The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

April 10 2013

Distributors Respond to the Big-Box Challenge

Volume:

43

Issue:

7

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Features
BigBox

This article is part of an ongoing series looking at The Shifting Competitive Landscape in wholesale distribution. Read this and other articles in the series at www.mdm.com/shiftinglandscape.

As big box retailers such as Staples, The Home Depot and Lowe’s have expanded their online presence and increased their focus on professional markets, some distributors are feeling the impact, not only on sales volume but on profitability as margins are squeezed and customer expectations shift. This article, featuring interviews with distributors, manufacturers and industry experts, takes a look at the effects of the retail channel on the competitive landscape in wholesale distribution.

Distributors in some sectors aren’t just competing with another independent down the street – they’re competing with big-box stores with billion-dollar brands and a different approach to the market. And for some distributors, that competition is growing.

“Big box’s arrival into the B-to-B world has fundamentally changed ...

Geothermal heating and cooling has been in use for several decades and is a key part of many states’ energy efficiency initiatives. This article looks at the current state of the geothermal industry and the roles distributors are playing in it.

This article is the second in a series examining the current state of the alternative energy market in the U.S.

When alternative energy is discussed, the focus often tends to be on electricity generation. But other elements – such as heating and cooling – have to be included in the conversation, as well.

Geothermal energy can be used for electricity generation, but that is a relatively small part of its role in alternative energy markets. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 24 countries used the heat from the Earth to generate electricity in 2010.

In the U.S., five states had geothermal steam plants in place in 2011.

Mobile02

MDM Editor Lindsay Konzak recently spoke with Mark Dancer of channel and sales solutions firm Channelvation Inc. about a recent growth in interest in using customer relationship management software to manage sales pipelines, leads and marketing programs. Used correctly, CRM can build brand and reinforce relationships, leading to improved sales and profits, he says.

This interview, from MDM’s monthly Executive Briefing on-demand webcast series, provides a look at the research Dancer conducted for his book on CRM published by the National Association of Wholesaler Distributors. Learn more about the book here. He also provides advice and insight on how to best use and implement CRM packages.

MDM: Why do you think CRM has a bad rap in distribution?

Mark Dancer: I would say that CRM has had a bad rap, not just in distribution, but in all industries for a very long time. It wasn’t that long ago, I would ask whether [a customer’s] CRM tool was a useful way to reinforce the strategies that we were trying to execute, and more often than not, CRM was more of a barrier or something to be avoided.

This table highlights key financial metrics and trading multiples for 26 publicly traded distributors in the industrial and building products industries as of March 26, 2013. Download this data below. Also find graphic illustrating median EBIDTA multiples for the same distribution companies.

These materials, prepared by Robert W. Baird & Co. for MDM, are for informational purposes only.

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BigBox

This article is part of an ongoing series looking at The Shifting Competitive Landscape in wholesale distribution. Read this and other articles in the series at www.mdm.com/shiftinglandscape.

As big box retailers such as Staples, The Home Depot and Lowe’s have expanded their online presence and increased their focus on professional markets, some distributors are feeling the impact, not only on sales volume but on profitability as margins are squeezed and customer expectations shift. This article, featuring interviews with distributors, manufacturers and industry experts, takes a look at the effects of the retail channel on the competitive landscape in wholesale distribution.

Distributors in some sectors aren’t just competing with another independent down the street – they’re competing with big-box stores with billion-dollar brands and a different approach to the market. And for some distributors, that competition is growing.

“Big box’s arrival into the B-to-B world has fundamentally changed ...

Geothermal heating and cooling has been in use for several decades and is a key part of many states’ energy efficiency initiatives. This article looks at the current state of the geothermal industry and the roles distributors are playing in it.

This article is the second in a series examining the current state of the alternative energy market in the U.S.

When alternative energy is discussed, the focus often tends to be on electricity generation. But other elements – such as heating and cooling – have to be included in the conversation, as well.

Geothermal energy can be used for electricity generation, but that is a relatively small part of its role in alternative energy markets. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, 24 countries used the heat from the Earth to generate electricity in 2010.

In the U.S., five states had geothermal steam plants in place in 2011.

Mobile02

MDM Editor Lindsay Konzak recently spoke with Mark Dancer of channel and sales solutions firm Channelvation Inc. about a recent growth in interest in using customer relationship management software to manage sales pipelines, leads and marketing programs. Used correctly, CRM can build brand and reinforce relationships, leading to improved sales and profits, he says.

This interview, from MDM’s monthly Executive Briefing on-demand webcast series, provides a look at the research Dancer conducted for his book on CRM published by the National Association of Wholesaler Distributors. Learn more about the book here. He also provides advice and insight on how to best use and implement CRM packages.

MDM: Why do you think CRM has a bad rap in distribution?

Mark Dancer: I would say that CRM has had a bad rap, not just in distribution, but in all industries for a very long time. It wasn’t that long ago, I would ask whether [a customer’s] CRM tool was a useful way to reinforce the strategies that we were trying to execute, and more often than not, CRM was more of a barrier or something to be avoided.

This table highlights key financial metrics and trading multiples for 26 publicly traded distributors in the industrial and building products industries as of March 26, 2013. Download this data below. Also find graphic illustrating median EBIDTA multiples for the same distribution companies.

These materials, prepared by Robert W. Baird & Co. for MDM, are for informational purposes only.