The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Day: May 31, 2010

2010 Distribution Landscape Report: Strategies for Growth by Market Leaders

This is part of the 2010 Distribution Landscape Report, looking at current trends and issues faced by distributors in diverse sectors. Non-subscribers can purchase the full report for $195 by clicking here.


Former Industrial Distribution magazine editor gives his take on this years MDM Market Leaders list. Keough oversaw the creation of the Big 50 at Industrial Distribution.

To no one's surprise, last year turned out to be a terrible one for distributors. One distributor we talked to called 2009 a "survival" year, noting he was just happy that sales at his distributorship were off only 10 percent due to the deep recession. Other distributors have not …

2010 Distribution Landscape Report: The Refinement of Integrated Supply

MDM has covered the evolution and competitive landscape of integrated supply for more than 20 years. This article, an update to the 2005 analysis, looks at how integrated supply fits into the distribution landscape in 2010, as well as ways distributors continue to refine the model to meet evolving customer needs for a unique set of distribution services.

Nearly everyone MDM has asked about the role integrated supply in recent years has replied in the same way. First: "How do you define integrated supply?" And then comes the answer that has been around since the beginning: "If you've seen one integrated supply contract, you've seen one."

Different distributors call different services integrated supply, and there is still no strict agreement on the breadth or depth of services the model entails. The focus of …

2010 Distribution Landscape Report: End Market Challenges & Opportunities

For a company to recover from a severe broad-based economic downturn, the markets it serves must also recover or new markets must emerge. But the latest recession is making both a challenge for distributors as the U.S. moves into recovery mode.

"It's about redefining success in the new marketplace," says Julia Klein, president and CEO of specialty building products distributor C.H. Briggs, Reading, PA. "An adviser recently said to me, 'If you're a C student when the rest of the class is failing, you're top of the class.' And I think that's a great way to look at it today."

Here's a look at what distributors MDM spoke to for this report are seeing in their major end-markets as of the first half of 2010. …

2010 Distribution Landscape Report: Meeting Shifting Definitions in Value

Distributors need to consider new approaches to doing business and differentiating themselves in what's been referred to as the "new normal." As Publisher Tom Gale wrote in a recent issue of MDM, market-leading distributors are rethinking their models for 2010 and beyond. They are focused on building a leaner, productive operation, built on the strengths and the values that made them successful in the first place.

"If you want to get back to 2007 revenues, you have to identify where that business will be because the drivers of 2007 will …

2010 Distribution Landscape Report: Credit Crunch Continues to Hurt Channels

This is part of the 2010 Distribution Landscape Report, looking at current trends and issues faced by distributors in diverse sectors. Non-subscribers can purchase the full report for $195 by clicking here.


One of the stated goals of the Troubled Asset Relief Program was to reopen credit channels that effectively closed when the financial markets collapsed in the fall of 2008.

However, 18 months later, many distributors – particularly those in the building materials market – are continuing to struggle to get the credit necessary to conduct business. And that is making investment for growth more challenging …

Methodology for MDM Market Leader Lists

Earlier this year, MDM launched an effort to bring you a broad yet detailed landscape report of wholesale distribution by sectors. The result of that effort is what you see before you.

The distributors are ranked by revenues. We collected data for this report in several ways. Companies were asked to fill out a form online providing data about revenues, trends and executives. In addition, forms were sent to companies known to be the largest players in their sectors. We also utilized SEC annual filings for public companies.

In the end, not every company was willing to provide us with revenue data for 2009, yet we deemed it important to include them anyway (e.g. McMaster-Carr, Border States Industries).

We utilized several resources to estimate where to place these companies on their respective lists. These resources included: past reported revenues, average revenue declines within the sectors, data from economic reports and conversations with industry experts.

All companies for which we estimated revenues and/or position are notated with "NA."

Revenues for all companies in this report are provided in U.S. dollars, with the exception of Sonepar. For companies who report their data in other currencies, we converted their revenues to U.S. dollars using the exchange rate in place on the last day of that company's reported fiscal year to determine ranking.