2009 - Modern Distribution Management

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Download This Issue: MDM December 25, 2009

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The Year in Distribution: 2009

This article is an overview of trends, events and shifts in the wholesale distribution sector in the past year.

On Dec. 25, 2008, I wrote that we were transitioning into an era with "no bubbles," quoting New York Times columnist Paul Krugman.

While the housing bubble has popped, we may not yet be bubble-free. A smaller bubble may be emerging, as government spending keeps the economy propped up, and economic stimulus package funds are doled out to state and local governments for infrastructure and other large projects.

Looking forward, government spending will play a large role in the economy thanks to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, which undoubtedly will be the first thing to come to mind when "2009" is uttered …

Commentary: The New Era in Wholesale Distribution

Oliver H. Van Horn Company, New Orleans, LA, saw its headquarters wiped out with Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The 100-year-old fourth-generation family company's traditional market literally disappeared that day. The company reshaped itself to deal with the reality of its circumstances, and found new ways to add value in the wake of disaster. They have been rebuilding since, only to encounter a financial hurricane a few short years later. This publication has worked consistently to avoid hyperbole since its founding 1967. But this has been a hyperbolic year.

Semiannual Forecast: Optimism in 2010

Expectations are for the positive conditions experienced in the second half of 2009 to continue in manufacturing, while the non-manufacturing sector expects marginal growth, say the nation's purchasing and supply management executives in the Institute for Supply Management's December 2009 Semiannual Economic Forecast. The overall forecast projects …

3M Outlook: 2010 Will Be a Year for Taking Market Share

After a year of uncertainty, 3M is looking forward to a year of recovery, though the pace of recovery will be "patchy and slow," according to President and CEO George W. Buckley. Buckley addressed analysts and investors at the 3M 2010 Outlook meeting earlier this month.

"2010 will be a year of separation: The strong will get stronger, and the weak won't," Buckley said. "This will be a time when real market share transfers could begin."

Sales for the St. Paul, MN-based diversified manufacturer have …

Economic Update: Economy Starts to Pick Up Steam

Optimism in the economy continues to pick up steam, though that optimism is tempered for many by the fact that we still have a long way to go. Each measurement of the economy's strength is impacted by several others.

During diversified manufacturer 3M's 2010 Outlook meeting earlier this month, CEO George Buckley called it a "chicken-and-egg" scenario. Determining which measure signifies recovery can be difficult. Is it when unemployment …

Monthly Wholesale Trade: Sales and Inventories for October 2009

October 2009 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 $326.2 billion, up 1.2 percent from the revised September level, but down 9.6 percent from October 2008. October sales of durable goods were up 0.8 percent from last month, but were down 11.1 percent from a year ago. Sales of computer and computer …

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