Editor’s Note: To view a slideshow of the Boring-Smith open house scroll to the right side of the RVBUSINESS.com home page.
Industrial distributor Boring-Smith drew some 500 attendees to its Wednesday (Aug. 19) open house at the RV/MH Hall of Fame in Elkhart, Ind. for a chicken dinner, a ride in a NASCAR simulator, a photo session with 2015 Miss Makita Jessica Harbour and a stroll through the displays of some 50 vendors whose products are largely utilized in the RV, manufactured housing, commercial modular, utility trailer, recreational marine and specialty vehicle industries nationwide.
Suppliers represented by North Carolina-based Boring-Smith, a 43-year-old division of the Industrial Distribution Group Inc. (IDG) that recently took possession of a 27,000-square-foot warehouse on County Road 15 in Elkhart, purvey goods consumed in manufacturing like sealants, adhesives, foam, tapes, plant lighting, power tools, welding, fans, bits, blades, abrasives, wipers, safety signage, matting, hearing protection, eyewear, gloves, first aid and more.
Boring-Smith President Ron Mullet, a former Elkhart resident who works out of IDG’s home office in the Charlotte suburbs, says privately held Boring-Smith today is part of a $22-billion-a-year French company called Sonepar Group. “We’re a large company,” says Mullet. “We just don’t portray ourselves as a large company. You know, Boring Smith is a national company, a distributor – we don’t manufacture anything — that’s in aerospace, automotive, integrated supply and other business arenas.”
And the point of Wednesday’s open house, he told RVBUSINESS.com, was to bring together the front-line manufacturing people, the people who ordinarily first diagnose problems in the production chain, with some of the vendors who specialize in solving those problems and cutting costs in the process.
“What we tried to do in Elkhart is bring those guys with their questions and their problems together in a casual, social, fun event with the people who either have a solution for them that they didn’t know about or that can help them develop and solve some problems,” said Mullet. “So, we tried to bring problems ands solutions together. I don’t know that this has ever been done before in this industry with the product lines that we sell.”
Mullet, on hand for Wednesday’s open house, said it met his management team’s expectations. “It started out as a means to showcase our new warehousing facility — the former Suburban building on C.R 15, which we took possession of 60 days ago and just moved into,” said Mullet. “But it just kept growing. Customers kept saying that they wanted to attend. Our supplier side said they wanted to participate and, all of a sudden, it got too big. And so that’s why we moved it to the RV Hall of Fame, and it was a great choice to move it there.”
Participating suppliers included 3M, ACT, Airmaster Fan, Alta, Andersen, Apex Tool Group, Brady Signs, Columbus McKinnon, Cyclo, Dap, DeWalt, Diversified Brands, Dynabrade, First Aid Safety, Freud, Greenfield, Henkel Loctite, Intertape, Irwin, Kenwood Radios, Komelon, Louisville Ladder, M.K. Morse, Makita, Markal, Nada-Core, Newborn, OMGA, Premier Building Solutions, Primefit, Protective Industrial Products, Proto, Railhead, Reelcraft, Royal Adhesives & Sealants, Rubbermaid, Sioux/Snap-On Power Tools, Spyder Products, Stanley, Superior Glove, Techniweld, Tork, Turtle Plastics, Vega, Vestil Manufacturing, WD-40, West Chester, Wooster Brush.