Day: February 10, 2013

MDM-Baird Distribution Survey Reveals ‘Choppy’ 4Q

Robert W. Baird & Co., in partnership with Modern Distribution Management, conducted a survey of more than 500 distributors and manufacturers to gauge business trends and the outlook for the distribution industry in diverse sectors. Here is a summary of fourth-quarter results and distributor and manufacturer expectations for 2013.

Even with uncertainty and a disruptive mid-week holiday schedule, respondents to the fourth-quarter 2012 MDM/Baird Distribution Survey passed the revenue expectations they had in the third-quarter survey. Fourth-quarter revenues were up a modest 3 percent overall for respondents, slightly higher than the forecast 2.4 percent growth. All segments represented in the survey reported positive growth in the quarter.

Respondents expect revenues to grow 3.4 percent in first quarter 2013 and raised full-year expectations to …

Commentary: The Puck Stops Here

I’ve been a hockey fan since the 1960s. But someone has to say it: Stop paying attention to Wayne Gretzky’s advice about skating to where the puck will be. It’s been beaten to death countless times by consultants and motivational speakers.

For a long time, it worked well to follow the Great One’s advice. Good distribution companies played where the puck was – they executed well in established markets. Great distribution companies could see where the puck was going – they dedicated resources to find and monetize emerging growth opportunities.

Growth is harder to come by today; market …

New Year, New Approach to Business

Mike Marks of Indian River Consulting Group says distributors need to break out of the traditional mold of doing business and think differently about how to stand out in an increasingly busy market. In today’s business climate, distributors must do more to maintain their edge.

This is an exclusive summary of the recent MDM Webcast, What Distributor Innovation Looks Like in 2013: Rethinking Your Business Model. The program is available on-demand or on DVD at

Market share incumbents held hostage to the old ways of doing things are losing ground to “rule-breakers,” innovative market share challengers with a fresh perspective, according to Indian River Consulting Group’s Mike Marks in the recent MDM Webcast, What Distributor Innovation Looks Like in 2013: Rethinking Your Business Model.

History shows us that incremental improvements to the same business model can lead to success. The successful automotive company Porsche, for example, has focused on continuous product development along the same platform for years. And Marks says …

MDM Pricing Trends Report: Fourth Quarter 2012 and Annual

This report was formerly called the Inflation by Commodity Group Report.

This report is researched and produced by MDM editors. View the Third Quarter 2012 pricing trends report here.

These product groups provide a snapshot of inflation trends based on the Producer Price Index from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fourth quarter 2011 pricing levels are compared with fourth quarter 2012, and third quarter 2012 with third quarter 2012. Full-year 2011 pricing levels are compared with full-year 2012.

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  • Abrasives
  • Adhesives & Sealants
  • Metal Cutting Machine Tools
  • Metal Forming Machine Tools
  • Pumps, Compressors, & Eqmt
  • Ind. Material Handling Eqmt
  • Rubber & Plastic Hose
  • Rubber & Plastic Belts & Belting
  • Ind. Rubber Products, nec
  • Metal Valves (not fluid power)
  • Personal Safety Equipment & Clothing
  • Steel Mill Products


  • Softwood Lumber
  • Hardwood Lumber
  • General Millwork
  • Gypsum Products
  • Hardboard, Particlebd, Fiberbd
  • Plywood
  • Plastic Construction Products
  • Wood Ties, Siding, Shingles,
  • Shakes


  • Electrical Machinery & Eqmt
  • Electronic Components & Accs
  • Integrating and Measuring Instruments
  • Motors & Generators
  • Wiring Devices
  • Transformers & Power Regulators
  • Switchgear, Switchboard, etc., Eqmt
  • Communications & Related Eqmt
  • Electric Lamp Bulbs & Parts

Other Related Electrical

  • Lighting Fixtures
  • Nonferrous Wire & Cable
  • Fabricated Ferrous Wire & Cable

Power Transmission/Bearing

  • Mechanical Power Transmission Eqmt
  • Ball & Roller Bearings
  • Plain Bearings & Bushings
  • Speed Changers, Drives & Gears

Fluid Power

  • Fluid Power Eqmt
  • Fluid Power Valves
  • Fluid Power Hose/ Tube Fittings
  • Fluid Power Pumps & Parts
  • Fluid Power Actuators/ Accum/ Cylinders


  • Plastic Resins & Materials
  • Plastic Products (Overall)


  • Nuts, Bolts, Screws, Rivets, Washers (overall)
  • Aircraft Fasteners
  • Externally Threaded Fasteners
  • Internally Threaded Fasteners
  • Nonthreaded Metal Fasteners


  • Hardware (overall)
  • Builders’ Hardware


  • Hand & Edge Tools
  • Power-Driven Hand Tools
  • Tools, Dies, Jigs, Molds, Fixtures
  • Cutting Tools & Accs (overall)
  • Precision Measuring Tools
  • Small Cutting Tools


  • Industrial Gases
  • Welding Machinery/ Equipment


  • Pulp, Paper & Allied Products (overall)
  • Sanitary Paper Products
  • Boxes
  • Packaging Products from Plastic


  • Air Cond. & Refrigeration Eqmt
  • Heating Eqmt
  • Plumbing Fixtures & Fittings

To view this report, log-in and click on Download pdf below the product listing.

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