ASA YOUNG EXECUTIVES DIVISION CHANGES NAME TO EMERGING LEADERS One of ASA’s long-standing special-interest divisions, Young Executives, has changed its name to Emerging Leaders. This change comes after discussions amongst ASA’s Executive Committee and the division’s council, which collectively aim to further expand the group by appealing to key decisionmakers of member companies and their next generation of leadership. Emerging Leaders speaks to all industry up-and-comers who are looking to develop and grow in this industry, whether someone is 23 or 43, ASA explained. According to Emerging Leaders Chairman, Patrick Maloney of Beaumont, Texas-based Coburn Supply Co., “Our name is changing to Emerging Leaders, but our formula for success within ASA has not. We are providing quality programming and creating ways to expose our emerging leaders to this amazing industry.” In addition to the name change, membership in the division will be changing from individual dues to company dues. Now, membership in this important division is available to all interested employees of a company with a membership in Emerging Leaders. “The Young Executives Division always has been a strong contributor to ASA’s long-term success and will continue to be under our new banner as Emerging Leaders,” Vice Chairman Chris Reynolds of Columbus, Ohio-based Plumbers & Factory Supplies said. “The name change simply serves to more clearly define who we are. We will continue to deliver incomparable industry networking and educational experiences for up-and-coming individuals in wholesale, rep and manufacturer companies.” The Emerging Leaders Division is designed to nurture and develop leadership skills through education opportunities and networking events specific to the needs of the industry’s future leaders. A rapidly growing group of industry professionals, Emerging Leaders provides a forum to build key relationships and to work together, ASA noted. This is critical to becoming tomorrow’s leaders for all PHCP-PVF companies across the U.S., the association added. The 2018 Emerging Leaders Spring Forum is sponsored by American Standard, DXV and GROHE, part of LIXIL Water Technology, and will be held May 21-23, 2018, in New Jersey. FERGUSON GROWS REVENUE BY MORE THAN 10 PERCENT Ferguson plc, the parent company of Newport News, Va.-based Ferguson, recently announced its financial results for the 2017 fiscal year. In the U.S., Ferguson ended the year with sales of nearly $15 billion, an increase of 10.4%, which included price deflation of 0.5% mainly due to falling commodity prices in the first half, the company stated. Trading profits were 8.2% ahead of last year, and trading margin was 8%. The company grew 7.1% 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, up 3% over the prior year. Ferguson’s blended branches (locations that serve a mix of residential and commercial customers), waterworks, HVAC and fire and fabrication all generated good growth and gained market share, it noted. Industrial revenues recovered after a weak first half. Build.com, Ferguson’s B2C e-commerce business, continued to grow strongly throughout the year. Ferguson’s B2B and B2C online sales accounted for 22% of Ferguson’s revenue. “Ferguson continues to outperform our markets by delivering world-class customer service,” CEO Kevin Murphy said. “We are incredibly proud of our strong finish. Our performance is the direct result of our associates going above and beyond to meet the needs of our customers.” Ferguson closed on nine acquisitions during fiscal 2017, including: Matera, a distributor of commercial and industrial cleaning chemicals, supplies and equipment; P.V. Sullivan Supply, a commercial supplier in the Northeast region; Custom Lighting & Hardware and Lighting Unlimited, lighting showrooms in Houston, Texas; Signature Hardware, an online distributor of vanities, bathing products, sinks and related hardware and accessories; Underground Pipe and Valve, offering a full line of water and sewer products through locations in Indiana and Michigan; Westfield Lighting, a lighting showroom serving Indianapolis; Ramapo Wholesalers, a plumbing and HVAC supplier serving southeast New York and northern New Jersey; and The Plumbing Source, a single-location plumbing supplier serving Honolulu, Hawaii. Also in fiscal year 2017, Wolseley announced a name change to Ferguson plc and its intent to report in U.S. dollars beginning Aug. 1, 2018. MANAGERS PURCHASE BLACKMAN PLUMBING SUPPLY Blackman Plumbing Supply announced 13 members of its management team, together with President/Chief Executive Officer Robert Mannheimer, have purchased 100% of the company from the estate and trust of Richard Blackman. In addition to the operating company, the purchase includes all affiliated operating companies, showrooms, branches and real-estate entities in New York, New Jersey and Florida. Mannheimer applauded today’s purchase “as a major event in our company’s 96-year history. As owners and managers of Blackman, we are now poised to implement changes that will allow us to experience exponential growth in the coming years.” Blackman Plumbing opened its doors in Brooklyn in 1921 under the leadership of founder Sam Blackman. Richard Blackman followed his father into the family business, eventually becoming the company’s sole owner. He substantially grew the business, opening locations on Long Island, in New York City and New Jersey. Richard Blackman died in September 2012, leaving the leadership to Mannheimer under whose guidance Blackman Plumbing continues to grow, most recently adding a state-of-the-art showroom in West Palm Beach, Fla. WINSUPPLY ACQUIRES FLORIDA DISTRIBUTOR Dayton, Ohio-based Winsupply acquired Certified Plumbing and Electrical Supply Co., based in Live Oak, Fla., a regional distributor serving plumbing and electrical contractors in northern Florida. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Certified Plumbing and Electrical Supply has three locations along Florida’s I-10 corridor including Live Oak, Lake City and East Point. “Certified Plumbing and Electrical Supply is a successful, profitable company that serves an area of Florida that is currently underserved by Winsupply,” said Roland Gordon, president and chief executive officer of Winsupply. “They have good diversification of product balanced with plumbing and electrical equipment along with an excellent reputation for customer service. Certified is a great example of the kinds of successful wholesaling companies that interest us when making an acquisition as part of our growth strategy at Winsupply.” Owners Don and Glenda Edwards made the decision to retire and sell the company. “I was attracted to Winsupply because the benefits for our employees are a lot more than I could provide independently,” Don Edwards said. “I feel like it’s a merger for them because with Winsupply’s business model, you become more like a member of the family.” Gordon said the key managing employees were immediately attracted to Winsupply’s business model of co-ownership. The current managers of each location will make equity investments in their respective new companies with Winsupply as majority owner. Under the Winsupply business model, employees can invest in substantial ownership of their location with Winsupply as majority owner. Ownership provides employees with “skin in the game” and the rewards earned when profits are made, the national distributor explained. Wayne Gude has managed the Live Oak location for more than 20 years. Similarly, Adam Paulk has managed the Lake City location for more than 20 years. Monica Bird has managed the East Point location for more than eight years. The three locations have 13 employees combined. Each location will do business under the Winsupply brand, i.e., “Winsupply of Live Oak.” “Certified does a lot of things right under the leadership of Wayne, Adam and Monica,” said Mike Larkin, Winsupply’s area leader for the Southeast. “Walking into a Certified location feels like a Winsupply company the way they interact with customers and the way customers interact with them. This is a great fit in terms of culture — as close to Winsupply local companies as any we’ve come across.” HARDI DISTRIBUTORS REPORT AUGUST REVENUE DECLINE Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International released its monthly TRENDS report, showing average sales for HARDI distributor members declined by 1.5% in August 2017. The average annualized growth for the 12 months through August 2017 was 6.7%. “I think the slight decline for the month is actually a very good performance because August 2017 is being compared to the extraordinary August 2016 when average distributor sales were up by 19.5%,” HARDI Market Research & Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus said. “The populationweighted cooling-degree days were 40% above normal in August 2016. Even though August 2017 had 7% more cooling-degree days than normal, it was 26% fewer than the prior year’s heat wave.” “One would think this off month likely was driven by Hurricane Harvey injecting some noise into the equation,” HARDI Senior Economist Connor Lokar added, “but the results do not bear that out. Sales in the Southwest actually rose 0.5%, on average for the month. While 0.5% growth would not normally be impressive, it outpaces the total average decline for the month.” ITR, which prepares economic forecasts for HARDI, still is assessing the post-Harvey and Irma terrain. “Katrina and Sandy showed us the severity of a localized storm is not enough to shift a major economic trend such as GDP or U.S. Total Industrial Production. Accordingly, there is no need to change those forecasts for the near-term,” Lokar stated. The days sales outstanding, a measure of how quickly customers pay their bills, is now near 42 days. “July and August are the seasonal low points for the annual DSO cycle,” Loftus said. “This report matches the August 2015 and 2016 reports, so no sign of economic fatigue or stress.” ASA REVEALS SAFETY AWARD WINNERS Three wholesaler-distributors and three manufacturers are the recipients of a 2016 ASA Member Safety Recognition Award. The winning members of the awards for 2016 are: Elkay Mfg. Co. (Oak Brook, Ill.), PRIER Products (Grandview, Mo.) and Bestbath (Caldwell, Idaho) on the manufacturing side. For ASA member distributors, winning companies are Coburn Supply (Beaumont, Texas), Plumbing Distributors Inc. (Lawrenceville, Ga.) and United Pipe & Steel (Ipswich, Mass.). To be considered for the award, a company must apply by submitting its OSHA 300A form for the previous year. The OSHA 300A: Summary of Work-Related Injuries and Illnesses is a log businesses are required to maintain that summarizes employee injuries against the total number of man-hours logged by employees. The winning companies have the lowest Total Case Incident Rate (TCIR). “This year, we saw another increase in participation in the awards program, including a number of first-time awardees and even brand-new members to ASA diving right into the deep end of ASA’s programs and service,” ASA Safety Committee Chairman Michael Place of Fargo, N.D.-based Dakota Supply Group said. “Once again our members are taking the lead in making safety in the workplace critical to our success. Recognizing companies that excel in their employees’ safety is a great motivator to maintaining a safe work environment.” The award was created in 2012 and recognizes distributors and manufacturers based on their company’s TCIR. Since the awards’ inception, participation by ASA member companies has doubled and has increased each year. TWO MANUFACTURERS EARN EPA WATERSENSE HONORS American Standard, part of the LIXIL Corp., has been recognized with a 2017 WaterSense Manufacturer Partner of the Year Award for the brand’s ongoing efforts to increase awareness about water conservation and the use of WaterSenselabeled products. A two-time winner of this distinction from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, American Standard demonstrated the importance of looking toward the future through its research and development of new water-efficient technologies, the company reported. Additionally, Kohler earned its fifth consecutive Sustained Excellence Award from the EPA. Kohler has partnered with the WaterSense program since 2007 and was recognized this year for its leadership in water-saving product innovation and consumer advocacy, the Wisconsin-based company stated. In 2008, the EPA named Kohler the first recipient of the WaterSense Manufacturer Partner of the Year Award. In each year since, Kohler has earned additional recognition, including EPA’s first Sustained Excellence Award in 2013. HAJOCA HOSTS VENDOR FAIR Hajoca of Harrisburg, Pa., recently hosted an interactive vendor fair at its location. More than 20 vendors and 100 customers enjoyed a complimentary barbeque lunch from Northeast Fire & Rescue and mingled with vendors such as Kohler, Moen, Rheem, Gerber, NIBCO, Milwaukee Tool, Mainline, Wolf Home and more. Giveaways included a 70-in., flat-screen TV, a Milwaukee M-18 miter saw kit and a stainless steel propane grill. Hajoca Corp. is one of the nation’s largest privately held wholesale distributors of plumbing, heating and air-conditioning, industrial pipe, valves and fittings, pool and waterworks supplies for residential. commercial. industrial and infrastructure construction. Hajoca has more than 350 locations throughout the United States and represents premier product lines in the industry. MORSCO, COMPANY ASSOCIATES DONATE TO HURRICANE RELIEF EFFORTS Fort Worth, Texas-based MORSCO recently announced the company and its employees will donate $50,000 to hurricane relief efforts to support those impacted by hurricanes Harvey and Irma. MORSCO donated $35,000 to the Salvation Army to support hurricane relief, which includes $15,000 of a company match for associate donations. MORSCO associates across all eight of MORSCO’s brands donated an additional $15,000 to the Salvation Army effort. MORSCO operates more than 50 locations that were in the path of the storms, primarily in Texas and Florida, however damage to the company branches and showrooms was minimal. “We are fortunate as a company that we weathered the storms with little impact to our facilities,” said Mike Swedick, president of plumbing for MORSCO. “However, some of our associates, customers and vendors were not as lucky. MORSCO’s brands have a deep history of community involvement and we are pleased to continue this tradition by supporting the Salvation Army’s hurricane relief efforts. We know many of our industry partners have a long road to recovery and we will continue to look for ways to support them on both a national and local level.” In addition to the Salvation Army donation, associates at MORSCO locations across Texas and Florida also engaged in local relief efforts, including supply drives and volunteer activities. MORSCO, a portfolio company of global private equity firm Advent International, has more than 170 branch locations, $1.7 billion in sales and 2,500 associates across 16 states. RELIANCE WORLDWIDE INTRODUCES 100 NEW PRODUCTS Reliance Worldwide Corp., a manufacturer of plumbing and water-control systems marketed and sold under the SharkBite Plumbing Solutions, Cash Acme and HOLDRITE brands, has added 100 new products to the SharkBite and Cash Acme lines across 23 product categories, including hose bibbs, frost-free anti-siphon sillcocks, gate valves, garden valves, supply connection kits, 45° elbows, slip adapters, PVC caps and ball valves, washing-machine valves, home-run manifolds, multiport tees and large-diameter barb fittings. Building on the SharkBite EvoPEX system launch earlier this year — a push-to-connect plumbing system for new construction – and the recent acquisition of HOLDRITE, RWC’s portfolio of brands are continuing to stay at the forefront of pioneering new solutions for helping the trade improve jobsite efficiency, the company noted. “The latest additions to the SharkBite portfolio further support our brand commitment of providing a complete end-to-end plumbing solution from meter to fixture from a single source,” said Sean McClenaghan, CEO, RWC USA. “We continue to transform the industry by offering innovative and accessible solutions that address the real-world challenges that plumbers, builders, remodelers and other professionals encounter every day. Through our relentless drive to push the boundaries of what’s possible in the plumbing industry, we’re able to consistently deliver strong value to our customers while making their lives easier. At the end of the day, that’s what matters most.”
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