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Ron Jadin, CFO of W.W. Grainger, says there are pros and cons to being in a short-cycle business.

Because Grainger, an $8.1-billion provider of maintenance and repair supplies and operating equipment, doesn’t have a big order backlog the way longer-cycle industries typically do, “it can be hard to tell when a downturn is coming,” Jadin says. “We didn’t see the downturn until the fourth quarter of ’08.” 

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