The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Commentary: Tangential Markets Provide Growth Paths

The economic outlook in our lead article notes that the link between industrial distribution revenues and manufacturing activity has weakened as traditional industrial distributors have diversified into more general commercial facility supply.

I have certainly seen distributors push hard into new product sectors and customer segments in the past five years with great success. You could argue that this trend is the natural outcome of how industrial channels have matured since the 1980s. Systems contracts emerged as the first step to manage MRO industrial supply procurement from a process versus product focus. Yes, there were clearly some similar models in the first part of the 20th century, but manufacturers held a different position in controlling distribution channels. ...

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