Day: June 25, 2009

Online Marketing Gains Momentum

Online marketing offers a natural extension of a wholesale distributor's business model. And the real beauty of the medium lies in the ability to track response and focus efforts to yield the best results. This article looks at the importance of leveraging the interactive power of the Internet to win and strengthen customer relationships.
This article is excerpted from Outlook 2009: An Executive's Companion to Facing the Forces of Change - Lead the Way in the Supply Chain, published by the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors.

As the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors' Facing the Forces of Change® study pointed out, customers are using the Internet to bypass some of the information, education, and sales functions distributors have ...

Economic Indicators Show Signs of Stabilizing

The broad improvement of the Leading Economic Index and the stabilization of the Coincident Economic Index suggest that the recession that began in the U.S. in December 2007 will likely ease in the near term, according to the latest report from The Conference Board.

The LEI increased sharply for the second consecutive month in May, increasing 1.2%. Seven of the ten indicators that make up the LEI posted increases. The index rose 1.2% (a 2.4% annual rate) between November 2008 and May 2009, the first time the index has increased over a six-month period since July 2007. The LEI currently stands at 100.2 (2004=100).

The CEI continued to decrease in May, falling 0.2% amid further declines in industrial production and employment. However, two of the four indicators showed improvement. ...

MDM June 25, 2009

This is the pdf of this issue of Modern Distribution Management. Apply the full $24.95 pay-per-view cost toward an annual subscription (within 30 days of purchase), which includes two issues a month plus access to more than seven years of online archives and market data. Call 1-888-742-5060 or email to ...

MDM News Digest 3912

Chicago, IL-based Grainger, broad line distributor of facilities maintenance products, said it plans to become a 53% majority owner of MonotaRO, a direct marketer of MRO supplies in Japan. Grainger expects to invest $4 million through a tender offer bid process later this summer. MonotaRO started as a joint venture between Grainger and Sumitomo Corp. in 2000. The business offers more than 110,000 products to more than 320,000 customers. In 2008, MonotaRO had revenues of $136 million and operating earnings of $11 million. More

Industrial distributor DGI Supply, a DoAll company, has agreed to acquire Tool Crib Supply, an industrial distributor based in Bensenville, IL, ...

Bankruptcies in the Channel: BMHC and Western Tool Supply

Three years of precipitous declines in the residential construction market have taken their toll on distributors reliant on that sector. In the past three months, at least four distributors have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, with two filing in mid-June.

On June 16, Building Materials Holding Corp., Boise, ID, filed for reorganization in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Delaware. The building materials and construction services supplier has seen sales decline by more than 50 percent since 2006, from $3 billion annually to $1.3 billion in 2008.

The prior week, Western Tool Supply, Salem, OR, submitted a petition to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the District of Oregon. Sales for the distributor of tools, fasteners and related parts to contractors fell off 25 ...

Monthly Wholesale Trade: Sales and Inventories for April 2009

April 2009 wholesale revenues were $309.4 billion, down 0.4 percent from March and 19.5 percent from April 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.April sales of durable goods were down 1.9 percent from last month and were down 23.4 percent from a year ago. Sales of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies, were down 7.8 percent from last month and sales of metals and minerals, except petroleum were down 6.5 percent. Sales of nondurable goods were up 0.8 percent from last month, but were down 16.1 percent from last year. Sales of farm product raw materials were up 10.5 percent from last month and sales of beer, wine, and distilled alcoholic beverages were up 2.6 percent.

Total inventories were $405.4 billion at the end of April, down 1.4 percent from ...

U.S. MARKET ANALYSIS: MRO Product Consumption in 2008

According to the MDM/Industrial Market Information MRO Market Analysis, the U.S. market size in 2008 for the 126 MRO industrial product groups is $XXX.X billion. (Some prior-year data available at are not directly comparable due to slight variations in product groups included.)

Estimates are based on data compiled by Industrial Market Information, Minneapolis, MN, and analyzed by MDM. Definitions for the 126 individual product categories used to estimate the market size are on p. 7 of this section.

Two aggregate subgroups were measured as well (see charts on next page). Manufacturing & Utilities sectors consumed $XXX.X billion in MRO products across these 126 product groups.

Construction & Mining sectors consumed $XXX.X billion in these MRO products. The ...

Commentary: The Next Phase of Repositioning

In our latest Webcast on June 9, the "2009 Mid-Year Economic Update," Dr. Adam J. Fein examined the latest quarterly data and trending to give a clearer picture for what the remainder of this year and 2010 might hold for distributors. I recommend you listen and view the slides of this one-hour free event, by going to

Here are Dr. Fein's key points, each of which he discussed along with outlooks on housing and construction markets, as well as other major wholesale distribution sectors:

  • The recession is not over, but we are at or near the bottom.
  • The latest economic data shows many sectors are either stabilizing or getting worse at a ...

Lessons Learned in Online Marketing

As publisher of a 40-year-old subscription newsletter reporting on the wholesale distribution industry, I've seen a rapid shift in how our audience of wholesale distribution executives increasingly accesses our online offerings - on the Web, mobile devices and email.

Here are some of the lessons I've learned as we've built out our online information service in the past five years.

Lesson 1: Web site = Marketing Hub
Web sites have tended to grow haphazardly to serve many masters within a company. Marketing has to drive its development and architecture, and integrate transactional functions under the primary objectives of lead generation and customer service.

Combine the current successful marketing mix with e-mail and search engine marketing (SEM) to funnel customers ...

New Orders for Manufactured Durable Goods Up in May

New orders for manufactured durable goods in May increased $2.8 billion or 1.8% to $163.9 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. This was the third increase in the last four months and followed a 1.8% April increase. Excluding transportation, new orders increased 1.1%. Excluding defense, new orders also increased 1.4%.

Shipments of manufactured durable goods in May, down ten consecutive months, decreased $3.6 billion or 2.1% to $169.9 billion. This was the longest streak of consecutive monthly decreases since the series was first published on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 0.5% April decrease.

Unfilled Orders
Unfilled orders for manufactured durable goods in May, down eight consecutive months, decreased $2.0 billion or 0.3% to $747.5 billion. This followed a ...