Shaped Up, Shipped Out
Upon announcing the sale, Kennametal President and CEO Carlos Cardoso said that J&L "has been a great success story with a committed team that has consistently delivered strong growth and margins." He added that Kennametal's goal was to find a partner for J&L that could accelerate its growth, add incremental value to customers and ensure that J&L employees are kept happy.
Kennametal benefits from the deal by continuing to use J&L as a major distributor of Kennametal products and as an important strategic channel partner. MSC will have access to the Kennametal portfolio of brands, and the Kennametal brand will be marketed through MSC and J&L as the premier brand of indexable cutting tool products.
About J&L Industrial Supply
Headquarters: Southfield, Mich.
Merchandise: Metal-cutting tools
Customer demographic: Small- and medium-size durable goods manufacturers who cut or finish metal
Sales per channel: Direct/telesales: 65 percent; online: 35 percent
12-month housefile: 74,000
Total housefile: about 300,000
# of employees: 580
# of SKUs: 130,000
Catalog printer: Von Hoffman, Donnelley
E-commerce platform: ATG with Endeca for search
List manager: MeritBase, balance in house
Inventory management: Manugistics
Phone switch: Siemens
Call center scheduling software: Blue Pumpkin
Predictive selling tool: NetPerceptions
Six Keys to J&L's Turnaround
1. Shifted product focus from maintenance, repair and operating supplies to the metal-cutting tools subcategory.
2. Closed most of its retail stores.
3. Made drastic fulfillment and order-taking improvements to slash its error rate and improve its fill rate.
4. Major investment in technical support.
5. Upgraded Web site to drastically increase online orders.
6. Maintained exhaustive selection of metal-cutting tools in the print catalog.
Key J&L 'Lifer' Spurs
Call Center Success
Spend five minutes with J&L Industrial Supply's vice president of call centers, Kim Shacklett (pictured), and you come away either dying to work for her or in need of a good, stiff drink. Having started working the phones herself at J&L 15 years ago, Shacklett's boundless energy and enthusiasm easily rubs off on a majority of her staff.