Day: April 25, 2010

First-Quarter MDM-Baird Survey: Optimism Grows

Robert W. Baird & Co., in partnership with Modern Distribution Management, conducted a survey of distributors and manufacturers to gauge business trends and the outlook for the distribution industry in diverse sectors. Here's the exclusive look at all the results for premium subscribers to MDM.

First-quarter revenues among survey respondents were down 0.9 percent from last year, and pricing and gross margins were flat. Overall, survey respondents expect an average 3.1 percent increase in revenues in the second quarter 2010, and 3.9 percent growth for 2010 overall.

Balancing Online & Print Catalogs

Questions and even confusion persist as to the role online catalogs and online selling should play for distributors. This article examines those questions and the challenges that come with moving business online.

This is part of an occasional series of MDM articles on doing business electronically.

Over the past five years, more distributors and manufacturers have moved more of their business online, from offering product catalogs online to selling a broad range of items through electronic storefronts. And more customers are doing their research online before ever calling a distributor's sales department.

According to a recent survey conducted by Robert W. Baird …

Commentary: A Tribute to Bill Hodgdon

MDM lost a long-time contributor and friend last fall. Bill Hodgdon, a consultant with a strong manufacturing operations and marketing background, died from complications with cancer. Over 18 years, Bill wrote many articles for MDM and spoke for many distribution associations. He consulted with international manufacturers who sold through distribution and helped them with channel strategy and tactics. Bill had a unique perspective.

Distribution Financial Metrics and Trading Multiples: 1Q 2010

This table highlights key financial metrics and trading multiples for 27 publicly traded distributors in the industrial and building products industries up to March 31, 2010. Download this data below. Also find graphic illustrating median EBIDTA multiples for the same distribution companies.

These materials, prepared by Robert W. Baird & Co. for MDM, are for informational purposes only.