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Recommended Reading: Top 5 Articles from the Third Quarter 2013

Top articles covered topics like vending, AmazonSupply and growth in jan-san.
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Shifts in the competitive landscape continue to be front of mind for distributors, as the top five articles on mdm.com in the third quarter 2013 focused on defining your value in the marketplace and new challenges to the traditional distribution model. These include the rise of vending, ongoing channel convergence and the place of online platforms Amazon and Google in B-to-B markets.

Here are the top five articles on mdm.com from the third quarter 2013:

1. How Distributors Say They Measure Up to the Competition – A recent survey from MDM and Real Results Marketing found that most distributors believe they provide more value to their customers than their competitors do, but are challenged when asked to actually quantify that value. This article, the first in a two-part series, examined how distributors perceive their own value. We conducted a similar survey in 2012. You can find that analysis here: Price vs. Value – How Distributors Position Their Businesses.

2. Industrial Vending: ‘A Runway for Growth’ –The Fastenal Company, Winona, MN, is largely credited with sparking growth in industrial vending, but many of the largest distributors – and several smaller ones – have introduced their own vending solutions for customers. This article looks at the current state of industrial vending, drivers of growth and where industry experts and distributors expect vending to go. This is the first article in an MDM series on the growth of industrial vending. (Read the interview with Fastenal CEO Will Oberton in the Oct. 10, 2013, issue of MDM Premium.)

3. Amazon & Google’s B-to-B Play – Over the past two years, AmazonSupply.com and Google Shopping for Suppliers launched as new players in the B-to-B market. This article provides more details on these two platforms and examines their current and potential impact on the wholesale distribution industry.

4. MDM Interview: Interline Brands’ Growth in Jan-San Distribution –I spoke with Ken Sweder, president and COO of Interline Brands, about the significant changes Interline has made to its product mix, expanding aggressively in the jan-san space.

5. MDM Interview: Univar Balances Global, Local Markets – Associate Editor Jenel Stelton-Holtmeier spoke with the CEO of chemicals distributor Univar, Erik Fyrwald, about how the distributor maintains a focus on the differences in each of its markets.

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Other popular content on mdm.com in the third quarter 2013:

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