MDM Special Report: The Shifting Competitive Landscape in Wholesale Distribution
Details: 18p, 8 articles, PDF Download
Most have heard the classic tale of Blockbuster, once the king of the video rental market, not responding to online rental service Netflix until it was too late. Or Sony’s failure to recognize the shift to digital music from tapes and CDs, moving Apple into mobile music market leadership with the iPod.
These stories remain some of the clearest examples of what can happen when your competitive focus is too narrow.
No company should outright ignore its traditional and long-standing competitors. But an ever-increasing pace of change, thanks in part to technology, dictates that distributors think outside of the competitive box when considering their next moves.
In this special report, MDM takes a look at the shifting competitive landscape and what it means for independent distributors.
Articles in this report include:
Distributor Collaborations Build Value, Local Influence - A 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. This article features a Q&A with an expert on collaboration.
Collaboration Case Study: Sharing Branches & Best Practices - One of the most popular examples of a collaboration between distributors that has worked is that of APR Supply, Schaedler Yesco and Industrial Piping Systems in Pennsylvania. The three have 11 locations together, and continue to uncover new opportunities to benefit from the arrangement. They’ve inspired a new program from Affiliated Distributors called Co-Ventures. This article looks at why the distributors’ collaboration has worked and what to consider when going down a similar path.
Collaboration Case Study: Expanding Product Mix - To expand the products it could sell without the expense of carrying inventory, San Antonio-based Labatt Food Service collaborated with Ace Mart, a restaurant equipment and supplies distributor. This case study looks at how the two approached the collaboration and the challenges that have gone with it. It also looks at a second collaboration Labatt has built with other distributors to serve customers that have moved to geographic areas it does not serve.
Two More Collaboration Case Studies - PM Industrial Supply & EDGE Investment Partners
Beyond Amazon: E-Commerce’s Impact on Wholesale Distribution Markets - E-commerce in distribution is no longer just “nice to have”: It’s “need to have.” And the proliferation of e-commerce as an essential part of doing business – from the simplest forms to complex systems – has changed how some distributors view the market. This article examines the impact of e-commerce on the wholesale distribution channel.
Global Competition on Local Level - Cross-border M&A in wholesale distribution has accelerated in recent years, adding to an increasingly busy competitive landscape. The U.S. market continues to be attractive to Europe-based distributors seeking growth outside of their traditional markets. This article looks at this trend and the impact it has had on the market.
Distributors Respond to the Big-Box Challenge - 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.
- The ‘New’ Distribution Company: Market Entrants Challenge Traditional Models - New companies competing in the distribution industry are proving that there’s still room in the market for entrepreneurs. Through technology improvements and increased sources of supply, some have even been able to grow without big investments in inventory and physical locations. This article features new distributors, including a private equity-backed platform, distributors focused on niche markets, online-only businesses and a distributor that restarted his business after selling to a consolidator.