Day: November 10, 2009

MDM November 10, 2009

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Third Quarter 2009 Public Distributor Report

This is the MDM Public Distributor Report, provided on a quarterly basis to subscribers of Modern Distribution Management. It is available online only.

On the first three pages, you will find recent sales figures from various sectors, as well as a Reports Digest, with information you can use from public distributor and manufacturer reports and earnings calls, distilled by MDM.

On page three of this Public Distributor Report, we feature MSC Industrial, which released its annual results. It features snippets from its 10K annual report and investor call.

The latest numbers for dozens of public distributors across various wholesale sectors are on the back page and provided by Robert W. Baird & Co.

We hope you will view this quarterly feature as another way to gather ideas, stay on top of the moves of your largest competitors, and hone your business plan.

Interview: PTDA Builds Focus in Motion Control

This interview is part of a monthly series of association president interviews. Find past MDM interviews at

The Power Transmission Distributors Association's outgoing and incoming presidents recently spoke with MDM Editor Lindsay Konzak about challenges in the industry, association successes building leadership in the younger generation, and PTDA's push on the motion control front.

Drew Tucci, director of sales & marketing of Eastern Bearings, Inc., Waltham, MA, finishes his tenure as president at the end of 2009. Keith Nowak, president of MPT Drives Inc., Madison Heights, MI, was elected president at PTDA's Industry Summit in San Diego, CA, last month and will take the helm in 2010.

Stanley, Black & Decker Merger Impact on Distribution Channels

The Stanley Works and Black & Decker have recently announced they are merging to form an $8.4 billion manufacturer. The deal, which the companies insist is not due to economic conditions, seems to be getting a positive response from channels the suppliers serve. Still, distributors are watching the manufacturers closely as they move toward closing the deal in the first half of 2010.

While the initial announcement came as a surprise to many, the merger of The Stanley Works (NYSE: SWK), New Britain, CT, and The Black & Decker Corp. (NYSE: BDK), Towson, MD, also made sense to many with interests in …

Commentary: Better Partner Segmentation Needed for the New Normal

The new normal is anything but. In spite of recent positive news, the economy is still brittle. Distributors have little flexibility to manage growth over the next six to 12 months – tighter credit, weaker asset positions, sluggish cash flow, fewer people/less talent. To get back on the offensive, companies have to re-evaluate and redefine how they operate across nearly every aspect of the operation. In many cases they have to change longstanding processes to adapt to these new market conditions.

Go Beyond Numbers in a Price War

Many distributors have been drawn into price wars, in part due to a dramatic drop in sales volume for many. To learn how distributors can more effectively react when challenged on price, MDM spoke with pricing expert Mark Bergen of the University of Minnesota, who has been studying the effects of price wars and how to fight them for more than two decades.

Bergen says that companies often miss the mark in their responses to a price war. This article looks at why the customers' perspective becomes the most important factor when determining how to react.

Amazon, Wal-Mart and Target have been making headlines in the past month over their hard-cover book price-cutting battles. According to reports, Wal-Mart sparked