So What Other Industries Are Left To Consolidate
I was musing about some of the great stock market stories and realized there was a theme that kept reappearing, like the leitmotifs in a well done file score.
Some of the great stocks have happened when a fragmented industry with a lot of small mom & pop style players had one large player take over. Some of the examples are Starbucks in coffee houses, McDonalds in hamburger stands, Alderwoods in the funeral industry, GM and Ford in the auto industry (they've fallen on hard times now, but those were amazing stocks for several generations.) Some times it is a consolidation as small players are bought out, other times the small players get shoved out. If you got in before the company got to be huge you did very well.
So what industries seem like they might have potential for this? The obvious one is dentistry. Most dentist's offices have one or maybe two dentists. They have their own booking and insurance personel, several hygenists and are probably run as either sole proprietorships or LLCs. There seems to be some room for much greater efficiency in a consolidation here, but you have the problem that people like to have their own provider and not get get whoever is the next one with a free slot. Maybe a company that would do the booking, insurance, and front office stuff, but let the dentist still have a "practice" with patients seeing the same provider so they get the warm and fuzzy.
The dental supplies industry also seems to be fragmented with a bunch of small manufacturers, many of them privately held. 3M seems to be one of the few large suppliers as they seem to make most of the castants, sealants and various other "goo" used in the industry. (And 3M is very firmly in my watch list.)
The housing contruction industry is another one with mostly small local players, but it is having a rough time of it recently and it may be a year or two before it has an upturn. (Although a bunch of large and small players may go under and this may do an effective consolidation as there may not be many standing after this.)
So, any ideas for profitable but fragmented industries that could have a killer big box company become the big dog on the porch?