John McNally 0000-00-00 00:00:00
Economy Plumbing Supply celebrates 80th anniversary By 7 p.m., John Strong's voice was hoarse.Working as emcee at Indianapolis-based Economy Plumbing Supply and the Homestyle showroom's 80th anniversary barbeque will do just that. Strong - the current president of Economy and third-generation owner - commanded the crowd of more than 200 contractors, manufacturers reps, homeowners, friends and family as Economy raffled away a plethora of prizes, including cash, gift cards, Indianapolis Colts tickets, travel vouchers and a flatscreen TV. Revelers got the chance to meet two Colts' cheerleaders, play games and talk shop at Economy's downtown location. The counter and the company's Homestyle showroom offered extended business hours. Strong's father - Herbert Strong Jr. - also attended the event to have dinner and see old friends in the industry. John Strong said Economy doesn't host too many after-hours events, but when the company does, it's a hit. "It's successful and we greatly enjoy meeting the customers - myself especially because I'm not in the trenches as much as I used to be," Strong told Supply House Times at the event. "This is a better opportunity to build a social relationship with customers." Economy has two locations and runs an efficient operation. In the late 1980s, Strong led the initiative to add showrooms and both company locations grew out of that undertaking. "We aren't across the state or the nation," Strong said. "As a small niche wholesaler, we've always done a great job with small maintenance and repair parts. Our repair parts have been our backbone in the marketplace. But, with the fashion products, we've been able to juggle both simultaneously and we hope that continues." Vendors - including BrassCraft, TOTO, Zurn, Zoeller, Delta, Brizo, Elkay, T&S Brass, Sloan, InSinkErator and others - were pleased with the consistent flow of customers during the threehour evening event. Brian Page, an outside sales representative for Output Sales who featured Sharkbite push-fit valve connectors at Economy's event, is pleased with how the Indianapolis market is turning positive. "It's starting to grow," Page said. "We're seeing some new residential home starts." Strong joined his family company out of college in the early 1980s and has seen all the boom and bust periods - including the last great recession. But, just as the reps of the territory spoke of, Strong is seeing signs of life for his company. "It's been very interesting," he said. "Things have been tough the last few years, but I see change and I'm encouraged. We've got a lot to look forward to. Indianapolis has been a fortunate area.We're in the metropolitan area and the condos and single-family homes in the downtown area are doing quite well. They don't have a glut of availability so prices are good." Global Pipe Supply breaks ground on new pipe yard Global Pipe Supply, a subsidiary of the Global Group of Companies, broke ground July 30th on a new, 62-arce pipe yard close to Global Group's Houston headquarters. The new project will be completed in two phases: the first half will be operational in November and the second half will be finished in January 2013. GPS says its remains bullish about the U.S. economy and, in particular, the energy industry. The Houston headquarters is the home of Global Stainless Supply, Forgings, Flanges and Fittings and GPS's operations. The new space will allow GPS to consolidate its products and provide better customer service. Only three years ago, GPS began as a division of Global Stainless Supply. Now, GPS has 15 employees and, when the pipe yard is completed, will double to 30 employees. Growth continues, but at slower pace for ASA members In ASA's June 2012 Intelligence Report, growth continued for association members, but at its slowest rate in some time. There was a 4.8% improvement in per day revenues compared to 2011 and a 6.9% improvement for the overall second quarter. Compared to 2010, improvement is up 15.2% for June and 16.5% for the second quarter; and compared to 2009 there was an 18.4% increase for June and 29.9% for the quarter. Plumbing, heating and PVF distributors also were up 8.6% in the second quarter in a trailing 12-month basis. In other reports: . Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distribution International reported U.S. HVACR average distributors sales in June were down 1.8%, the first month-overmonth decrease in 2012. . Affiliated Distributors reported a 12% sales increase - $12.8 billion - in the first half of 2012. Also in the first half of 2012, AD members have hired 1,226 new employees. Affiliated Distributors hosts annual meeting Affiliated Distributors will hold its annual North American Meeting for the Plumbing, PVF and HVAC divisions October 1-4 at the Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, Texas.The theme for this year's meeting is "Invest in Relationships." "As great companies bounce back from the recession, it is more important than ever to get back to the one investment that you will always see a return on, an investment in relationships," AD Chairman and CEO Bill Weisberg said. Along with the business updates, one-on-one booth sessions and Weisberg's keynote speech, AD has added a few new elements to its meeting this year, including an optional multidenominational faith breakfast. Attendees will explore how faith impacts their business and their life. AD also has extended its Young Leaders Reception with the goal of facilitating deeper connections within the next generation of leaders in the industry.
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