When you first think of MSC you think of MRO products and cutting tools. At least I do. And, their big catalog too. So the acquisition of AIS is interesting. Without question, I’m not aware of all the capabilities of both companies but I had thought of AIS as more a VMI fastener supplier, for the most part. When they purchased Great Lakes Fasteners in Michigan a few years ago, that seemed to be an expansion of territory but not altogether a different type of business. While many of their products overlap, how they have gone to market would seem…well, different. Could be a very good move in order for MSC to expand even more into the VMI marketplace. And, in the end, everyone seems to be positioning themselves to compete on a bigger level with the Fastenals and Graingers and eventually the Amazons.
One other interesting note I read in Industrial Supply Magazine. It said “MSC Industrial Supply has acquired All Integrated Solutions (AIS) from New York-based private equity firm High Road Capital Partners”. I think we underestimate how much of our industry in now owned/managed by private equity firms. So many of the family run companies are no longer owned by families even when there are still family members involved on a day in, day out basis.
Would like to see a panel discussion on this topic. Hey Morgan, maybe right before the pool party in Vegas?