Several of MDM’s July Premium content pieces had a focus on distributor-supplier relations, but August was a very mixed bag. Perhaps due to less industry concern over the economy and supply chain, it’s given us the opportunity to explore other topics that our audience is interested in but haven’t dominated news headlines in 2023. (Download and read MDM’s August 2023 edition of Premium Monthly.)
Not that there aren’t still interesting economic and supply chain developments to discuss, but our conversations with distribution executives and industry associations indicate that we’re entering the fall of 2023 with far less fear over both of those elements than at the start of the year. Instead, it seems more attention as of late has turned to AI, digital transformation and talent topics — all of which will be highlighted at MDM’s SHIFT | The Future of Distribution Conference, held Sept. 18-20 in downtown Denver. With the start of September signaling the end of the Summer vacation season and the start of the busy industry events season, MDM is excited to offer up SHIFT as our marquee event of the year, and I hope you’re able to take part.
Early in August, Senior Editor Vesna Brajkovic examined recent commentary out of The Home Depot, in which it discussed the MRO market potential for HD Supply — the distributor Home Depot originally divested in 2007 and re-acquired in 2020 for $8 billion.
On Aug. 10, Associate Editor Mark Powell’s piece examined the Biden administration’s federal Sustainable Products and Services procurement rule and what distributors should know about it. A day later, we shared my monthly analysis of the latest wholesale trade data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which showed further regression for distributors’ 2023 and 2024 revenue expectations. In a rather unique piece published Aug. 15, I explored Global Industrial Company’s multi-year sponsorship of a NASCAR XFINITY Series race car and what it has done to ‘activate’ that sports marketing initiative. The eCommerce-based distributor has seen great returns from that effort, both externally and internally. In an Aug. 22 contributed piece, EY’s Amar Mehta discussed how new manufacturing business models are disrupting traditional distribution channels, which has created risks and opportunities. And we ended the month with my piece analyzing Grainger’s growing physical footprint, which has now surpassed 30 million square feet.
SHIFT planning has been a year-long process, so we’re ready for the event to finally arrive. We’ve assembled a fantastic lineup of speakers — including numerous distribution executives — who will help us deliver a content program designed to give distributors the best practices, real-world examples and insights needed to succeed across hybrid sales, digital transformation, data analytics and talent. And expect to see plenty of post-SHIFT analysis here on MDM Premium in the months ahead.