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Commentary: Worst of Years, Best of Years?

What to keep in mind as we move into 2011

December 25, 2010

Successful distribution companies have often defined themselves by the way they manage through business cycles, adjust and emerge with new growth strategies. This year has been such a pivot point. It started for many with no clear signs of recovery but is ending with positive signs for 2011.

For those of us who recall (or in my case have the ability to refer back to what I wrote), this past year has held some notable parallels to the early 1990s downturn. There were similar structural shifts in the way customers managed and in many cases reduced their MRO spend. Following that era, consolidation of distribution markets picked up.

With that history in mind, I offer two key areas to consider for the New Year, …

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