The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Posts By Angela Poulson

Distributors face many kinds of risk, including product liability claims, economic uncertainty, employee injuries, natural disasters and supply chain disruptions. By identifying potential scenarios, and ranking and planning for each of them, risk can be reduced and managed, Vernon Grose, author of Managing Risk: Systematic Loss Prevention for Executives and founder of Omega Systems Group Inc., tells Staff Writer Angela Poulson. Grose is a former member of the National Transportation Safety Board and a risk management aviation expert who has applied lessons from that work to help businesses and organizations.

This article includes:

  • Advice on how distributors should approach risk in their businesses
  • Details on the SMART (Systems Methodology Applied to Risk Termination) technique for managing risk
  • The importance of ranking risk
  • Common elements of risk that are often overlooked

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In his book Islands of Profit in a Sea of Red Ink, MIT Senior Lecturer Jonathan Byrnes says that most of a distributor’s customers are unprofitable while a few are so profitable that they more than subsidize those losses. In the recent MDM Webcast, How to Secure and Grow Your Islands of Profit Customers, Byrnes shares new tips for identifying and growing business with your most profitable customers and replicating that success with new customers.

This article includes:

  • A look at how profitability has changed in distribution
  • What is negatively impacting profitability in today's market
  • How to identify & overcome the challenges to profitability

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  • Don't Be Everything to Everyone
  • 5 Building Blocks for Managing Profit
  • Four Barriers to Distributor Profitability
Fastenal vending machine with man selecting item

Fastenal is largely credited with driving the latest boom in industrial vending services among distributors. Fastenal had nearly 30,000 vending machines installed as of the end of the second quarter 2013, and while it recently backed off on its goal of 30,000 new vending machines this year, it continues to expand its program, called FAST Solutions, at a quick clip. Fastenal’s vending program has grown much faster than the competition’s.

This article is part of MDM’s series on the industrial vending market.

Staff Writer Angela Poulson spoke with Fastenal CEO Will Oberton about:

  • The impetus for Fastenal’s vending program
  • Why Fastenal backed off its aggressive goal for 2013
  • What's next for Fastenal's vending program

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  • Industrial Vending: A Runway for Growth
  • Distributors Get Smarter About Vending
  • The Counterfeit Challenge

Purchase the full MDM Special Report, The Industrial Vending Boom, in the MDM Store in PDF format.

legal-slider

Companies looking to evade the growing cost of defending product liability suits are pushing liability up the supply chain. This article examines factors affecting distributor liability and includes tips from legal and liability insurance professionals on reducing risk.

This article includes:

  • How the focus of liability has shifted
  • Why the risk has increased for distributors
  • How distributors can offset some of the risk of liability

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  • The Counterfeit Challenge
  • Private Label Carries Legal Risks
  • Global Markets Are Not Just for Large Companies Anymore