June may end up being remembered as the month where the economic outlook officially turned sour after more than a year of substantial gains. I summed up recent economic indicators in a June 22 blog before diving deeper into the numbers specific to distributors in a piece stemming from a chat with Brian Lewandowski, executive director of the business research division for Leeds School of Business at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Brian always does a great job packaging the latest wholesale trade figures from the U.S. Census Bureau into charts that visualize monthly trends for the distribution sector, and he makes it easy to see the impacts of inflation on prices and overall revenue growth.
Much of MDM’s other June Premium content (which you can download and read here) focused on topics central to our upcoming SHIFT | The Future of Distribution in-person industry summit, to be held Sept. 25-27 in Broomfield, Colorado. Lincoln Smith contributed a piece on handling sales transformation; Russ Sharer discussed the power of personalized selling; and Lindsay Young, one of our SHIFT speakers, wrote about how content can be an invaluable wingman for distribution sales teams. Our SHIFT conference will unify topics of sales and digital transformation, analytics and the future of work, providing an excellent in-person event for distribution leaders to attend and return home with change management tools they can enact in their business.
Also in focus during June was the topic of B2B marketplaces, which continue to proliferate in the distribution sector. In a June 6 blog, I discussed new marketplace platforms that have popped up in the past year and helped to crowd a field that — until recently — was completely dominated by major entities Amazon Business and Alibaba. We explored this topic much further in a month-ending webcast on June 30 with the Applico founder and CEO Alex Moazed and managing director Nick Johnson, covering the rise of B2B marketplaces and both the opportunity and the threat they pose to distributors. (You can watch it on-demand here.)
Succession planning is paramount for distributors amidst the current labor situation, and I provided a guide-of-sorts for that in a June 8 blog, sourcing from a workshop at the recent NAHAD Convention. Other content in June included Steven Osprey’s piece on how distributors can embrace technology as a means to inspire teamwork and collaboration, and the month began with James Dorn’s great piece on what manufacturers can learn from Fastenal’s go-to market strategy.
Of course, all this MDM Premium content is only available to our Premium subscribers. If you’re not one already, there’s never been a better time to sign up.