Top Companies Report

27. Zep

July 7, 2009

Atlanta, GA
Sales: $574 million

Sales: $574 million. Net income: $16.3 million for the year ended Aug. 31, 2008.

Key Personnel: John K. Morgan, chairman, president and chief executive officer; Mark R. Bachmann, executive vice president and chief financial officer; Robert P. Collins, vice president and chief administrative officer; David A. Korn, vice president and chief compliance officer; Stanley R. Weller Ph.D., vice president and chief technology officer; C. Francis Whitaker III, vice president, general counsel and secretary.

Major Products: Industrial and institutional cleaners. Brands include: Zep, Zep Commercial, Zep Professional and Enforcer Products.

New Products: Pro Visions biodegradable cleaners, Biofilm Drain Purge, Zep Commercial line of auto aftermarket products.

Comments: Sales rose 1.6% last year, primarily due to currency fluctuation, yet overall unit volume declined due to weak demand in North America. However, net income rose nearly 16% last year to $16.3 million. During the year, volume declined in North America, but rose internationally.

With no end to the recession in sight, in December Zep said it was reducing its non-sales headcount by 5%.

“We are operating in a rapidly declining and much broader economic downturn than we initially anticipated and believe it was prudent to reduce our cost structure in response,” noted John K. Morgan, chairman, president and chief executive officer. “In addition to the workforce reduction we have already begun implementing, we will further reduce our costs in other areas as necessary.”

For the first half, Zep reported a net loss of $2.5 million versus $8.2 million net income a year ago. Sales declined 11.9% to $243.8 million.

At the halfway mark in fiscal 2009, the company said it remains focused on simplifying and improving its core Zep sales and service business. Last year, the company fired underperforming sales representatives and most recently began adding sales capacity by seeding its sales force with experienced professionals focused on its most important market verticals. These additional, experienced sales representatives are poised to make an immediate impact on Zep’s top-line, and management expects this new recruitment model will carry a substantially shorter payback period than previous models, according to the Atlanta-based firm.

Also in the second quarter, the company reconfigured its logistics operations by consolidating three branches and signing a lease agreement for a northeastern U.S. distribution center in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. Finally, Zep maintains that it made progress on its initiative to grow the Zep Commercial brand with existing partners, and is finding that the retail product expansion effort is enhancing its ability to access new retailers.

Back in October, Zep formed strategic alliances with W.W. Grainger, Inc., Lab Safety Supply Inc., Graybar Electric Company, Inc., R3 Reliable Redistribution Resource, a division of Bunzl North America, and VWR International, LLC. A distribution agreement has also been reached with SP Richards to distribute select Zep Commercial products.

  • It’s Magic!

    It’s Magic!

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||March 20, 2017
    Argan oil-infused ‘Moroccan’ lip care brand jumps from WholeFoods into CVS.

  • On the Cutler Edge

    On the Cutler Edge

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||March 13, 2017
    Top brand source at Redken forecasts up-to-the-minute hair trends.

  • Take The Hint

    Take The Hint

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 13, 2017
    Water brand forays into sun protection by capitalizing on scent and experience.

  • Supply-Side Innovations

    Supply-Side Innovations

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    Raw material suppliers roll up their sleeves and roll out their new products for the global cleaning industry.

  • New Faces in Familiar Places

    New Faces in Familiar Places

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    The American Cleaning Institute officially welcomed its new president.

  • Special Delivery

    Special Delivery

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    UV protection is important, but what good is that sunscreen if consumers won’t apply it?

  • Garden Variety

    Garden Variety

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor||March 1, 2017
    Color cosmetics for Spring 2017 are inspired by the beauty of nature and new beginnings.

  • OTC = TLC

    OTC = TLC

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||March 1, 2017
    Over-the-counter treatments provide consumers’ skin and hair with extra care.

  • The Green Dot

    The Green Dot

    John Kim and Lambros Kromidas, PhD*, Shiseido Americas||March 1, 2017
    Insights into one of the most used trademarks in the world.

  • An Essential Read

    An Essential Read

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||March 1, 2017
    Industry expert Nadim Shaath takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the history and the future of essential oils.

  • Sustainability, Brexit and AI Are in Focus at In-Cosmetics

    Sustainability, Brexit and AI Are in Focus at In-Cosmetics

    March 1, 2017
    In-Cosmetics Global 2017 will take place in London, April 4-6, 2017

  • Trade Association Directory 2017

    February 2, 2017
    Contact details of trade associations that serve various segments of our industry and are mentioned frequently in Happi.

  • What the Halal  Is Going On?

    What the Halal Is Going On?

    Imogen Matthews , In-Cosmetics||February 2, 2017
    Demand for these beauty products is surging thanks to a fastgrowing Muslim population.

  • Relief for Sensitive Scalps

    Relief for Sensitive Scalps

    Guadalupe Pellon and Annette Mehling , BASF||February 2, 2017
    BASF researchers detail the attributes of the company’s highly effective hair care system focusing on scalp sensitivity.

  • What’s in Style?

    What’s in Style?

    Melissa Meisel , Associate Editor||February 1, 2017
    The latest sprays, gels, mousses, serums and creams for hair are filled with luxury components and meet a variety of needs

  • Defining Clean Skin

    Defining Clean Skin

    Nava Dayan PhD, Dr. Nava Dayan LLC||February 1, 2017
    A look at the issues, research and history surrounding this controversial topic.

  • Linked In

    Linked In

    Christine Esposito , Associate Editor||February 1, 2017
    Through virtual reality, apps and connected devices, beauty and personal care brands can strengthen their customer relations

  • Hitting the Right Notes

    Hitting the Right Notes

    January 6, 2017
    Agilex Fragrances is the leader in the middle market fragrance category.

  • The Smell of Clean in 2017

    The Smell of Clean in 2017

    January 6, 2017
    Changing consumer lifestyles and demographics are impacting the scents found in the household cleaning category.

  • On the Edge

    On the Edge

    January 6, 2017
    Expanding beauty brands to watch in 2017

  • A New Contender?

    A New Contender?

    January 6, 2017
    Detergent sales are up, innovation continues and Henkel is determined to make it a dogfight in the segment.

  • Engagement 2016

    Engagement 2016

    January 6, 2017
    CSPA convenes in Fort Lauderdale for annual meeting.

  • Slow & Steady

    Slow & Steady

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 1, 2016
    In a tumultuous environment, steady gains posted in the industrial and institutional cleaning sector are welcomed.

  • The World Comes to Orlando

    The World Comes to Orlando

    Tom Branna, Editorial Director||December 1, 2016
    More than 1,600 chemists traveled to Florida for the IFSCC Congress

  • The Plex Phenomenon

    The Plex Phenomenon

    Denise Costrini, Croda North America||December 1, 2016
    Croda details the hair-protecting qualities of bond multipliers and the company’s new bond-building formulation system.

  • New Hair Care Ingredients

    December 1, 2016
    Check out the latest releases from suppliers.

  • Hair & Now

    Hair & Now

    Melissa Meisel, Associate Editor ||December 1, 2016
    The shampoo and conditioner category is expanding with modern takes on these classic formulations.

  • Perform or Perish

    Perform or Perish

    Christine Esposito, Associate Editor||December 1, 2016
    Success in today’s skin care sector begins with active ingredients, formulated in products that address modern-day issues.