Donald Frendberg, HARDI executive vice president and COO, addressed European distributors at the 48th FEST Congress in Algarve, Portugal. FEST, the European Federation of the Sanitary and Heating Wholesale Trade, represents national trade organizations in 17 countries including Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech republic, Spain, Germany, Denmark, France, Finland, Great Britain, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Sweden. The organization shares HARDI's interest in understanding distribution across the Atlantic.

Frendberg commented, “The most significant aspect of the overall Congress was the realization that the issues faced by European distribution is virtually a carbon copy of the situations in North America. Concerns with consolidation, finding qualified personnel, improving efficiency, cost reductions, technology implementation and the extension of service offerings are common to all distribution, no matter country or continent.

“[This] emphasizes the need for greater cooperation in finding collective solutions as globalization continues at a rapid pace,” said Frendberg.

FEST is planning a trade mission to the U.S. in 2007 to visit with fellow wholesale distributors. HARDI will be coordinating the mission once the plans are developed.