The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

What Kind of Warehouse are You?

In the digital age, distributors look to be a warehouse of information that helps move product.

Distributors recognize that digital tools, such as mobile and e-commerce, are migrating into their businesses. But are they prepared to be proactive about this trend?

"There's a switch," says Mark Dancer, vice president, global channel management at Henkel and author of Becoming a Digital Distributor. "Some distributors are thinking about themselves as using information and data … to really reinvent the business model and the services they offer customers."

Dancer is featured in the latest episode of MDM Executive Briefing, available now.  

Traditionally, distributors have been warehouses of product, possibly using digital tools to help manage inventory and similar tasks, Dancer says. The digital distributor will think of themselves as a "warehouse of information," where the information is the focus – which will then help the distributor better sell product and improve profitability.

It's about providing solutions rather than just products, Dancer says, and some distributors are already positioning themselves this way.

For example, leveraging the data and information that flows through the warehouse can help distributors serve customers better. A distributor can help customers better track and manage obsolete inventory in their locations or can provide better visibility into usage patterns to minimize emergency orders.

Access the latest episode of MDM Executive Briefing here.

Becoming a Digital Distributor is available to order from NAW at

About the Author
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.

By subscribing, you are agreeing to MDM’s Privacy Policy.


articles left

This is your last free article

Subscribe to MDM Premium today and 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.