Recommended Reading: Top 5 Articles from 2Q

Industry trends and remaining competitive top priorities for distributors.

The latest industry trends and how to outpace competitors by investing in your business are front of mind for distributors, according to the Top 5 most-read articles from the second quarter of 2016.

Readers were looking at which trends are driving the industry, where to invest – talent, technology, logistics, e-commerce or elsewhere – to grow revenue and improve profitability and how the industry is faring midway through 2016.

Here are the top five articles on from the second quarter:

1. 2016 Wholesale Distribution Trends Special Issue – Our annual Distribution Trends Special Issue is the most comprehensive report on the wholesale distribution industry, covering the key trends that are top of mind for the industry. This seventh edition was researched and written by MDM and is based on interviews with dozens of distributors, industry experts and manufacturers, as well as a survey of readers to uncover the most important issues facing distribution today.

2. 2016 Distribution Remodel: ‘Invest or Die’ – Distributors that invest wisely in talent, technology or other areas of their business will gain a competitive advantage – and market share – when economic conditions improve. This article explains why strategic investment is critical and provides tips on where and how to devote resources.

3. 2016 State of E-Commerce: E-Commerce Races to Maturity – The number of companies with at least 10 percent of their total revenue from e-commerce grew 8 percentage points from 2014, according to the fifth annual MDM distribution e-commerce survey conducted with Real Results Marketing, which also details a number of other results about how distributors are improving their e-commerce capabilities.

4. Cut Costs, Keep Customers with Logistics – While distributors don’t always prioritize their logistics capabilities, it is critical to optimize transportation efforts and distribution center networks amid growing threats and rising expenses. This article details supply chain strategies distributors can deploy to better manage costs and retain customers.

5. MDM-Baird Distribution Survey: 2016 a Turning Point? – Buoyed by mild winter weather and easing headwinds, distributors’ revenue trajectory made a small but significant turn in the first quarter, according to the most recent MDM-Baird Distribution Survey. Excluding acquisitions, distributors averaged -0.1 percent revenue growth in the first quarter, marking the second consecutive quarter of negative growth. Though respondents projected 2.6 percent growth for the period, the upward shift from -0.6 percent revenue growth in the fourth quarter of 2015 bodes well for the industry.

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