May 10, 2007 - Modern Distribution Management

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May 10, 2007

Regain Pricing Control

As customer bases shift, competition intensifies and commodity prices seesaw, it's more crucial than ever for distributors to maximize profitability by magnifying the value they provide for their customers and not competing on price alone. Increasing prices by 1 percent without hurting volume can improve profits as much as 11 percent, according to one pricing consultant.

Distributors looking to boost profitability and refocus on value should analyze and redesign their pricing strategy.

"If a sales force is out negotiating deals, there's very little control. They come back and say, 'I've got a deal at $90. I know our price is $100, but if we don't give them $90 we won't get the deal.' And everyone feels as if they are being held for ransom, says ...

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Service-Oriented Architecture

Distributors have had wildly varying degrees of success in updating their legacy systems. Service Oriented Architecture provides an opportunity to preserve the value of legacy systems but doesn't pigeon-hole a distributor into an exclusively Web interface or Windows-based application. It also allows your system to adapt to technology that has yet to surface. Here's an overview.

It's 2007 and legacy systems have beaten the odds. Here we are, still plugging away on our green-screen applications, improving them, expanding them and making them work harder than ever before. How did this happen?

Dozens of silver-bullet green-screen-to-GUI tools have wandered into and back out of the marketplace. Many conversions have been performed, but there have been wildly ...

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Growth Expected Through End of 2007

Economic growth in the U.S. is sustainable throughout the remainder of 2007, say the nation's purchasing and supply executives in their spring 2007 Semiannual Economic Forecast. Expectations for the remainder of 2007 are encouraging in both the manufacturing and non-manufacturing sectors. These projections are part of the forecast issued by the Business Survey Committee of the Institute for Supply Management& trade; (ISM).

Manufacturing Summary
The survey panel of purchasing and supply management executives remains optimistic with 62 percent of respondents predicting revenues to be greater in 2007 than in 2006. This is reflected in their expectations of a 5.6 percent net increase in revenues for the period. To support the revenue growth expectations, ...

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Monthly Wholesale Trade: Sales and Inventories for March 2007

March 2007 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers'sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $346.3 billion, up 1.8 percent from the revised February level and were up 8.4 percent from the March 2006 level. The February preliminary estimate was revised downward $0.6 billion or 0.2 percent. March sales of durable goods were up 2.1 percent from last month and were up 6.6 percent from a year ago. Compared to last month, sales of computer and computer peripheral equipment and supplies were up 6.1 percent and sales of lumber and other construction materials increased 5.9 percent. March sales of nondurable goods were up 1.5 percent (+/-0.7%) from last month and were up 10.1 percent (+/-2.0%) ...

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MDM News Digest 3709

GE Supply will now be named Gexpro. The name change follows the acquisition of GE Supply by Rexel, Paris-based distributor of electrical supplies. Gexpro, a $2.7 billion unit, will continue to operate as an independent Rexel banner in the U.S. More ...

Barnes Group Inc., Bristol, CT, has renamed its Associated Spring business segment Barnes Industrial. The Associated Spring brand will remain within the Engineered Springs SBU.&nbsp ; More ...

DXP Enterprises, Inc. has agreed to buy Delta Process Equipment, Inc., a $23 ...

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U.S. MARKET ANALYSIS: Industrial Lubricants

Industrial Lubricants represented a market in 2006 of $3.2 billion, according to estimates by Industrial Market Information, Minneapolis.

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These charts show the top ten industries, by SIC code, consuming these products; and the 2005 end-user consumption of these groups sorted by the nine government market regions. ...

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Identifying core value a core competency

When a distributor loses focus on its relationships with core customers and suppliers, the company opens a door to competitors, new and old. It's often not a case of mistreatment as much as benign neglect or not keeping up with shifting needs at the customer.

Increasingly, new competitors from different product sectors have found some good growth in other distributors'back yards with tangential products. And in some cases they can pick up some of the longstanding business that wasn't in their core by packaging a better value proposition. But too often distributors tee up those opportunities and don't recognize that it's happening.

That model is at full force as more cross-channel competition grows, and consolidators look to package as much volume as possible into their ...

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