GE Supply Buys Questron to Offer More Job-Site Services, Source Fasteners

May 24, 2002
GE Supply, Shelton, Conn., has launched GE Supply Logistics, a new GE Supply business unit that will offer customers additional on-site bin-stocking and

GE Supply, Shelton, Conn., has launched GE Supply Logistics, a new GE Supply business unit that will offer customers additional on-site bin-stocking and other inventory management services, following the acquisition of Questron Technology Inc. and its subsidiaries.

In April, GE Supply won a bankruptcy court-approved auction of Questron's assets and the GE Supply-Questron transaction received all necessary approvals. Questron filed for Chapter 11 protection in February.

Questron provides supply chain management solutions and inventory logistics management programs through two operating units: Questron Distribution Logistics and Questron Aerospace Logistics. Based in Dallas, the business employs close to 400 in 35 locations nationwide. Questron had 2001 sales of approximately $130 million.

According to GE Supply President and CEO Bill Meddaugh, the Questron acquisition provides GE Supply “with an established platform for external Integrated Logistics Management (ILM) growth and productivity. It represents a natural expansion of our value-added service capabilities and offering to our customers.”

GE Supply already provides customers with some on-site materials management services through its Oasis program, said Jason Jones, who has been named president and general manager of GE Supply Logistics. With Oasis, GE Supply works out a consignment arrangement with a customer for a specific list of products from a construction job's drawings, and then makes inventory of those products available at the job site on a consigned basis. The customer has access to stock of these materials on the job site (often in a trailer or container), and GE Supply tracks the customer's usage of these products.

Questron (now GE Supply Logistics) works with customers in a similar fashion on integrated-supply contracts and product crib management.

“You can call it a couple different names,” said Jones. “But essentially customers are asking us to spend more time on site, and are offloading what are non-value added service materials and management-related activities tied to procurement of various product commodities.”

Another reason for the acquisition is Questron's expertise in fasteners. GE Co.'s various business units purchase approximately $250 million annually in fasteners, and Questron will be a source of supply to meet these needs. GE Supply is also seeing an increase in demand from its customers for fasteners and fastener-related products, and it will sell Questron's fasteners to its existing customer base.

Jones believes Questron will be able to benefit from GE Supply's investment in e-business during the last few years.

GE Supply has hired Questron's 400 employees and plans to keep all 35 locations open. “We are convinced that the business model is right-sized. We are not going to make any significant organizational changes,” he said.