MRO & THE INTERNET: Strength in numbers
The consolidation of smaller Canadian bearing distributors continued this year with the creation of Kinecor Inc., first through the merging of Wajax Motion Technologies, Wajax Process Technologies, Na...
The consolidation of smaller Canadian bearing distributors continued this year with the creation of Kinecor Inc., first through the merging of Wajax Motion Technologies, Wajax Process Technologies, National Bearings, and Spencer Teris on May 1, 2001, followed more recently by the addition of Spencer Industries. Only Spencer Industries, which operates in the western United States, retains its former name.
When the companies were operating independently, says Claude Drolet, Kinecor’s president, “each location was selling one type of product. Slowly, we will bring each core product into every location using [Kinecor’s] infrastructure. We will be able to sell a wide range of products locally, with local expertise.”
Kinecor has a total of 80 branches, with about 13 in the U.S. and the rest in Canada; locations are in every province except the Yukon and Nunavut. (National Bearings was a recipient of the PT Distributor of the Year Award from this magazine in both 1995 and 2000.)
Kinecor has begun integrating all of the separate computer systems of the former companies under a common architecture, an important step in staying competitive as the downturn in industry continues, says Drolet. This complex project should be completed by May, 2002. “The market is not booming,” he says. “We expect 2002 will not be much better than 2001. We knew we had to integrate the business to become a low-cost supplier … the market is more global and we need to be much better every day.
“In the short-term [the market] does not look great,” he reflects, “but in the long term it looks good.”
Drolet expects to see significant savings for the new company in areas such as purchasing and accounting. Advantages to Kinecor’s customers will soon include web-based purchasing. “E-commerce is going to be a big part of our business,” he says. “For the customer, we are trying to make all the products available so he might be able to reduce the number of suppliers he has. We want to become a one-stop supplier for maintenance shops.”