Change is on the horizon for distribution, and our readers were looking for tips on how to effectively manage that change during the third quarter. General industry trends, a potential shift in rebates and incentives, and the role of the internet of things were among the Top 5 most-read articles on mdm.com during the third quarter.
1. 2016 MDM Distribution Trends Report – Our annual distribution trends report, released in conjunction with the 2016 MDM Market Leaders, dominated the most-read articles for the third quarter, as distributors look to stay on top of the issues affecting their businesses. In addition to the complete report, readers were particularly interested in customer engagement (tip: don't be Amazon), strategic marketing and industrial sector trends.
2. Rethinking Rebates – Rebates play a critical role for the profitability of many distributors. But as the market changes, some manufacturers are rethinking how they incentivize their distributors to grow sales. While disruptive, the changes could ultimately result in stronger relationships.
3. MDM-Baird Distribution Survey: Economy Stuck on the Bottom in 2Q – After a calamitous close to 2015, continued downward pressure kept the economy in the trough for the second quarter, according to the quarterly MDM-Baird Distribution Survey.
(Did the downward trend continue? Third-quarter results will be released later this month.)
4. IoT Poised to Alter Supply Chain – The applications for the internet of things are still in the early stages for distribution, but experts expect rapid growth in the next few years. This article examines some of the opportunities and challenges IoT introduces for the supply chain.
5. Listen to Customers or Lose Them – In the "era of the customer," not enough distributors are actually listening to what their customers want and need. With the rise of Amazon and other unknown disruptors possibly on the horizon, B2B companies must map their customers’ experience to uncover deficiencies – and then work to solve them.