Bob Miodonski 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Industry News, Bath & Kitchen, HVAC/R & Hydronics, Technology Complied by Bob Miodonski and John McNally firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com Forte announces private-label fixture line The Forte Buying Group unveiled its own private-label fixture line and a new software program for members' virtual showrooms at its annual conference Feb. 22-25 in La Jolla, Calif. Forte also welcomed eight new vendors attending their first conference. "Forte is going down the private-label path because we need more options and lines whose margins can't be compromised by low-ball competitors, whose distribution we can control, and that enable our showrooms to be the main beneficiary of building brands and pioneering lines," said incoming President Jeff Burton of The Bath + Beyond showroom in San Francisco. "The new Forte line fills a niche not currently served by existing Forte vendors." The private-label line represents one of the steps Forte is taking to help its members control their own destiny, he said. Burton went on to say the bath-and-kitchen industry is facing a new reality. "The same old way to go to market and conduct business simply does not work well in today's Internet age where our showrooms and businesses are often used to look, see, feel and educate so our customers can buy products elsewhere," he said. "We can't be content to press the easy button and do the same old thing over and over again and expect different results. It will not work." Along those lines, software company ayr1 announced a new platform to help subscribing Forte members develop virtual showrooms on the Internet. The platform will better categorize, display, and search decorative plumbing and hardware products on these sites. The virtual showrooms provide visitors with easily searchable content, which includes product pictures, data, options, specifications and installation instructions. Other preferred vendors of Forte introduced more than 100 products ranging from faucets to bath lighting during a table-top exhibit Feb.23. Forte's eight new vendors are: KWC America, ThermaSol, Hydro Systems, Argento, Hudson Valley Lighting/Litman Brands, Strasser Woodenworks, GlassCrafters and St. Thomas Creations. Forte presented a number of awards during the meeting. Recognized for their leadership on the Forte-ayr1 partnership were Jason Kuder of Rayware in Jacksonville, Fla.; Russ Diamond of Snyder Diamond in Santa Monica, Calif.; and Chris Brennan of the European Sink Outlet in Atlanta. Andy Wilkinson of Wilkinson Supply in Raleigh, N.C., was presented the Forte President's Award for his commitment to developing the private-label fixture line. Briggs Inc. was recognized as the Forte Shareholder of the Year for its commitment to Forte and Forte vendors. Briggs operates showrooms in Omaha, Lincoln and Grand Island, Neb.; Sioux City, Iowa; and Lenexa, Kan. Forte recognized Kymberly Weiner of Best Plumbing Tiles & Stone in Somers, N.Y.; Eric Nelson of SplashWorks in San Jose, Calif.; Ada Aldano of Designer's Plumbing & Hardware in Miami; and Jennifer Grant of Rayware for their efforts on the Forte Product Only Committee. JACLO was named Forte Preferred Vendor of the Year. Forte comprises about 100 shareholders who operate more than 250 independently owned showrooms across North America. For more information, visit www.buyforte.com. - Bob Miodonski Pope, Arenberg appointed to Affiliated Distributors' board F. W. Webb President Jeff Pope and Columbia Pipe & Supply President Tim Arenberg were recently added to the PHCP area of Affiliated Distributors' Board of Directors. Pope and Arenberg join Brian Peirce (Peirce-Phelps) and Michael McInerney (Thos. Somerville) as PHCP Division board members. AD's board also has four directors from the Electrical divisions, one from the Industrial Supply Division and one from the AMAROK Drywall Division. AD's growth in the plumbing, PVF and HVAC markets led to the additions of Pope and Arenberg to the board. The company expects the board to ensure AD's "decisions and policies fully reflect the diverse needs of our PHCP members and suppliers, now and in the future," AD Chairman and CEO Bill Weisberg said. Online videos feature AHR Expo products Supply House Times columnist, author and educator Dan Holohan talked on camera with exhibitors about their products on display at the AHR Expo Jan. 23-25 in Chicago. Visit www.SupplyHT.com or www.RadiantandHydronics.com to view the videos. The videos also are available at www.PMEngineer.com and www.PMMag.com. No registration or fee is required. Featured in the videos are the following companies: Aquatherm, Dunkirk, Eternal Hybrid Water Heater/Grand Hall USA; Rinnai; and tekmar. Survey says distributors ready to hire, struggling to find right people A survey conducted by the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence on behalf of Industrial Careers Pathway finds 91% of distribution companies are ready to hire new employees within the next five years. The survey also reveals that within these distribution companies, three to four of every 10 employees are expected to retire within five years. Survey respondents - from companies ranging from less than $20 million in sales to more than $1 billion - face big labor and intelligence gaps in an industry where product application and process knowledge and relationships with customers drive profitability. "The importance of a strong distribution network cannot be underestimated," said Terry Knight, executive of strategic sales and business development with SKF USA. "Manufacturers are dependent upon this network to reach all aspects of the marketplace, provide feedback and be an important link in the supply chain. The NAW Institute survey reinforces that our industries need to reach new potential employees right now." Jobs that need to be filled include outside/field sales, inside/counter sales, customer service and technical or product specialist jobs. Only 10% of survey respondents require education above an associate's degree for inside sales positions and 25% require an associate's degree or higher for outside sales jobs. The survey reveals 59% of respondents feel new employees don't have a good understanding of the industrial distribution industry, while nearly 53% say new hires don't understand their role in the success of the company. ASA Legislative Fly-In set for May 15-16 American Supply Association's Legislative Fly-In takes place May 15- 16 in Washington. Some of the issues on ASA's Capitol Hill agenda include tax reform, government spending, Last In, First Out repeal and copper theft. "The current legislative and regulatory climate has created a great deal of uncertainty," ASA Director of Government Affairs Dan Hilton said. "It is imperative that wholesalers and manufacturers collaborate to ensure that legislators and regulators understand how their decisions on specific issues will impact the viability of the supply chain and profitability of the businesses that sustain it." To learn more visit www.asa.net or contact Hilton at firstname.lastname@example.org. Component Hardware Group, JHL Enterprises to merge Plumbing and hardware product manufacturers Component Hardware Group and JHL Enterprises signed a merger agreement March 2 that will integrate JHL into Component Hardware. Harry Franze remains company president and CEO, while J. Howard Levine, CEO of JHL, will stay with the company in a consultant role. "From the start of our discussions it became apparent that merging our companies will provide the platform for JHL to continue its growth trend while providing Component Hardware with access to new markets," Franze said. The company will be based in Lakewood, N.J., and will have a warehouse in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif. In the short term, the company said its main goal will be to unify its product lines and services. Component Hardware will service all JHL's existing customers and support its commitments. "The merger with JHL further strengthens our leadership position in the food service, hardware and plumbing markets," said Ed Whartnaby, executive vice president of sales and marketing for Component Hardware. "We will be able to provide our customers with a broader product line at a range of price points, while still offering the same high-quality customer service that they have come to expect."
Published by SupplyHouseTimes. View All Articles.
This page can be found at http://digital.bnpmedia.com/article/Down+The+Pipe/1025565/106733/article.html.