With all the noise coming from Washington bureaucrats, competing economists and conflicting industry reports, the truest measure of what's happening in distribution comes from you, which is why we need your input for MDM's annual industry outlook survey.
Last year's survey, which went live weeks after the 2016 presidential election, revealed a mixture of hope and concern for the coming year – and our reader predictions were fairly accurate. Here are a few of the trends you projected for 2017 and what has actually happened.
- Growth was expected, but at an uneven pace. That has held true for the first three quarters of 2017, with slow but steady improvement for the first half of the year before hurricane-related headwinds stymied distributor revenues in 3Q.
- The election cycle is over, but the regulatory outlook remains cloudy. The biggies – tax reform, health care and trade – are still up in the air, though we could be seeing some resolution in the coming days or weeks.
- Increased competition from more sources drives industry change. Amazon isn't the only threat facing distribution. More big-box players are indeed taking aim at B2B opportunities, placing even more pressure on traditional players.
- As customer needs change, time to realign your sales force. The traditional model for selling continues to evolve, and this past year proved that a company’s sales team needs to adjust how it interacts with customers who now want easy-to-use systems, transparent pricing and intuitive technology.
What will happen in 2017? We want to hear your concerns – for your business, for the industry, for the general economy – because you are on the front lines of what's happening across distribution. The Industry Outlook Survey takes only a few minutes, and it will help us prepare you for 2018 and beyond. As a thanks, we'll send you the results of the survey.