March 2012 - Modern Distribution Management

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March 2012

Behind the Deal: HD Supply & Shale-Inland

HD Supply recently announced it would sell its Industrial PVF division to Shale-Inland Holdings. This article looks at the impact of the deal on both companies and what’s next for HD Supply. It includes interviews with the leaders of both firms.

The decision to sell off the industrial PVF division of HD Supply was an easy one, according to CEO Joe DeAngelo. “It was a lot more speculative a business than we wanted to be in,” he said in an interview with MDM. Because of its “tremendous” working capital requirements and volatile ties to commodity markets, the division also had very different operating characteristics than the remaining divisions of HD Supply.

On the other side of the deal, where HD Supply saw a disconnect with its other businesses, Shale-Inland Holdings, a metals service center, saw a great complement. The division provides an inroad to the ...

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MDM Interview, Part 2: The Common Sense Test in Analytics

MDM recently spoke with Tony Pericle, author of Transforming Data into Action: Using Analytics for Better Distributor Sales Decisions from the National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors. This is part 2 of that interview. Part 1 was published in the March 10, 2012, issue of MDM. In part 2, Pericle says analytics alone won’t solve all problems. It takes ongoing course correction and the “common sense test” to get the best results from any effort to use data to make better decisions for your organization.

MDM: When defining analytics, you include walking around the company and getting more qualitative information. That is just the first level of nine you outline in your book. Do companies sometimes think too narrowly when they think about how to use data to improve their organizations?

Tony Pericle: If you think you’re going to be able to use data to answer all of your questions, you are absolutely wrong. I’ll use this example. I have five children and I’ve taught three of them to drive so far. Now I am teaching a fourth one. I take him to an empty parking lot, and I have a crunched Aquafina bottle that I throw out in the parking lot. I tell him: “I want you to drive over it with your left wheel. And then I want you to drive over it with the right ...

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Sharing POS Data: An Exercise in Trust

This article, part 1 in a series, examines the hurdles to a broader acceptance of customer data-sharing in independent distribution channels and how those hurdles may be holding channel partners back from higher profitability due to greater transparency.

Based on MDM surveys and interviews, just a small percentage of distributors and manufacturers across sectors are experiencing significant competitive advantage and market insight as a result of sharing point-of-sale data.

Two-thirds of distributors in a recent MDM survey said they share POS data with at least some of their suppliers. Of those that do share data, ...

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