Things haven't changed much since the start of the year when MDM reported that distributors were seeing a "tidal wave of price increases." If the latest MDM Pricing Trends Report is any indication, prices continue to rise for many product areas, adding one more challenge to the plate in a time of economic uncertainty.
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And while many are nervous to pass along any increases they are getting from their suppliers, experts say it can be devastating to profitability if you don't. What's more, any increases should be implemented systematically, according to Brent Grover in the article Distributors Grapple with Price Increases. Distributors should not leave price increases in salespeople's hands.
He says salespeople often decide whether to pass on an increase to an individual customer at all, and if they pass it along, how much and when. “Companies don’t usually have a way to communicate the new prices to the customers in a formal way. Some have found a way to automate that, but many haven’t,” he says. “And the salespeople can typically make the final decision.”