July 10, 2013 - Modern Distribution Management

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July 10, 2013

How Distributors Say They Measure Up to the Competition

According to a recent survey conducted by MDM and Real Results Marketing, distributors say they provide more value to their customers than their competitors do, but are challenged when asked to actually quantify that value. This article, the first in a two-part series, examines how distributors perceive their own value.

When we ask executives for the value proposition of their business, they usually provide a ready, confident and well-rehearsed answer. The answer consists of a few claims about what they believe they do well. Overwhelmingly, these claims have been derived through executive intuition or anecdotal feedback from the sales team rather than rigorous processes with market testing.

Furthermore, when asked about the economic benefit of their value proposition to the customer, almost none can provide an answer. …

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Commentary: Beware the Big Data Bully

A company’s ability to forecast and be more predictive about its growth opportunities is emerging as a key competitive differentiator. But it requires analytic capabilities that are very different than those required just a few years ago.

Midway through the year, our research team identified key trends shaping wholesale distribution sectors, as contained in the just-released 2013 MDM Market Leaders & Distribution Trends Report. One of the significant trends is …

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New Opportunities in Biofuels

U.S. government mandates and new sources for biofuels are driving up demand, which may translate into significant opportunities for distributors wanting to service that market. This article examines where the greatest opportunities are likely to be and how distributors can capitalize on them.

This is the final article in a series examining the current state of the alternative energy market in the U.S.

In 2005 and 2007, Congress established renewable fuel production goals for biofuels, requiring that refiners annually blend 36 billion gallons of renewable biofuels into transportation fuels by 2022. While corn-derived ethanol has garnered much attention, the largest gap between supply and demand actually exists in the market for …

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MDM Interview: Countering Price Pressure in Distribution

In January, Simon-Kucher & Partners, a global consulting firm, released results from the Global Pricing Study 2012, including key results for distributors and wholesalers. Editor Lindsay Konzak spoke with Wolfgang Mitschke, director at Simon-Kucher, and Matt Johnson, a partner at the firm, about the key takeaways for distributors and the role of services in pricing and profitability.

MDM: The summary of your study says that no other industry faces more price pressure than distribution does. Why is this the case?

Wolfgang Mitschke: We ask executives from a lot of different industries if they are currently facing increased price pressure. The results revealed that 93 percent of the distributors we surveyed said they are currently facing increasing price pressure, far more than any other industry.

Matt Johnson:  Distributors get it from both ends of the spectrum. They’re dealing with …

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How Distributors Can Close the Services Gap

Distributors face common profitability challenges in today’s business environment, including slow organic growth. In this article, Steve Deist and Mike Emerson of Indian River Consulting Group explain how to counter these challenges by becoming aware of the service areas where distributors may be spending too much or too little.

This is an exclusive summary of the June episode of MDM Executive Briefing, Finding the Right Plan for Profitable Growth, featuring Deist and Emerson. Watch now at www.mdm.com/executivebriefing-archive.

Many distribution industry leaders are frustrated by the current business environment, says Steve Deist of Indian River Consulting Group. And the reasons are often the same across businesses.

“The fundamental challenge that everyone is facing is …

How Distributors Can Close the Services Gap Read More »

Download this Issue in PDF: July 10, 2013

This is the PDF of this issue of Modern Distribution Management.

Table of Contents:

  • Value Matters in Distributor Positioning
  • Commentary: Beware the Big Data Bully
  • New Opportunities in Biofuels
  • MDM Interview: Countering Price Pressure in Distribution
  • Closing the Services Gap
  • MDM Industrial Inflation Index: May 2013

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