2011 - Modern Distribution Management

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10 Trends Affecting Distributors in 2012

This article, based on interviews with distributors and manufacturers and the 2011 MDM Reader Survey outlines and analyzes key trends and issues affecting how distributors will do business in 2012.

Looking back at the headlines of 2011, there’s little doubt the economy is still front of mind for most distributors and manufacturers. The difference this year is that attention has turned from the U.S. to the ongoing sovereign debt crisis in Europe and its potential impact on the rest of the world.

However, the economy is no longer the primary concern. MDM readers ranked human resources issues – particularly those around...

Download This Issue in pdf: Dec. 25, 2011

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ISM Semiannual Forecast: Manufacturing Sector Positive

The manufacturing sector is positive about prospects in 2012, according to the December 2011 Semiannual Economic Forecast from the Institute for Supply Management. Revenues are expected to increase in 17 industries, while the non-manufacturing sector appears slightly less positive about the year ahead, with 15 industries expecting higher revenues.

Capital expenditures, a major driver in the U.S. economy, however, will increase only modestly in the manufacturing sector, while investment in the non-manufacturing sector will remain essentially flat.

These projections are part of the forecast issued by the Business Survey Committee of the Institute for Supply Management.

Manufacturing Summary

Expectations for 2012 are positive as 69 percent of survey respondents expect …

2012 End-Market Forecast

In the recent MDM Webcast, the 2012 Economic Outlook: Looking Forward in Fragile Times, available here, economists reported that while there are many bright spots in the economy going into 2012, uncertainty still pervades the environment thanks to political gridlock in Washington, the financial crisis in Europe and ongoing construction weakness.

The bottom line of MDM’s recent Economic Outlook webcast: The U.S. is unlikely to go into a double-dip recession.

Growth slowed considerably in the first quarter of this year, and it was anemic at best in the second and third quarters, according to...

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