Recommended Reading: 3 Keys to a More Successful Supply Chain

Gain a competitive advantage through strategic investment and planning.

Adaptation is crucial for success. If supply chain partners don't keep up with new trends and advancements, they can quickly get left behind. In order to maintain a competitive advantage, follow these three tips for a better supply chain:

1. Invest in technology. Investment is important, especially in economic downturns. Investing in supply chain advancements – specifically technology-based – can greatly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a company. The use of automation, sensors and other sophisticated inventory management processes can help distributors and manufacturers establish themselves as valuable supply chain partners, while also increasing profits. (Read more in Distributors Adapt to More Sophisticated Supply Chain.)

2. Focus on efficiency and sustainability. In addition to technology advancements, make sure there is little to no wasted time or inventory in a facility. The need for fewer mistakes and more consistency has renewed interest in lean principles. (Read more in Distributors Seeking 'Lean' Supply Chain.)

Sustainability efforts are also growing among distributors and manufacturers, with more than 100 signing a pledge to combat climate change. While the initial cost is a concern for some, sustainability initiatives can improve processes and save energy, while also improving the brand image of a company – leading many executives to see it as a competitive advantage. (Read more in Supply Chain Sustainability Efforts Grow.)

3. Predict and prevent disruptions. Natural disasters and other unpredictable disruptions are known to cause huge headaches for the supply chain, but predictable, and preventable, disruptions such as implementing a new business system can be just as disastrous. Supply chain partners should identify and prepare for these types of disruptions properly through communication and planning. Having a strategy for these situations can make a huge difference. (Read more in Preventing Predictable Disruptions.)

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.