Able Distributors’ president Michael Bleier describes the heating, cooling and ventilation market as mature and saturated. “There’s not a lot of blue in the ocean,” says Bleier, who has worked for his family-owned business for 22 years.

Able Distributors is a heating, cooling and venting supplier that serves Chicago’s professional contractor community. The company carries approximately 50 product lines and has established a reputation as a supplier that puts contractors first, Bleier says.

For Bleier, the question becomes: what can he do to position his mid-sized, Chicago-based company for success in the future as the landscape of the marketplace begins to change? 

Most of the technology that we take for granted would be useless without the connections made by wires and cables, and that makes the solutions provided by Wisconsin-based IEWC essential. Likewise, it’s the connections IEWC creates with its customers that have been responsible for the company’s continued success over the years, and CEO David Nestingen says the company is never finished improving its customer service to ensure those connections remain strong. By bringing what he calls the “Your Team” approach to the solutions it provides, IEWC makes customers feel like it is a member of their own teams.  

For more than 50 years, IEWC has concentrated on providing best-in-class wire, cable and wire management solutions to a broad selection of OEM customers. OEMs make up nearly 90 percent of the company’s customer base, although in recent years IEWC has branched out into providing products for the broadcast and communications sectors. 

FlexPAC is a creative packaging and facilities solutions provider for a variety of industries. FlexPAC’s focus is to make its customers’ lives easier by offering a vast assortment of products and services ranging from custom packaging design to facility cleaning training.

 Mark Dinwiddie, founder and CEO, started FlexPAC 30 years ago in Indianapolis. Six months later, he got his first employee, John Dinwiddie, his brother. FlexPAC has grown to have locations in Elkhart, Ind., and Rock Island, Ill., and continues to expand.

 FlexPAC serves many industries including manufacturing, food processing and distribution. Because FlexPAC operates differently than other distribution companies, it is able to cater to a variety of business needs. FlexPAC doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all mentality. 

Fleming Wholesale Supply Inc. does a lot of heavy lifting on behalf on its customers, literally. “Our core business, and what we really do best, is weight-intensive products,” says Eric Fleming of the Ramer, Ala.-based distributor. “We carry a lot of stuff that the big-box stores don’t want to mess around with because they prefer something easier and higher margin.”

Oversized products carried by the company include supplement feed blocks for cattle ranging in size from 200 to 500 pounds, as well as heavy feeding equipment. “There’s less competition for us in these sorts of products,” Fleming adds. 

In 2010, Gould Paper Corp. began a transition that will finally come to a close this April. Five years ago, Japan Pulp & Paper (JPP) purchased 51 percent of Gould Paper and is on track to purchase the remaining 49 percent this April, which will make Gould Paper a wholly owned subsidiary of JPP. The consolidation is a strategic play for both companies, which have maintained global growth as a key part of their futures. 

Specifically for JPP, the long-term business investment is part of its Innovation JPP 2020 initiative – which is a plan to identify optimal investments in offshore management resources and expand its business overseas. 

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