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Distributor Collaborations Build Value, Local Influence

This article is part of the MDM series: The Shifting Competitive Landscape.

The case studies in the Dec. 10, 2012, issue of MDM Premium, the first articles in MDM’s series on the shifting competitive landscape in wholesale distribution, feature distributors who are collaborating to compete more effectively.

These distributors are adding value to customer relationships by partnering with competing or complementary distributors to meet customers’ needs more effectively and efficiently. The collaboration includes integration across a wide spectrum, from selling another distributor’s inventory to opening branches together.

This growing interest in collaboration among distributors is changing the competitive landscape. If done right, it builds on the distributors’ value propositions and expands their influence in their local markets. This can pose a threat to competitors who may underestimate the impact such collaboration can have, not only through greater efficiencies, but also through increased revenues and greater stickiness with customers.

On a broader front, partnerships on a local level potentially take the edge off national distributors’ advantages of scale

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