2016 MDM Market Leaders Methodology

How MDM determined rankings for the 2016 top distributors lists.

The seventh annual report on the state of the distribution industry, which includes the lists of top distributors and trends in 15 sectors, is now available. These are the 2016 MDM Market Leaders. The lists are ranked in order of 2015 revenue size alone; no other factors were used to compile these lists.

For specific sectors, such as jan-san or safety, where applicable, we note for larger distributors that the revenue shown is just for those segments. For example, Grainger appears on several lists. In those cases where we used just Grainger's revenue in jan-san, for example, we denote that next to the revenue figure (janitorial supplies).

These lists reflect North American revenues where they are clearly broken out by the global distributors. For example, rather than list Wolseley plc as the top industrial distributor, we listed its North American subsidiaries, Wolseley Industrial Group, Ferguson Enterprises and Wolseley Canada.

We collected data for this report in several ways. Companies were asked to fill out a form online providing data about revenues, trends and executives. In addition, forms were sent to companies known to be the largest players in their sectors. We also referenced SEC annual filings for public companies.

In the end, not every company was willing to provide us with revenue data for 2015, yet we deemed it important to include them anyway (e.g., McMaster-Carr, SunSource, etc.). 

We utilized several resources to estimate where to place these companies on their respective lists.

These resources included: past reported revenues, average revenue increases within the sectors, data from economic reports and conversations with industry experts. All companies for which we estimated revenues and/or position are notated with “N/A.”

Revenues for all companies in this report are in U.S. dollars. For companies who report their data in other currencies, we converted their revenues to U.S. dollars using the exchange rate in place on the last day of that company’s reported fiscal year to determine ranking. 

The MDM Research Team

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