The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Posts By Scott Merrill

With all the technology available to sales personnel, the nature of the sales position is changing drastically. This article examines some of the ways in which the role of the salesperson is changing, as well as ways to prepare a sales force for today's ever-changing environment.

This article includes:

  • Challenges of a more informed customer base
  • Why fast turnarounds are important across the entire transaction process
  • Recommendations for improved training of sales personnel

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Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Cost-Effective Channel Alignment
  • The Changing Role of the Distributor
  • Differentiate to Combat Disintermediation

Successfully measuring customer satisfaction can improve the customer-distributor relationship. This article examines some of the most popular metrics and discusses how to develop a strong customer feedback program that can help improve the customer relationship.

This article includes:

  • What metrics to track to find out what your customers want
  • Problems to avoid in implementing a customer feedback system
  • How to maximize benefits from the feedback you receive

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  • Commentary: Cutting to the Chase On Digitals Value Proposition
  • College Recruiting: Go Beyond Career Fairs
  • 2014 Economic Outlook: Building for the Future

This article is a part of MDM's 2014 Distribution Trends Report. The article introduces Capitol Coffee, which began as an office coffee distributor, but quickly expanded to provide more products and services to its customers with its concierge service.

The annual report was researched and written by MDM editors based on interviews with dozens of wholesaler-distributors, as well as industry experts and manufacturers. MDM also conducted a survey of its readers to uncover the trends outlined in this report.

The full report is available to download in PDF format to MDM Premium subscribers. Subscribe below for full access. Or log-in if you are already a subscriber.

Trends outlined in the 2014 report include:

  • Leaving Economic Uncertainty Behind
  • Connecting the Dots Online and Offline
  • Need for Access Whenever, Wherever, However Drives Mobile Adoption
  • Avoiding Information Overload Essential with Analytics
  • Making the Case for Millennials in Distribution
  • Training, Technology Take Front Seat in Employee Retention Strategies
  • Better Inventory Management Through Data, Collaboration
  • Distributors Seek More Complete Strategy for Vending
  • Private Equity Consolidating Markets
  • A More Practical Approach to Product Expansion
  • Trend Snapshots for 13 Sectors

The report also includes the following case studies and interviews:

  • 2014 MDM Market Movers
    • Engman-Taylors Cost-Saving Teams
    • Capitol Coffees Proactive Problem-Solving
    • Redwood Plastics Online Success Story
  • MDM Market Leader Profiles
    • DGI Supply: Building on the Core
    • F.W. Webb Takes Diverse View of Market

This article is a part of MDM's 2014 Distribution Trends Report. The article analyzes the key trends in inventory management in the wholesale distribution industry, including better collaboration between manufacturers and distributors and better use of data in regards to inventory.

The annual report was researched and written by MDM editors based on interviews with dozens of wholesaler-distributors, as well as industry experts and manufacturers. MDM also conducted a survey of its readers to uncover the trends outlined in this report.

The full report is available to download in PDF format to MDM Premium subscribers. Subscribe below for full access. Or log-in if you are already a subscriber.

Trends outlined in the 2014 report include:

  • Leaving Economic Uncertainty Behind
  • Connecting the Dots Online and Offline
  • Need for Access Whenever, Wherever, However Drives Mobile Adoption
  • Avoiding Information Overload Essential with Analytics
  • Making the Case for Millennials in Distribution
  • Training, Technology Take Front Seat in Employee Retention Strategies
  • Better Inventory Management Through Data, Collaboration
  • Distributors Seek More Complete Strategy for Vending
  • Private Equity Consolidating Markets
  • A More Practical Approach to Product Expansion
  • Trend Snapshots for 13 Sectors

The report also includes the following case studies and interviews:

  • 2014 MDM Market Movers
    • Engman-Taylors Cost-Saving Teams
    • Capitol Coffees Proactive Problem-Solving
    • Redwood Plastics Online Success Story
  • MDM Market Leader Profiles
    • DGI Supply: Building on the Core
    • F.W. Webb Takes Diverse View of Market

This article is a part of MDM's 2014 Distribution Trends Report. The article analyzes the shifting role of analytics in the wholesale distribution industry, including the demand for cleaner data and interactive dashboards.

The annual report was researched and written by MDM editors based on interviews with dozens of wholesaler-distributors, as well as industry experts and manufacturers. MDM also conducted a survey of its readers to uncover the trends outlined in this report.

The full report is available to download in PDF format to MDM Premium subscribers. Subscribe below for full access. Or log-in if you are already a subscriber.

Trends outlined in the 2014 report include:

  • Leaving Economic Uncertainty Behind
  • Connecting the Dots Online and Offline
  • Need for Access Whenever, Wherever, However Drives Mobile Adoption
  • Avoiding Information Overload Essential with Analytics
  • Making the Case for Millennials in Distribution
  • Training, Technology Take Front Seat in Employee Retention Strategies
  • Better Inventory Management Through Data, Collaboration
  • Distributors Seek More Complete Strategy for Vending
  • Private Equity Consolidating Markets
  • A More Practical Approach to Product Expansion
  • Trend Snapshots for 13 Sectors

The report also includes the following case studies and interviews:

  • 2014 MDM Market Movers
    • Engman-Taylors Cost-Saving Teams
    • Capitol Coffees Proactive Problem-Solving
    • Redwood Plastics Online Success Story
  • MDM Market Leader Profiles
    • DGI Supply: Building on the Core
    • F.W. Webb Takes Diverse View of Market

This article is a part of MDM's 2014 Distribution Trends Report. The article analyzes the trends in vending, including more thorough evaluation of vending programs and implementation of new technologies.

The annual report was researched and written by MDM editors based on interviews with dozens of wholesaler-distributors, as well as industry experts and manufacturers. MDM also conducted a survey of its readers to uncover the trends outlined in this report.

The full report is available to download in PDF format to MDM Premium subscribers. Subscribe below for full access. Or log-in if you are already a subscriber.

Trends outlined in the 2014 report include:

  • Leaving Economic Uncertainty Behind
  • Connecting the Dots Online and Offline
  • Need for Access Whenever, Wherever, However Drives Mobile Adoption
  • Avoiding Information Overload Essential with Analytics
  • Making the Case for Millennials in Distribution
  • Training, Technology Take Front Seat in Employee Retention Strategies
  • Better Inventory Management Through Data, Collaboration
  • Distributors Seek More Complete Strategy for Vending
  • Private Equity Consolidating Markets
  • A More Practical Approach to Product Expansion
  • Trend Snapshots for 13 Sectors

The report also includes the following case studies and interviews:

  • 2014 MDM Market Movers
    • Engman-Taylors Cost-Saving Teams
    • Capitol Coffees Proactive Problem-Solving
    • Redwood Plastics Online Success Story
  • MDM Market Leader Profiles
    • DGI Supply: Building on the Core
    • F.W. Webb Takes Diverse View of Market

Of all the technologies explored in MDM’s Disruptive Technologies Special Report, drones and driverless cars are the least close to fruition. The technology is advancing quickly, but many obstacles stand in the way of a practical application for businesses.

This article is part of MDM’s Disruptive Technologies Special Report.

This article includes:

  • Drones in delivery and the warehouse
  • Carnegie-Mellon professor on the potential for & challenges facing driverless cars
  • Fleet-tracking software

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  • 3-D Printing Drives Supply Chain Shift
  • The Rise of Robots in Distribution
  • Redefining Competitive Advantage

After a year of slow, uneven recovery in 2013, distributors should focus on meeting the challenges posed in 2014, as well as positioning for growth in 2015 and beyond, according to Alan Beaulieu, president of ITR Economics. Beaulieu was featured in the recent MDM Webcast, The Path to Profitability in 2014. This article is an exclusive summary of the webcast, which is available on-demand and on DVD at mdm.com.

This article includes:

  • Forecast for 2014-2015
  • Key indicators to watch
  • Challenges distributors may face, including margin pressure

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Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • First Quarter 2014 MDM Pricing Trends Report
  • MDM-Baird Distribution Survey
  • Redefining Competitive Advantage
College-recruiting

Distributors that have been successful in recruiting top talent straight out of school say that the key is to develop ongoing relationships that include guest speaking in classes, internship programs and involvement in student organizations. This article examines the challenges, benefits and best practices in recruiting at the college level. It includes comments from distributors that have seen success in this area, including WinWholesale, Womack Machine Supply and Laird Plastics.

This article includes:

  • How to build awareness among young talent
  • The importance of developing relationships early on
  • Best practices in internships

Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more.

Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • A Demographic Shift in Distribution
  • Generational Shift Drives Changes in Technology, Customer Expectations
  • The Hiring Disconnect in Distribution