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Ian Heller's blogs on Grainger strategy topped MDM's most popular blog posts in 2010. While focused on Grainger's strategy as an example, the two blogs were really about defining your value proposition and then structuring your business around that value proposition. The blogs hit home for many distributors who are looking to redefine themselves after a difficult couple of years in an increasingly competitive environment.
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Here are the top 10 most-read blog posts on mdm.com in 2010. If you missed them the first time around, click on the headlines to read the full blog posts:
1. The Secret to Being Grainger
Ian Heller answers the question: “How does Grainger do it? They’re the biggest distributor around, they have more customers and more products and higher margins than just about anyone else, and they show no signs of slowing down. How can I be more like them?”
2. The Secret to Beating Grainger
Following his blog on "being Grainger," Heller answered another question: “Thanks for telling me how they win – but how do I beat them?”
4. How Fastenal Plans to Drive Operating Margins Higher
CFO Dan Florness talks about how Fastenal will continue to drive its average store size up.
5. Grainger: Customers' View of Services is Changing
In the customer's eyes, products and services are no longer considered independent of each other, Grainger says. Also among the most popular blog posts in 2010: Grainger's Ultimate Product Expansion Plans
6. Some Distributors Not So Quick to Declare Recovery
This blog post, from the beginning of the year, is still relevant now – at the end of the year, when distributors are still uncertain about what 2011 will bring. Recovery in some markets has resulted in significant gains over last year, but some sectors, like construction, are still struggling.
8. How to Sell to the Next Generation
How to "sell to and service the most diverse, wired, impatient, skeptical, demanding, fun-loving customers in history."
9. Wolseley's Recovery Strategy
The new chief executive at the global distributor of HVAC/plumbing and building products gives his blunt appraisal of the business.
10. Former Ferguson CEO on Why He Joined the HD Supply Leadership Team
Former Ferguson CEO John Stegeman joined the HD Supply team this year as executive president. He talks about that move in this blog.