MIDRANGE Systems 50

Our top 50 users of the AS/400 platform reflect the character of the AS/400 community as a whole.

When we embarked on this voyage to choose the MIDRANGE Systems 50, we had no idea what we were in store for. This long and arduous process has resulted in the inaugural MIDRANGE Systems 50 list of top AS/400 users.

We have chosen 50 companies whose commitment to the AS/400 platform is unparalleled. But commitment to the platform alone is not enough to get a company onto the MIDRANGE Systems 50 list. Side-by-side with commitment walks the interesting use of technology. Data warehousing, business intelligence, Storage Area Networks, Java, and wireless-to-host are just a few of the leading-edge technologies that many of the MIDRANGE Systems 50 companies are using. It also doesn’t hurt to have deep pockets and a large staff, as both of these factors were taken into account.

The whole process started with a list of the 200 largest users of the AS/400 platform, obtained from IRG, a Sterling Heights, Mich. market research and survey firm. This list was culled from a larger list of over 16,000 AS/400 sites in IRG’s IT decision-maker database. Using this list, IRG conducted a telephone survey for us asking the companies on our list about their commitment to the AS/400 platform, budget, staffing and use of certain leading-edge technologies. Of the 200 companies, 100 agreed to take our survey.

Just as in the lottery, you can’t win if you don’t play, so to make the list, companies had to answer our survey. With this fact in mind, we understand that there may be companies out there that deserve to be listed in the MIDRANGE Systems 50. Although we can’t help them out this year, we will be more than happy to consider any company not on this year’s list for next year’s list.


The companies listed represent a variety of industries, geographic regions (we considered only U.S. companies) and sizes. Just as you would expect, manufacturing companies made up the largest proportion of the list, with distribution companies following closely behind.

At the top of our list is Sysco, the largest food service distributor in North America. AmeriSource, the country’s #4 wholesale distributor of pharmaceuticals and health care products holds the number two spot, with FedEx, the nation’s largest express transport firm, grabbing third. Pentair, a tools manufacturer, and Certainteed, a building materials manufacturer, round out the top five.

The healthcare sector is well represented with the top four distributors of pharmaceutical products – AmeriSource (#2), Bergen Brunswig (#11), Cardinal Health (#21) and McKesson HBOC (#29) – making the list, as well as some large pharmaceutical and healthcare products manufacturers, including Becton Dickinson (#6), Abbott Laboratories (#9), Mallinckrodt (#37) and SmithKline Beecham (#47). Throw in a couple of hospitals – Mayo Medical Centers (#40) and Community Health Systems (#46) – and you can see that the AS/400 is alive and well in the healthcare sector. Other well-represented sectors include auto parts, food products, and government. Not a big surprise is the dearth of financial services companies in the list, American General (#17) being the only one.

The companies of the MIDRANGE Systems 50 range across the whole country, with most of the companies located in the Midwest (19), and West (7) having the least.

Based on revenues, the MIDRANGE Systems 50 is represented by all sizes of companies. McKesson HBOC (#29), the nation’s largest distributor of pharmaceutical products, is the largest company represented in the list with over $36 billion in sales. The smallest company is Quincy Compressor (#24) with approximately $250 million in sales.

Unsung Heroes

To us, what was most striking about the list was the number of companies that we, and many of you, have never heard of. This seeming obscurity was only an illusion, however, since on closer examination we found that most of these “unsung heroes” were, in fact, associated with well-known companies. For example, we had never heard of Genuine Parts (#13), an auto parts distributor, but I’m sure everyone has heard of NAPA, a loose association of auto parts dealers. Genuine is the largest provider of parts to NAPA dealers.

National Amusements (#19) might ring a bell as the owner of the Showcase Cinema movie theater chain, but it is also the parent company of Viacom, Paramount Pictures, and the Showtime cable television channel.

You probably wouldn’t know who packaging and containers manufacturer Pactiv (#16) was, unless you read the box that your trash bags came in – Pactiv manufactures the Hefty brand of trash bags.

Let the games begin

Now that you have an idea of the character of the MIDRANGE Systems 50 companies, take a look at the complete list, as well as breakouts for industry, region and revenues. Also, we have chosen four companies from the list for detailed profiles to give you a deeper understanding of how these top companies are using AS/400 technology.

MIDRANGE Systems 50 Graphs:

  • By Rank
  • By Region
  • Top Distributors
  • Top Manufacturers
  • Largest by Revenue
  • Smallest by Revenue
  • Best of the Rest

    Company Profiles:

  • FedEx Ground
  • AmeriSource Health Corp.
  • CertainTeed
  • Apria Healthcare Group