The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

STAFDA a Barometer of Channel Shifts

The STAFDA annual trade show offered some indicators about the emerging importance of tangential growth in distribution channels. The two-day, product-focused trade show wrapped up yesterday with more than 5,000 attendees and nearly 1,000 booths. Construction-related products -fasteners, hand and power tools, safety products -formed the core product areas. But it was what was happening beyond product that caught my attention (although there were some great new products displayed!).
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New residential construction is down, yet commercial and industrial construction markets are strong, and renovation markets look attractive. Distributors with core customers in residential contracting are more than motivated to grow the commercial and industrial construction side. The same holds ...

The STAFDA annual trade show offered some indicators about the emerging importance of tangential growth in distribution channels. The two-day, product-focused trade show wrapped up yesterday with more than 5,000 attendees and nearly 1,000 booths. Construction-related products -fasteners, hand and power tools, safety products -formed the core product areas. But it was what was happening beyond product that caught my attention (although there were some great new products displayed!).
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New residential construction is down, yet commercial and industrial construction markets are strong, and renovation markets look attractive. Distributors with core customers in residential contracting are more than motivated to grow the commercial and industrial construction side. The same holds true for traditionally industrial-focused manufacturers and distributors. Examples: Kennedy Manufacturing and Walter Surface Technologies were among the first-time exhibitors at the show. This show is starting to attract a broader range of distributors as well, among them MSC, Precision Industries, Windsor Factory Supply, Sonepar, North Coast Electric, and McMaster Carr. There was also a clear increase in the number of master distributors, international manufacturers and importers.
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As one manufacturer at the show said, you have to explore all the avenues to new markets and customers. Accept that there will be inevitable conflicts, and then manage them directly. If you simply try to avoid conflict and stick with your traditional focus, you may miss out on finding new customer segments and even ways to improve your value to core customers.
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Amen! If you aren’t exploring, probing and testing new segments, products, services, channels and suppliers, you are almost certain to limit your growth options as this world gets smaller, flatter, more crowded and more commoditized.

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