MDM May Premium Monthly: Top Distributors Caps Industry’s Bumpy 2024 1st Half - Modern Distribution Management

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MDM May Premium Monthly: Top Distributors Caps Industry’s Bumpy 2024 1st Half

MDM's May Premium content led up to the release of our 2024 Top Distributors feature. You can download our latest Premium Monthly PDF now.
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June is Top Distributors month here at MDM, highlighted by the June 13 launch of our 2024 feature that serves as the industry’s definitive snapshot of the top market movers across 20 different industrial, commercial and building supply product verticals. With it now live, you can view and download it from

This year’s feature expands from 17 to 20 verticals, adding Pharmaceuticals & Healthcare, Food & Beverage and Lubricants & Fuels. Doing so pushed the total number of companies represented from 144 in 2023 to just over 200 in 2024. You can learn all about the feature in the PDF’s methodology explanation.

The PDF and web listings feature is accompanied by our free Top Distributors webcast that also aired June 13 and featured guest panelists John Gunderson of Dorn Group, David Gordon of Electrical Trends and Craig Webb of Webb Analytics. Those three were invaluable in helping triangulate numerous revenue figures and estimates and offer a wealth of industry knowledge. I moderate the program and am joined by MDM’s Tom Gale for additional insights. 

Besides our analysis of what shaped this year’s Top Distributors Lists, our webcast discussion highlights strategic moves some key players have made to better position themselves for when industrial demand eventually climbs from its current soft cycle.

‘When’ is the keyword there. Distributors have been waiting since at least late 2023 for a more widespread flip back to growth, with many publicly traded firms reporting sluggish year-over-year and sequential revenue and profit figures since. Meanwhile, the U.S. Federal Reserve’s holding pattern for interest rates amid stubbornly high inflation leaves much of the industry in a sort of limbo when it comes to capital investment.

While the industrial hard goods recovery period is pushing out later than expected, almost all distributors MDM have spoken with over the past month indicate they still expect a better 2024 second half than its first. Overall, after robust revenue years in 2021 and 2022, 2024 looks to be a second straight year of relatively flat to low-single-digit growth for most sectors on MDM’s radar.

Of course, this isn’t the case across the board. Many of the Top Distributors on our feature logged strong growth in 2023 that has carried into 2024 — outperforming their market average.

A number of those top distributors will be represented at a pair of upcoming MDM events that I highly encourage you to attend to sharpen your business’s competitive edge. 

The first is our July 10 Virtual Sales Summit, which is set to provide six hours of insights into how customer behavior is changing; what agile sales teams are doing differently to win in distribution; innovations and tools that leading sales teams are using today; and more. And, it’s free to attend!

Further out is our annual marquee in-person event, SHIFT, set for Sept. 11-13 in Denver. This 2.5-day event has proven extremely valuable for distribution leadership teams to equip themselves with education around strategic levers to pull around pillars of hybrid sales, digital transformation, data analytics and talent.

In the meantime, here’s wishing our readers a strong second half of 2024.

Meanwhile, MDM’s May 2024 Premium Monthly edition is now available to download. Premium subscribers can do so from this link or from their Premium dashboard. This issue addressed cognitive biases’ impact on analytics ROI; distributors’ top business risks; Sonepar’s acquisition journey; a case study on rooftop solar; and more.

Not a Premium subscriber? You can change that here.

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