S. Census Bureau reported wholesale inventories for February, adjusted for seasonal variations and trading day differences, but not for price changes, were estimated at an end-of-month level of $901.1 billion, up 0.5% (±0.4%) from January 2024, and were down 1.6% (±1.1%) from February 2023. The December 2023 to January 2024 percentage change was unrevised from down 0.2% (±0.2%).

Fastenal Releases 2024 ESG Report
Fastenal Co.'s silver medal from EcoVadis is one of the many accomplishments included in the company's just-released 2024 ESG Report, which recaps Fastenal's performance and progress in the year ending December 31, 2023.

MSC acquires intellectual property of Schmitz Manufacturing Research & Technology
MSC Industrial Supply Co. has completed the acquisition of intellectual property (IP) assets from Schmitz Manufacturing Research & Technology LLC (SMRT) related to its technology solutions for the U.S. manufacturing industry.

PTDA to host 2024 Canadian Conference
The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) will convene for the PTDA 2024 Canadian Conference in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada on June 4–6.

CRC introduces enhanced line of food grade products
CRC Industries announced a brand refresh of its market-leading CRC Food Grade packaging and program that it says sets a new standard for food safety, compliance and equipment performance in the food processing industry.

Birmingham Fastener expands footprint with facility in Mexico
Birmingham Fastener, a full-service manufacturer and distributor of high-quality specialty fasteners, is expanding to Mexico with the opening of a facility in Querétaro City this month. The new facility will help businesses that have commercial, construction or aerospace projects in Mexico localize their supply chain and access inventory quicker.

Timken appoints next president/CEO
The Timken Co. board of directors has reached an agreement with Tarak Mehta to become Timken's next president and chief executive officer on Sept. 5, 2024.

Bostwick-Braun turns focus exclusively on industrial
On March 19, Bostwick-Braun, headquartered in Toledo, Ohio, announced that House-Hasson Hardware of Knoxville, Tennessee, had made a formal purchase offer for its hardware division, including its related inventory and warehouses. This transaction follows the company's decision to concentrate 100% of its focus on its industrial distribution markets.

ProGlove, topsystem deliver hands-free picking solution
ProGlove is joining forces with topsystem, a division of Ehrhardt Partner Group (EPG), to address the industry's highlighted need for mobile logistics solutions. The two organizations will offer a joint bundle that combines topsystem’s LYDIA Voice Pick-by-Voice solution with ProGlove's MARK family of wearable barcode scanners.

Why cloud migration is imperative for manufacturers & distributors in 2024
By Will Quinn
In the changing business landscape of 2024, top-level executives at manufacturing and distribution companies face decisions regarding their ERP & WMS systems. One crucial step that emerges is the transition to cloud-based solutions, which offer advancements and a competitive edge in the market. Let's explore why embracing and adopting a cloud migration strategy is essential for manufacturers and distributors navigating the digital era.

Mars Supply reaches 100-year milestone
W.P. & R.S. Mars Co. (dba Mars Supply) is announced it is celebrating 100 years in business in 2024.

Advance report: Durable goods inventories, shipments, orders swing up 1.4%
New orders for manufactured durable goods in February, up following two consecutive monthly decreases, increased $3.7 billion or 1.4% to $277.9 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced March 26.

NetPlus Alliance distributor members plan for continued growth in 2024
The NetPlus Alliance Industry Outlook tracks business results and trends in the industrial and contractor supply markets. The latest quarterly survey was completed in February 2024, and the outlook was based on fourth-quarter results for 2023.

Airline Hydraulics offers WireCrafters industrial framing solutions
Airline Hydraulics, a distributor of machine automation, fluid power, and machine safety products, has expanded its aluminum extrusion and machine safety offerings with the addition of a new product line, WireCrafters.

Sonepar acquires two Michigan distributors
Sonepar announced it has entered into an agreement to acquire the Michigan-based distributors, Madison Electric Co. and Standard Electric Co.

Viega appoints new CEO
Viega LLC, a provider of press technology, announced the appointment of Andreas Reger as the new president and chief executive officer (CEO), effective on April 1.

Sunstate Equipment enters Louisiana
Sunstate Equipment is expanding its Industrial Solutions Division with the opening of two new locations in Louisiana this spring. The location in Saint Gabriel, serving the greater Baton Rouge area, is now open; and a facility in Sulphur (Lake Charles) is coming online in May.

Revised ANSI/PGMA standard reduces CO risks
The Portable Generator Manufacturers’ Association (PGMA) announced its new G300 Safety and Performance standard (ANSI/PGMA G300-2023), which includes CO-shut off technology to reduce the risk of injury from misuse of generators in enclosed spaces.

Enerpac net sales decline 2% in fiscal Q2
Enerpac Tool Group Corp. reported fiscal second quarter '24 net sales were $138 million, a 2% decline year-over-year, due to the disposition of Cortland Industrial.

White Cap names chief supply chain officer
White Cap, a distributor of specialty construction supplies and safety products for professional contractors, has welcomed Tracy Rosser to the new role of chief supply chain officer.

Industry responds with enthusiasm to new STAFDA distribution program
The Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) rolled out its inaugural Excellence in Distribution program last week at the Hilton Nashville. STAFDA members from across the U.S. and Canada arrived for the 2.5-day program with customized agendas and 15 industry experts ready share their insights into what’s new in the wholesale distribution and supply chain arena.

DSG unveils rebranding
Dakota Supply Group (DSG), an employee owned distributor of innovative products and services with a 125-year history, announced a comprehensive rebranding initiative encompassing its name, logo, and tagline.

CRC Industries earns EcoVadis Silver Medal
CRC Industries, Inc., a global manufacturer of specialty products and formulations for maintenance and repair professionals and do-it-yourselfers, has been awarded an EcoVadis Silver Medal in recognition of its continuous corporate social responsibility (CSR) and sustainability efforts.

Core & Main reports fiscal Q4 sales increase of 4.8%
Core & Main Inc., a company advancing reliable infrastructure with local service nationwide, reported net sales increased 4.8% to $1,440 million for its fourth fiscal quarter 2023 ended January 28, 2024.

Sonepar announces 'purpose,' new commitments
Sonepar, a global company in B-to-B distribution of electrical equipment, solutions, and services, launched its Purpose: “Powering Progress for Future Generations.”

Q4-23 manufacturing profits slip
The U.S. Census Bureau announced the following seasonally adjusted quarterly after-tax profits for manufacturing industries statistics for fourth quarter of 2023:

Jon-Don expands resinous coatings selection with PPG FLOORING
Jon-Don, a supplier of commercial supplies, equipment, consumables, and know-how to specialty contractors, announced that it has partnered with PPG to expand its offering of resinous floor coatings for concrete flooring.

Dallas Industries appoints Metwork Tools as new Mexico dealer
Dallas Industries, a manufacturer of coil handling, press feeding equipment and controls for the stamping industry has announced the appointment of Metwork Tools as its new dealer in Mexico, handling sales and service of Dallas equipment throughout the country.

EDC names new Midwest manufacturers rep
Electronic Drives and Controls Inc. (EDC), a leading control system integrator and field service company for industrial automation and drive technology, today announced the appointment of Dean Grosel as the new regional representative for the Midwest region, covering Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan.

3M and HD Hyundai KSOE to collaborate on liquid hydrogen storage tanks
3M and HD Hyundai Korea Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering (KSOE) have signed a joint research project agreement to develop large liquid hydrogen storage tanks using Glass Bubbles from 3M – a high-strength, low-density hollow glass microsphere. The collaborative research will focus on developing a high-performance vacuum insulation system for liquified hydrogen storage and transportation.

Sphere 1 appoints new president
Sphere 1 Inc. announced the appointment of Mike Shumard as president of Sphere 1 effective on May 1. Shumard has been with Sphere 1 as executive vice president since July 2016 as a part of the succession plan of longtime CEO Rob Moe. Shumard will assume the CEO position at the end of 2026.

February industrial production edges up
Industrial production edged up 0.1% in February after declining 0.5% in January, the Federal Reserve reported.

Kennametal appoints new president & CEO
Kennametal Inc. announced that Sanjay Chowbey, currently vice president at the company and president, metal cutting segment, will succeed Christopher Rossi as president & CEO.

Gregg Futey joins Wright as assistant vice president
Wright announced Gregg Futey as its new assistant vice president. In his role, Futey will be a member of the leadership team and have a role in business development, financial administration, and marketing.

January cutting tool orders rise 9.1%
By Christopher Chidzik
January 2024 U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $204.5 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 9.1% from December’s $187.5 million and up 4.1% when compared with the $196.5 million reported for January 2023.

Streamlight promotes three
Streamlight Inc., a provider of high-performance lighting, announced the promotions of Eric Pike to director of e-commerce and digital shelf architecture, Kevin Burger to director of automotive and hardware, and Geoff Evans to sales director, Canada.

January manufacturing tech orders down 31%
Orders of manufacturing technology, measured by the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, totaled $338 million in January 2024, a 31% decline from December and a 3.7% decline from January 2023.

Sonepar reports 2023 sales of €33.3 billion
Sonepar, a global B-to-B distributor of electrical equipment, solutions, and services, has reported sales of €33.3 billion for the year ended December 31, 2023.

3M names new CEO as Roman moves to executive chairman
3M announced that William M. "Bill" Brown has been appointed as chief executive officer. He succeeds Michael Roman, who is appointed to the role of executive chairman of the 3M board of directors. Both changes are effective May 1.

EDC names new regional rep
Electronic Drives and Controls, Inc. (EDC), a control system integrator and field service company for industrial automation and drive technology, today announced the appointment of Dean Grosel as the new regional representative for the Midwest region, covering Indiana, Kentucky, Ohio, and Michigan.

Sandvik Coromant appoints president of Americas region
Sandvik Coromant has appointed Veronica Messersmith as president of the Americas, effective March 11.

Emerson to provide integrated hydrogen mobility technologies to H2 Hauler
H2 Hauler, an Australian-based company that designs, manufactures, and certifies storage and distribution equipment for compressed hydrogen, has selected global technology and software leader Emerson as its technology partner to provide a consolidated and integrated hydrogen mobility business management system.

PTDA Foundation raises 49% of goal in three months
The PTDA Foundation is off to a strong fundraising start in 2024, raising nearly $147,000 during the first three months of its 2024 Fund Drive campaign. Contributions support the PTDA Foundation in empowering PT/MC (power transmission/motion control) industry employers to be more successful in their recruitment and retention efforts.

ARG Industrial opens Idaho branch
ARG Industrial, a solutions-focused organization specializing in the distribution of hose, fittings, and rigging products, announced the opening of its newest location in Hayden, Idaho.

February employment rises 4%
Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 275,000 in February, and the unemployment rateincreased to 3.9%, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Job gains occurred in health care, in government, in food services and drinking places, in social assistance, and in transportation and warehousing.

Vallen launches 'Women in PPE' campaign
Vallen Distribution is recognizing International Women’s Day with the launch of a catalog of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and safety products geared for women.

NIBCO appoints vice president, sales and marketing
NIBCO Inc. announced the promotion of Joe Choflet to vice president, sales and marketing.

DSG: '23 a 'very successful year'
In announcing its financial results for 2023 and fourth quarter ended December 31, 2023, Distribution Solutions Group Inc. (DSG) reported its full-year revenue was $1.57 billion, an increase of $419.0 million or 36.4% compared to 2022.

February sales up 7.7% for Fastenal
Fastenal reported February net sales of $627 million, a 7.7% increase over the same time last year. Daily sales were reported at $29.9 million.

Allient reports 34% operating income growth
Allient Inc. reported its Q4 '23 revenue increased 15% to a record $578.6 million with organic growth of 13% on a constant currency basis. The financial results include the Sierramotion Inc. acquisition, which was completed in September 2023.

Fastenal receives EcoVadis Silver Medal for sustainability
Fastenal Co. has been awarded a silver medal from EcoVadis. The award, which is based on an assessment completed by EcoVadis in late 2023, signifies that the quality of Fastenal's sustainability management system ranks in the top 25% of all companies in all industries rated by EcoVadis.

Kimball Midwest recognized as training leader
Kimball Midwest, a national industrial supplier based in Columbus, again has been recognized for excellence in its training and development programs by a leading publication.
"Training" magazine ranked Kimball Midwest among the 105 winners of its 2024 Training APEX Awards, which were handed out the last week of February during a gala in Orlando.

AFFLINK welcomes Versa Pak as a preferred supplier
Versa Pak, a producer of plastic packaging solutions for various industry sectors, has just become a Preferred Supplier for AFFLINK, a global provider in supply chain distribution and optimization.

Manufactured goods orders drop 3.6%
January's new orders for manufactured goods, down three of the last four months, decreased $21.5 billion or 3.6% to $569.7 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported.

Kennametal partners with ModuleWorks for intelligent manufacturing solutions
Kennametal Inc. has joined ModuleWorks' Strategic Partner Program, a collective commitment to driving intelligent and integrated digital manufacturing solutions. Kennametal joins a variety of industry leaders in this program, such as Mitsubishi Electric, AutoDesk, PTC and DMG Mori, among others.

Diversified Fall Protection names new CEO
Diversified Fall Protection (DFP), the largest turnkey fall protection integrator in the U.S. for regulatory-driven systems and services, has appointed Travis Nelson, PE, CSP, as the company’s new CEO.

Bedford Reinforced Plastics celebrates 50 years of business success
Bedford Reinforced Plastics — a full-service supplier offering an extensive line of — is celebrating 50 years of business success.

Accuris partners with AWS for Engineering Workbench access
Accuris, a leader in engineering workflow solutions, today announced an exclusive partnership with the American Welding Society to offer their members access to Engineering Workbench, a SaaS platform for integrating engineering standards and other technical publications into engineering workflows.

Airline Hydraulics expands distribution with Phoenix Contact
Airline Hydraulics Corp. has significantly expanded its sales and service territory as an Automation Elite Distributor of Phoenix Contact products. The newly broadened reach now includes Western Pennsylvania and West Virginia, fortifying Airline's presence in the North and Southeastern U.S., from Maine to Georgia.

SME, AMT host Smart Manufacturing Experience 2024
The Smart Manufacturing Experience is coming to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh June 4-5, 2024. It is hosted by SME, a nonprofit dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing technology and fostering manufacturing and engineering talent, and capabilities in North America, and AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology.

Suncor Stainless names Northeast account manager
Suncor Stainless Inc., a manufacturer for stainless steel hardware in the industrial, marine, government, architectural, OEM and commercial industries, announced the addition of its newest team member: Michelle Newton steps into the role of Northeast region account manager.

Manufacturing contraction trend hits 16 months
Economic activity in the manufacturing sector contracted in February for the 16th consecutive month following one month of “unchanged” status (a PMI reading of 50%) and 28 months of growth prior to that, say the nation’s supply executives in the latest Manufacturing ISM Report On Business.

January construction spending jumps 11.7% YOY
Construction spending during January 2024 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $2,102.4 billion, 0.2% (±0.8%)* below the revised December estimate of $2,105.8 billion. The January figure is 11.7% (±1.5%) above the January 2023 estimate of $1,882.2 billion.

Hy-Brid Lifts appoints new president and CEO
Hy-Brid Lifts by Custom Equipment LLC appointed Eric Liner as its new president and CEO, effective February 5. He succeeds Jay Sugar, who successfully led the company for the past three years and is retiring March 1.

Global Industrial reports sales up, margin down in Q3 '23
Global Industrial Company reported its fourth quarter consolidated sales increased 22.9% to $320.1 million compared to $260.5 million last year. Excluding Indoff, acquired on May 19, 2023, sales increased 5.1% as compared to the year ago period and 5.2% on an average daily sales basis.

Moblico, HawkSearch roll out AI-driven mobile product search for distributors
Bridgeline Digital, Inc., a provider of marketing software, announced its partnership with Moblico, a leader in mobile engagement solutions for wholesale distributors, providing mobile messaging and custom branded mobile apps.