Mike Miazga 2015-11-09 00:32:32
EXPRESS PIPE & SUPPLY OPENS NEW LOCATION Express Pipe & Supply recently opened a location in Torrance, Calif. The new store is located at 4310 W. 190th St., and sells water heaters, plumbing fixtures, parts and supplies. The store previously was located in Carson. Express also offers the 24/7 In Hot Water service to all Southern California. The company noted if a customer’s water heater goes out at any time of day an Express In Hot Water representative will deliver a new heater and remove the existing one. “Relocating from Carson made sense,” Express Pipe & Supply President Ron Bohannon said. “The Torrance location is easily accessible and in a great area. We are excited about our new facility and the ability to better serve the South Bay. We have plans to open a kitchen-and-bath showroom at this location in 2016.” GRUNDFOS HOSTS WALK FOR WATER EVENTS Nearly 175 Grundfos employees joined family, friends and corporate partners at the company’s annual Walk for Water events held in Kansas City, Mo., and Aurora, Ill. The walks raise awareness about the global water crisis and raise funds for safe, sustainable water solutions in developing countries. At the midpoint of the 3.5-mile walk, participants filled 3-gal., buckets with water, simulating the burden of life in a developing nation. Since 2012, Grundfos has raised more than $200,000 for Water Missions International and has provided thousands of people with daily access to safe water In Haiti and Uganda. THE GRANITE GROUP ACQUIRES CUNNINGHAM SUPPLY Concord, N.H.-based The Granite Group Wholesalers has finalized the acquisition of Connecticut-based Cunningham Supply. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. With locations in West Hartford, Conn., and Old Saybrook, Conn., Cunningham is a third-generation family-owned and –operated distributor of plumbing and heating supplies with roots dating back to 1948. The Cunningham branches and showrooms in both West Hartford and Old Saybrook now operate under The Granite Group umbrella. “As part of our continuing commitment to expansion throughout New England we always are looking for the right opportunities to get our world-class products, distribution capabilities, people and service to as many customers as possible,” The Granite Group President and CEO Bill Condron said. “Bringing Cunningham Supply into The Granite Group family helps us achieve that goal on many levels. Like The Granite Group, Cunningham Supply is an extremely well-respected company that makes taking care of its customers and the people servicing them its number-one priority. This alignment of core values truly was the centerpiece of putting this deal together. Now that we have combined our teams and branch-showroom offerings, we could not be more excited to get to work on this newest opportunity for The Granite Group.” FERGUSON REVENUES GROW 12% Ferguson’s parent company Wolseley plc recently announced its financial results for the 2015 fiscal year. Ferguson increased its revenue 12%, ending the year with sales of $13 billion, up from $11.6 billion last year. The company was 9.6% ahead of last year on a like-for-like basis, which measures growth of Ferguson’s existing stores or branches that have been open for at least one year. As well, trading profits were ahead 19.8% over last year. Ferguson’s trading margin reached a record high of 8.2%. “We have concluded another great year and a strong performance,” Ferguson CEO Frank Roach said. “The outcome is a direct result of our associates’ collective efforts and commitment to providing world-class customer service while driving change and continuous improvement.” Market growth was about 5% and Ferguson outperformed the market in almost all of its business segments, the company noted. Blended branches (Ferguson locations that serve both residential and commercial customers) grew across all major regions, benefiting from growing markets and continued market-share gains. Waterworks grew strongly and gained market share, and the HVAC, Fire and Fabrication and B2C e-commerce businesses all generated good growth, Ferguson added. Ferguson closed on 13 acquisitions during fiscal year. The acquisitions spanned coast-to-coast and multiple business types including waterworks, HVAC and plumbing distributors, in addition to e-commerce companies, and appliance and lighting showrooms. In other company news, Ferguson announced a partnership with Fujitsu to distribute the Airstage variable-refigerant flow system in the Northeast. The partnership includes exclusive distribution in the Baltimore, Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia markets as well as distribution in New York City and New Jersey. “The cost of utilities in the Northeast are some of the highest in the country,” said Matt Coley, business development manager of Ferguson’s’ Northeast VRF Division. “The efficiencies of VRF maximize equipment output and the return on investment can be realized much sooner than traditional HVAC units due to reduction in operating costs.” GREEN ART PLUMBING SUPPLY CO-HOSTS GOLF OUTING Freeport, N.Y.-based Green Art Plumbing Supply and East Coast Sprinkler Supply recently hosted their second annual golf outing at Colonial Springs Golf Club in Farmingdale, N. Y. The annual event provides an opportunity for vendors and customers of both Green Art and East Coast to network and socialize on the golf course. Golfers enjoyed optimal weather conditions. Hats, jackets, golf balls and tees were provided as giveaways. Giftcards were awarded for firstand second-place foursomes, as well as the top three golfers who had the straightest drive, longest drive and were closest to the pin. Other raffle prizes included flat-screen Tvs, tablets, golf bags, golf clubs and more. Throughout the day, donations were collected for a 50/50 raffle to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Be the end of the day, more than $2,300 was raised for the charity. Green Art and East Coast lauded the efforts of sponsors such as Kohler and Hunter. The companies are planning for the third annual golf outing in September 2016. RIBACK’S SMYER RETIRES Carla Smyer retired as chief administrative officer at 18-branch Riback Supply in early October. Smyer had been with the company for 44 years. Smyer started with the company as a clerk in the Columbia, Mo., corporate office and rose to CAO, Riback’s second in command. For more than 25 years she headed Riback’s Heating Products Division headquartered in Springfield, Mo. “Carla is an exceptional individual,” Riback President Emeritus Marty Riback said. “She entered the male-dominated world of HVAC supply at a time when there were almost no other non-family-related women in the industry. She became known to vendors and industry insiders as a forceful and articulate voice. She gained the respect of Riback’s customers statewide. Carla is a pioneer for women in management.” Smyer and her husband, Frank, will continue to make their home outside Springfield. OBITUARIES Slant/Fin Corp. founder and Chairman Emeritus Melvin Dubin died Sept. 17 at the age of 92. Dubin, who started Slant/ Fin in 1949, is survived by his son, Adam, daughter-in-law, Rachele, and granddaughters, Alyx and Nella. Adam Dubin has been Slant/Fin’s president since 2003 and was appointed chairman in 2014. “Through his energetic spirit and determination Slant/Fin grew into the largest manufacturer of baseboard heating in the world and a leading manufacturer of boilers,” the company noted. “Mel was beloved by his family and those who knew him or worked with him. He was a generous supporter of many charitable causes for which he was well-known. He was a family man who always thought of Slant/Fin as part of his family. Mel will be remembered by all of us here at Slant/Fin who learned and were inspired by his example of strong, honest leadership.” Dr. Joost Brasz, recognized in the HVAC industry and the academic community as a leader and expert aerodynamic engineer in turbomachinery and centrifugal compressor technology, died Sept. 2. He received numerous patents in the field, including for the new Danfoss Turbocor compressor technology. Brasz was a Ph.D. graduate of Eindhoven (Netherlands) University of Technology. NIBCO ACQUIRES SURE SEAL Elkhart, Ind.-based NIBCO recently announced it has acquired the assets of the Sure Seal product line from OPW Engineered Systems. The assets related to OPW’s transportation valve line will remain with OPW. The transaction was finalized Sept. 30. “The acquisition will complement and enhance the NIBCO commercial and industrial valve portfolio with patented engineered technology that meets high industry standards,” NIBCO Chairman and CEO Rex Martin said. “We are confident this transaction will allow NIBCO to continue to expand and grow our core valve business by bringing our customers unsurpassed product and exceptional service.” Sure Seal specializes in the design and manufacture of industrial valves and components for any application requiring the safe and efficient processing, movement, control and storage of liquids. Sure Seal products include high-performance butterfly valves, lined ball valves, actuators, high-purity butterfly valves, sample valves and sanitary valves. SLANT/FIN HOSTS HIGH-EFFICIENCY EXPO Slant/Fin hosted its High-Efficiency Expo in late September at company headquarters in Greenvale, N. Y. The event featured exhibits from Slant/Fin and partners such as Taco, Beckett, Wohler and National Grid. Factory tours and a variety of seminars also were offered. Slant/Fin displayed a number of its products, including live-fire demos of its VSLII, EC and CHS boilers. A barbeque lunch was severed to attendees. “The expo is the most special event we do in any year,” Slant/Fin Chairman and CEO Adam Dubin told Supply House Times in a video available at www.pmmag.com/videos. “This is Slant/Fin putting its best foot forward. We bring in people from all over the country and everything is on display. It’s a one-of-a-kind event.” Vice President of Sales Bob Flanagan added: “It gives contractors and our customer base the opportunity to come down and meet us.” Dubin stressed visitors who toured the factory were given a firsthand glimpse into the essence of the 66-year-old company founded by Dubin’s late father, Mel. “We put a lot of care into these products and that comes from my father on down,” Dubin said. “It’s instilled in all of us in the way we test products. No corners are cut. By meeting all of us they get to see the care we put into the products we make. They will see a product made by people who have been making boilers for 20, 30 and sometimes 40 years. People work their whole careers here and those are people who care about the products they are making.” The event was capped by comedian Jim Breuer, who provided attendees with plenty of laughs during his time on stage. — Mike Miazga FLUIDMASTER EXPANDS EUROPEAN PRESENCE Fluidmaster, a manufacturer of toilet tank components and trim, has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Key Teknik, a sanitary equipment business based in Istanbul, Turkey. Established in 2008, Key Teknik markets under the Wilco brand as well as private-label in-wall and concealed cisterns extensively in Turkey, the Middle East and Europe. Management for the existing operations in Turkey will remain in place, along with the Wilco brand, now augmented by Fluidmaster’s line of products, services and brands. AMERICAN STANDARD PROMOTES DELARGE Steven Delarge has been promoted to chief executive officer and president of American Standard Brands and LIXIL Water Technology Americas. Delarge joined the company in July 2012 as senior vice president and CFO. In this role, he was responsible for financial and strategic planning, complex business and tax issues, annual operating budget development and management, accounting, treasury and financial operations, compliance and governance. “As chief financial officer Steve was asked to step into the interim CEO role at the beginning of this year as we worked through the process of identifying the right leader for the organization,” LIXIL Water Technology CEO David Haines said. “During his tenure, Steve has continued to provide sound leadership and business results while we have developed the leadership teams for sales, marketing, engineering, supply chain, legal and human resources.” HARDWARE HOLDINGS ANNOUNCES NAME CHANGE Hardware Holdings recently announced it is changing its corporate name to World and Main, LLC. “Our new name better reflects our mission of delivering simplicity and facilitating success for all our customers across the home, hardware, plumbing and building supply categories,” President and CEO Donald C. Devine said. Hardware Holdings was created in 2013 through the merger of Howard Berger Co. And the assets of Handy Hardware. Over the past 24 months, the company has made a series of strategic acquisitions including Jones Stephens Corp., The Faucet Queens and WordLock. Hand Hardware, HBC Home & Hardware Products and Jones Stephens will continue to operate under their respective names, leveraging their unique brand equities, the company said. Each will be referred to as a World and Main company. “The introduction of the World and Main brand marks our evolution into a national distribution company offering customers a complete assortment of branded products, plumbing and building supply products and more than 25,000 nationally distributed owned brand products,” Devine said. The company’s new website address is www.worldandmain.com. VIESSMANN CELEBRATES 25 YEARS IN THE UNITED STATES In early September, Viessmann celebrated 25 years of business in the United States at the company’s U. S. headquarters in Warwick, R.I., with special VIP and open house events. More than 150 guests attended the anniversary day of celebration Sept. 9 with speeches, a gourmet luncheon and a walking tour of the Warwick facility. The celebration was highlighted by speeches from Prof. Dr. Martin Viessmann, CEO and president of the executive board; Dr. Michael Luz, managing director of Viessmann U.S.; Rhode Island’s Lt. Gov. Daniel McKee; Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea; and Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian. In his keynote address, Dr. Viessmann spoke about the growth and evolution of Viessmann’s investment in the U.S. market which started in the 1970s, the importance of the company’s enduring trade partnerships with its customers and Viessmann’s long-standing commitments to energy efficiency and sustainability. Viessmann specifically talked about the company’s precedent-setting accomplishments such as reaching high standards of energy efficiency and German climate policy targets well before the 2050 date established by the German government. An open house event Sept. 10 for 200 contractors and heating professionals included state-of-the-art technical training, product information as well as demonstrations and networking. — Kelly Faloon ACO POLYMER PRODUCTS CELEBRATES GRAND OPENING ACO Polymer Products moved its Ohio operations facility from Chardon to Mentor. A grandopening celebration was held in September at the new Mentor facility. Johanna Ahlmann and Mr. Hans-Julius Ahlmann (president of ACO Severin Ahlmann GmbH & Co., KG), along with Iver Ahlmann (president of ACO Germany) commemorated the opening with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The celebration featured more than 100 guests in attendance, including ACO employees, contractors and vendors, City of Mentor officials, members of the local Chamber of Commerce and guests from the state legislature. “The main reason for the move is to help grow the ACO business in the United States,” ACO USA President Vaclav Tikalsky said. “The move has given our Northeast employees a new workplace with the conveniences and technology similar to other ACO locations. The ACO team has worked hard to make this place look nice and functional. It has allowed us to install the latest production technology, which will increase our capacity by 35% and help ACO strengthen its market-leader position as well as provide customers with better service and quality.” FERNCO OPENS NEW MICHIGAN FACILITY Fernco recently celebrated the grand opening of its new manufacturing and distribution facility in Davison, Mich. The event was attended by employees and companies that have impacted Fernco’s success. Located a mile from the current facility, the new 150,000-sq.-ft. manufacturing and distribution center, which will be fully operational by April 2016, will allow Fernco to focus on additional product development and continue delivering exceptional customer service. “The new facility is a tribute to our employees, customers and factory representatives’ hard work and dedication to excellence over the past 51 years,” Fernco President Mark Cooper said. The grand-opening celebration helped familiarize employees and the community with the location, function and layout of the new facility. More than 300 people attended the celebration. The new facility will use only 50% of the electrical power even though it is 2 1/2 times larger than the current facility. State-of-the-art electric injection machines will reduce cycle times and energy usage. Fernco manufactures flexible couplings, plumbing products and drainage solutions. It moved to Davison in 1977. AFFILIATED DISTRIBUTORS DEBUTS E-COMMERCE PROGRAM Affiliated Distributors recently announced its continued investment in its membership’s ability to better compete in the world of eCommerce through its AD eContent Service program. The program features a comprehensive contentmanagement solution, which includes a shared master eCatalog and Web portal, along with member-specific subcatalog and storefront options. “We have full-time staffmembers working inside AD specifically to support eCommerce for our members, we have active engagements with business partners and consultants, and we are making direct investments alongside our AD members for the express purpose of helping AD independents compete and win on the Internet,” AD Chairman and CEO Bill Weisberg said. “This includes eContent production, paid search demand generation and the purchase licenses and technology. “Our model is member-defined because we believe distributors understand better than anyone how products should be organized and what pieces of data are the most important about the products.” AD’s Industrial Division has undertaken and funded the build out of 2 million product SKUs and marketing content and maintenance to support them on an ongoing basis, the buying group noted. The AD Electrical and Pipe, Valves and Fittings divisions are revising the eCommerce initiatives they started several years ago to follow this model so all seven AD divisions can leverage the group’s multi-divisional economies of scale and share ongoing production costs and content. HARDI LAUNCHES PROVEN VENDOR PROGRAM HARDI has launched its newest initiative: the Proven Vendor Program, which is designed to provide HARDI members with a peer-reviewed listing of HARDI service vendors that have established track records of good business with other HARDI members. Service vendors are HARDI members that provide professional services such as consultation, software and other business solutions to other HARDI members. Each proven vendor gets a listing within a members-only section of hardinet.org. The listing provides a brief description of the company’s services, a member reference and a description of any special offers available to HARDI members. For more information, contact HARDI Marketing Manager Chris DeBoer at email@example.com.
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