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BairdImage1

Since 2010, Robert W. Baird & Co., in partnership with Modern Distribution Management, has conducted quarterly surveys of distributors and manufacturers to gauge business trends and the outlook for the industry. This quarter’s survey polled approximately 500 industry leaders to determine the latest indicators on revenue and pricing based on fourth-quarter 2018 results and distributor and manufacturer expectations for first-quarter and full-year 2019.

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A year ago, at the beginning of 2018, all indicators suggested that the economic and stock market fundamentals were in place for a year of solid growth in the U.S. economy. And while that turned out to be the case for the first three quarters of the year, as 2018 ended the economic signals became more mixed, suggesting that the economy might be entering a period of slowdown. However, whether we are in for a soft landing or something more painful remains to be seen and depends on a number of moving parts.

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This report is researched and produced by MDM editors. View the Third Quarter 2018 report here.

These product groups provide a snapshot of inflation trends based on the Producer Price Index from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fourth quarter 2018 pricing levels are compared with third quarter 2018 and fourth quarter 2017. Year-end 2018 levels are compared to year-end 2016 levels.

To view this report, log-in and click on the download link below the product listing to access the print-ready PDF.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe today for immediate access.

Industrial

  • Abrasives
  • Adhesives & Sealants
  • Metal Cutting Machine Tools
  • Metal Forming Machine Tools
  • Pumps, Compressors, & Eqmt
  • Ind. Material Handling Eqmt
  • Rubber & Plastic Hose
  • Rubber & Plastic Belts & Belting
  • Ind. Rubber Products, nec
  • Metal Valves (not fluid power)
  • Personal Safety Equipment & Clothing
  • Steel Mill Products

Construction

  • Softwood Lumber
  • Hardwood Lumber
  • General Millwork
  • Gypsum Products
  • Hardboard, Particlebd, Fiberbd
  • Plywood
  • Plastic Construction Products
  • Wood Ties, Siding, Shingles,
  • Shakes

Electrical

  • Electrical Machinery & Eqmt
  • Electronic Components & Accs
  • Integrating and Measuring Instruments
  • Motors & Generators
  • Wiring Devices
  • Transformers & Power Regulators
  • Switchgear, Switchboard, etc., Eqmt
  • Communications & Related Eqmt
  • Electric Lamp Bulbs & Parts

Other Related Electrical

  • Lighting Fixtures
  • Nonferrous Wire & Cable
  • Fabricated Ferrous Wire & Cable

Power Transmission/Bearing

  • Mechanical Power Transmission Eqmt
  • Ball & Roller Bearings
  • Plain Bearings & Bushings
  • Speed Changers, Drives & Gears

Fluid Power

  • Fluid Power Eqmt
  • Fluid Power Valves
  • Fluid Power Hose/ Tube Fittings
  • Fluid Power Pumps & Parts
  • Fluid Power Actuators/ Accum/ Cylinders

Plastics

  • Plastic Resins & Materials
  • Plastic Products (Overall)

Fasteners

  • Nuts, Bolts, Screws, Rivets, Washers (overall)
  • Aircraft Fasteners
  • Externally Threaded Fasteners
  • Internally Threaded Fasteners
  • Nonthreaded Metal Fasteners

Hardware

  • Hardware (overall)
  • Builders’ Hardware

Tools

  • Hand & Edge Tools
  • Power-Driven Hand Tools
  • Tools, Dies, Jigs, Molds, Fixtures
  • Cutting Tools & Accs (overall)
  • Precision Measuring Tools
  • Small Cutting Tools

Gases/Welding

  • Industrial Gases
  • Welding Machinery/ Equipment

Paper

  • Pulp, Paper & Allied Products (overall)
  • Sanitary Paper Products
  • Boxes
  • Packaging Products from Plastic

HVACR/Plumbing

  • Air Cond. & Refrigeration Eqmt
  • Heating Eqmt
  • Plumbing Fixtures & Fittings

To view this report, log-in and click on Download pdf below the product listing.

This issue features the results of our first Baird/MDM quarterly survey of 2019. Though the picture it paints is far from crystal clear and there are still many reasons to be optimistic about the industrys immediate future, its looking more likely that in 2019 well be reaching the end point of the current business cycle and heading into some unsettled times economically.

Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.

In this two-page report, available to download in PDF after log-in, we feature data on merger and acquisition trends and financial metrics for the largest publicly traded distributors across diverse sectors in the fourth quarter of 2018.

In partnership with Houlihan Lokey, an investment banking firm, the report includes data on M&A activity trends across all industries (not just distribution), as well as valuation multiples for deals in all industries.

State-of-Dis-Part-2-Image-1

In Part 1 of this series, we presented the results of an MDM survey about distributor marketing, focusing on the level of success they are currently having in their marketing efforts and to what extent they are deploying the various kinds of marketing vehicle (SEO, social media, e-mail, print and telemarketing). The overall trend we identified is that while distributors are slowly getting better at marketing, only a small portion (6 percent) can be classified as high performers. In Part 2 of the series, we explore two areas that distributors must improve on if they are to join that 6 percent and reap first-mover benefits.

Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.

In the movie Groundhog Day, the main character wakes up each morning doomed to repeat the exact same day, until he realizes he can change his life and do better.


That movie might be a useful management tool as we move through the current downturn in the economic cycle. As noted in an upcoming interview in MDM, Al Bates has been conducting financial performance surveys of distributors for nearly three decades. He has a wealth of data on how distributors have done across multiple business cycles. So is this cycle any different? We are going to come out of this recession the same way we came out of 2001-02, he said. Distributors will give up the same ROA they have in every cycle, then rebuild sales, add too many people and overhead, then cut when the next downturn ...

This time of year serves as a reminder of the incredible logistics infrastructure that now exists in this country and around the globe. But while we increasingly take for granted the ability to point, click, shop and select overnight delivery, let's acknowledge the distinct value wholesale-distributors provide.
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A unique set of capabilities, service functions and responsibilities defines how a distributor meets customer requirements (often including same-day delivery and 24-hour service). In addition to large customers, there are countless micro markets that depend on local supply services that go far beyond logistics expertise or product selection with a mouse and price-comparison sheet.
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Yet, as conversations often remind us at holiday parties, many ...
MDM Audio Conferences recently featured consultant Mike Marks and attorney Gene Zelek in Strategic Pricing: Create a Value-Based Approach." The two told participants they must go beyond traditional pricing practices, segment customers and not be afraid to differentiate based on price. This article is based on that audio conference.


If you are implementing a pricing structure from scratch, and want to unfreeze an organization from its old habits, plan for at least 12 months of work to "make it stick." Keep in mind: "It's more than just coming up with a new price sheet and imposing it," says Mike Marks, a principal in Indian River Consulting Group.


Here are a few thoughts to get you started.
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Legal Hang-ups
One of the first ...
It's no longer enough to leave relationships solely in the hands of individual sales reps, no matter how capable they are. Becoming a strategic partner in the supply chain means evolving to a new model of sales management, according to this excerpt of a new book from the NAW Institute for Distribution Excellence.
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The 1990s saw the emergence of a new concept. Instead of just being a middleman between manufacturers and customers, wholesaler-distributors started to become marketing channels.

On the upstream side, sophisticated manufacturers began to look at distributors as partners in the ultimate job of reaching and satisfying end consumers.

Instead of just talking about what the distributors'bought, they started discussing what the distributors ...
As our lead article outlines, many distributors are trying to evolve a traditional sales model -where the outside salesperson owns the customer relationship -into a more flexible one. It's a tough transition that engages the entire company, not just the sales rep.


The payoff goes far beyond particular customers. It really shifts the way in which distributors position themselves with customers and suppliers.

Not only do these customer relationships become much more productive and cost-efficient, it is much easier for distributors to tailor services to specific customer needs across the organization. That in turn defines for the customer the real difference in the value your company offers versus alternatives.

Distribution management gains much better ...

The last five years have been rough for distributors. Price pressure and intense competition have eliminated razor-thin margins, pushing many distributors to the brink. In addition, distributors have gotten into the habit of "giving away" value-added services in hope of winning deals, driving costs to historic heights. The solution: Revamp pricing based on the value you provide in each segment.

Many distributors believed that a resurgent economy would allow them to raise prices, but customers have been resistant. For most distributors, attempts at price increases are simply not taking hold.

Fortunately, there is a better, more profitable approach. The solution is to develop products and services that target unique segments with very specific offers. For most ...

With the recent attention in this industry given to strategic pricing, distributors who change their pricing structures must consider developing new sales compensation plans that reward improved profits. Before attempting a change, consider all appropriate structures and take steps to avoid implementation pitfalls.

According to a recent study, U.S. companies are markedly more satisfied with their sales compensation programs today than they were two years ago." Having spent the last 10 years designing and implementing sales compensation programs for hundreds of firms, I found this intriguing.

Upon further reading, I discovered that "markedly more satisfied" meant that 59 percent of companies surveyed in 2006 were satisfied compared to 34 percent in 2004. In other ...


The three Ps of process, productivity and profitability separate companies that are doing OK from ones that perform in the top tier of peers. That will continue to be the key differentiator.


The performance analysis reports many distribution associations sponsor offer a wealth of benchmark data about how well your company is doing in a range of financial performance metrics. Historically, a relatively low percentage of distributors participate in these data aggregation programs. Yet these types of tools are critical to make any kind of real change stick in your business. How else can you create realistic goals and then the specific short- and long-term steps to get there?


The report card in the area of productivity is better. Several studies have shown that distributors ...

To successfully integrate its company and grab market share, Interline Brands has had to pay close attention to and respond to the needs of acquired and current customers, Interline Brands President William Sanford said recently at the JPMorgan Basics & Industrials Conference.

In fact, learning about customers starts before an acquisition is even made, he said. The relationships we acquire are important. We have to understand how strong those relationships are before we make an investment," Sanford said.

The $1 billion distributor of facilities maintenance products was formed through a series of mergers of more than 20 companies in the plumbing supply and facilities maintenance industries.

Last year it bought American Sanitary Inc., a rollup and national ...

The Timken Company, Canton, OH, has increased prices on double and triple thermal treated product, effective with shipments from Jan. 1, 2008. Bar product prices will increase by $50 a ton, and tubing product prices will go up by 10%.
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Prices on as-rolled and single thermal treated products are not affected.
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Timken is a $5 billion manufacturer operating in 26 countries and 25,000 ...

At the May Industrial Supply Association annual meeting in Las Vegas, industry consultant William McCleave presented the results of a survey of ISA members, The Future Impact of Size and Value Content on Industrial Distribution." This article outlines one of the key findings of that report: the importance of value-add in distribution.


How is value-add being defined in distribution today? As noted in these pages before, the term has been used so heavily that it risks losing meaning. At the same time, most wholesale distribution executives agree that market battles ahead will center on how well their companies define and sell value.


In a recent survey of Industrial Supply Association members by consultant William McCleave, most respondents felt that value-add ...
Applied Industrial Technologies, Cleveland, OH, distributor of bearings and related products, has combined its Applied Maintenance America and Fluid Power Connection catalogs, as well as added more than 10,000 new and expanded products. The catalog will be available in July 2007 and can be reserved online at www.applied.com/catalogrequest.
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Applied said it combined the two catalogs in response to requests from customers to provide a one-stop source for the MRO parts that Applied supplies. The 07/08 Applied Industrial Technologies Product Catalog offers nearly 40,000 parts from more than 100 suppliers, including 20,000 bearings and power transmission parts and almost 9,000 fluid power products.
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The new Applied catalog includes comprehensive product lines ...

As customer bases shift, competition intensifies and commodity prices seesaw, it's more crucial than ever for distributors to maximize profitability by magnifying the value they provide for their customers and not competing on price alone. Increasing prices by 1 percent without hurting volume can improve profits as much as 11 percent, according to one pricing consultant.

Distributors looking to boost profitability and refocus on value should analyze and redesign their pricing strategy.

"If a sales force is out negotiating deals, there's very little control. They come back and say, 'I've got a deal at $90. I know our price is $100, but if we don't give them $90 we won't get the deal.' And everyone feels as if they are being held for ransom, says ...


Channel dynamics, as our lead article explores, have arguably never been more complex or more fluid. One of the core concepts as this article came together was the need to have a clear line of visibility from manufacturer to end-user customer. With so many variables at play, visibility seems to be one of the few constants.


Channel conflict appears when clarity disappears, whether in communication, policies, discount structures or behaviors. There is no right answer, yet there are great examples of consistent and clear approaches that are working.


Ten years ago, the hot issue was how integrated supply was radically altering traditional channel relationships. Power was shifting to the customer. The redundancies and inefficiencies of traditional channels were ripe for ...

The Home Depot, Atlanta, GA, has launched its Eco Options program in the U.S. Eco Options is a classification that allows customers to easily identify products that have less of an impact on the environment.
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The Home Depot has identified more than 2,500 Eco Options products, including all-natural insect repellents, cellulose insulation, front-load washing machines, organic plant food and vegetables in biodegradable pots. The array of Eco Options also includes compact fluorescent light bulbs, programmable thermostats and certified wood.
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Products with the Eco Options label are either eco friendly by definition, such as solar lights that use natural power, or have met certain environmental performance criteria verified by Scientific Certification Systems, an ...

Our cover story this week in Modern Distribution Management on channel management has been a fascinating subject to research. There are some significant role shifts taking place. We gained a lot of input from innovators in manufacturing and distribution, including many more beyond those quoted in article.
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It was also a difficult topic to get beyond the generalizations, stereotypes and misperceptions that in fact too often form the basis for relationships and ultimately policies in many companies. For some people, channel management is an oxymoron, because they are using the same pricing and marketing formulas in place 10 or 20 years ago. But we found others who are finding some good ...

Channel management is a slippery subject. The most jaded observers might argue the term has largely become an oxymoron, as stories of mismanagement and dysfunctional practices seem like commodities.


But as the lead article in this issue outlines, distributors and manufacturers are finding ways to leverage the current shifts in markets to focus and define their value. Channel participants are grappling with many complex issues -converging channels, private label brands, new product programs, new discount models.


The key emphasis today is active management. One size can't fit all. Those who gain some understanding of how customers are shifting in their sourcing needs and problems, and then build programs and policies to meet those needs, find a competitive differentiator ...
shopkey-small

The third annual MDM distribution e-commerce survey conducted with Real Results Marketing revealed several key trends:

  • E-commerce revenue as a percent of overall revenue is rising relative to last year’s survey.
  • The primary objectives among distributors for e-commerce remain acquiring new customers, growing wallet share with existing customers and improving website usability.
  • Mobile deployments are growing rapidly.

This article examines the results of the 2014 State of E-Commerce in Distribution Survey and how the industry’s e-commerce offerings are maturing. Part 2 will look at best practices for distributor e-commerce marketing, data management and operations.

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  • Strategies for Private Label Success
  • Special Report: The Industrial Vending Boom
  • Behind Grainger's E-Commerce Strategy
KamanIndTech

In late February, Bloomfield, CT-based Kaman announced an agreement to acquire fluid power distributor B.W. Rogers, Akron, OH. Steve Smidler, president of the Kaman Distribution Group, recently spoke with MDM about the reasons for the acquisition and plans for integrating the distributor into Kaman’s business.

This article includes:

  • How acquisition deepens the Parker relationship
  • How acquisition will expand Kaman's end-market reach
  • How Kaman will integrate B.W. Rogers

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  • MDM Interview: Kaman's Expansion Strategy
  • Applied Industrial: Fluid Power a Growth Area for Distributor
  • Special Report: The Industrial Vending Boom
FLEX-QandA

As the face of the workforce shifts, managers need new skills to connect and effectively lead a more diverse employee base. A new book, Flex: The New Playbook for Managing Across Differences, was written to address this need. MDM Editor Lindsay Konzak recently spoke with the book’s co-author Jane Hyun, an executive coach and global leadership adviser to Fortune 500 firms.

This interview includes Hyun's take on:

  • Why it's important for manager's to be able to "flex" their management styles
  • How managers can bridge the power gap
  • The cost of not considering different management styles

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  • MDM Interview: Avnet's Roy Vallee Reflects on Changes in the Industry
  • Where Managers Blunder
  • Commentary: Re-evaluate the Human Capital in Your Company
GraingerMobile

In 2013, Grainger surpassed $3 billion in sales from e-commerce channels, representing a third of total company sales. Paul Miller, vice president of global e-commerce for Grainger, spoke with Editor Lindsay Konzak about Grainger’s approach and plans for e-commerce.

This article includes:

  • How the distributor approaches e-commerce
  • Grainger's multichannel approach
  • Where Grainger sees opportunity with technology

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  • The State of E-Commerce in Distribution
  • Grainger's E-Commerce Evolution
  • Beyond Amazon: E-Commerce's Impact on Wholesale Distribution Markets
data-on-gray-background

In this two-page report, available to download in PDF after log-in, we feature a new, expanded quarterly report with data on merger and acquisition trends and financial metrics for the largest publicly traded distributors across diverse sectors.

In partnership with Houlihan Lokey, an investment banking firm, we have added data on M&A activity trends across all industries (not just distribution), as well as valuation multiples for deals in all industries.

Where there are gaps, there are opportunities. MDM’s research on the state of analytics in wholesale distribution identified clear gaps across analytics technology, talent and techniques. This perspective from Publisher Tom Gale talks about why you should think about a strategy and plan for analytics.

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  • The Rise of 'Little Data' in Distribution
  • Minding the Gap Between Data and Action
  • Commentary: Better Data, Better Analytics/li>
data-on-gray-background

Research conducted by MDM on the adoption and use of analytics by wholesale distribution companies revealed several key trends:

  • The wholesale distribution industry is transitioning to a more data-driven mindset, but there are widely different views on what that means.
  • Many distributors say they don’t have the right analytic tools, technologies and talent needed to stay competitive in quickly shifting markets.
  • Survey respondents are generally satisfied with analytics centered on operational efficiencies and financial reporting, but less satisfied with deployment of more strategic tools focused on profitability, sales, marketing and service development.

This article includes:

  • The evolution of Analytics
  • Results from the MDM survey on use of analytics in distribution businesses
  • Opportunity for competitive advantage using analytics

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Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Beyond Amazon: E-Commerce's Impact on Wholesale Distribution Markets
  • The Rise of 'Little Data' in Distribution
  • MDM Interview: Breaking Down the Barriers for CRM

"Truthiness" describes using intuition or gut feeling to define "truth" without regard to facts, data or even logic. Today, there's a lot of truthiness surrounding big data, market planning and customer relevance.

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  • MDM Interview with Guy Blissett: Uncertainty + Change = Opportunity?
  • Where Managers Blunder
  • How Distributors Say They Measure Up to the Competition

Many distributors have struggled with where to invest limited dollars to meet the demands resulting from the rapidly growing role of technology in the industry. This article looks at distributors' current technology challenges and plans, identified by respondents to the 2014 MDM Industry Outlook Survey, sponsored by NetSuite.

More details from the 2014 MDM Industry Outlook will be provided in the upcoming Jan. 16, 2014, webcast, the 2014 Distribution Industry Outlook.

This article includes:

  • Distributors' plans for technology investments in 2014
  • Key challenges related to new technologies
  • How to overcome some of those key challenges

Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Beyond Amazon: E-Commerce's Impact on Wholesale Distribution Markets
  • Grainger's E-Commerce Evolution
  • MDM Interview: Breaking Down the Barriers for CRM

Distributors looking to balance renewed focus on their core with meeting customer demand to provide more are turning to master distributors to achieve that end. This article looks at how the role of master distributors has evolved and the additional roles they now play for traditional distributors.

This article includes:

  • How distributors use masters
  • Additional benefits master distributors provide
  • How masters are elevating their traditional role

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Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Distributors Adapt to More Sophisticated Supply Chain
  • Integrated Supplys Next Phase
  • Industry 4.0: Technology-Driven Change

Distributors cant rely on what works today to get them through tomorrow. Being proactive is key to future success.

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  • The 2016 Strategy Playbook
  • MDM-Baird Distribution Survey: Declining Demand Drives Down 4Q
  • MDM Interview: Beyond Change Management
MA_HVACR

The MDM Market Analysis, based on data from MDM Analytics, includes consumption of HVACR supplies by end user in the U.S., plus the top end users by 6-digit NAICS.

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Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • MDM Pricing Trends Report: Fourth Quarter 2015
  • Market Analysis: Janitorial Supplies Consumption in the United States
  • Top Trends for 2016

The distribution industry is due for a remodel. What has worked for decades still works, but it is far less effective now for businesses that want to grow. MDMs team has identified key areas that distributors need to focus on in 2016 to build the adaptive model that changing market conditions require.

This article includes:

  • Bridging the cycle gap
  • Investing on the Down Side
  • Finding Balance & Focus

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  • MDM-Baird Distribution Survey: Declining Demand Drives Down 4Q
  • Top Trends for 2016
  • Chasing Profitability

Distributors that invest wisely in talent, technology or other areas of their business will gain a competitive advantage and market share when economic conditions improve. This article explains why strategic investment is critical and provides tips on where and how to devote resources.

This article includes:

  • Reasons to remodel
  • Areas to invest
  • Pitfalls to avoid

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  • Rebranding Road Map
  • 2015 State of Distribution Inside Sales: Strive to be Proactive
  • Industry 4.0: Technology-Driven Change

For business leaders to get better, they must disrupt their own businesses, engage more deeply with employees and continually innovate. This article shows how they can achieve these steps and others on the path to transforming their leadership skills.

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Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Chasing Profitability
  • MDM Interview: Beyond Change Management
  • The 2016 Strategy Playbook

This report was formerly called the Inflation by Commodity Group Report.

This report is researched and produced by MDM editors. View the Third Quarter 2015 report here.

These product groups provide a snapshot of inflation trends based on the Producer Price Index from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fourth quarter 2014 pricing levels are compared with fourth quarter 2015, third quarter 2015 with fourth quarter 2015, and end of year 2014 with end of year 2015.

To view this report, log-in and click on download link below the product listing to access the print-ready PDF.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe today for immediate access.

Industrial

  • Abrasives
  • Adhesives & Sealants
  • Metal Cutting Machine Tools
  • Metal Forming Machine Tools
  • Pumps, Compressors, & Eqmt
  • Ind. Material Handling Eqmt
  • Rubber & Plastic Hose
  • Rubber & Plastic Belts & Belting
  • Ind. Rubber Products, nec
  • Metal Valves (not fluid power)
  • Personal Safety Equipment & Clothing
  • Steel Mill Products

Construction

  • Softwood Lumber
  • Hardwood Lumber
  • General Millwork
  • Gypsum Products
  • Hardboard, Particlebd, Fiberbd
  • Plywood
  • Plastic Construction Products
  • Wood Ties, Siding, Shingles,
  • Shakes

Electrical

  • Electrical Machinery & Eqmt
  • Electronic Components & Accs
  • Integrating and Measuring Instruments
  • Motors & Generators
  • Wiring Devices
  • Transformers & Power Regulators
  • Switchgear, Switchboard, etc., Eqmt
  • Communications & Related Eqmt
  • Electric Lamp Bulbs & Parts

Other Related Electrical

  • Lighting Fixtures
  • Nonferrous Wire & Cable
  • Fabricated Ferrous Wire & Cable

Power Transmission/Bearing

  • Mechanical Power Transmission Eqmt
  • Ball & Roller Bearings
  • Plain Bearings & Bushings
  • Speed Changers, Drives & Gears

Fluid Power

  • Fluid Power Eqmt
  • Fluid Power Valves
  • Fluid Power Hose/ Tube Fittings
  • Fluid Power Pumps & Parts
  • Fluid Power Actuators/ Accum/ Cylinders

Plastics

  • Plastic Resins & Materials
  • Plastic Products (Overall)

Fasteners

  • Nuts, Bolts, Screws, Rivets, Washers (overall)
  • Aircraft Fasteners
  • Externally Threaded Fasteners
  • Internally Threaded Fasteners
  • Nonthreaded Metal Fasteners

Hardware

  • Hardware (overall)
  • Builders’ Hardware

Tools

  • Hand & Edge Tools
  • Power-Driven Hand Tools
  • Tools, Dies, Jigs, Molds, Fixtures
  • Cutting Tools & Accs (overall)
  • Precision Measuring Tools
  • Small Cutting Tools

Gases/Welding

  • Industrial Gases
  • Welding Machinery/ Equipment

Paper

  • Pulp, Paper & Allied Products (overall)
  • Sanitary Paper Products
  • Boxes
  • Packaging Products from Plastic

HVACR/Plumbing

  • Air Cond. & Refrigeration Eqmt
  • Heating Eqmt
  • Plumbing Fixtures & Fittings

To view this report, log-in and click on Download pdf below the product listing.

Modern Distribution Management's monthly Industrial Inflation Index measures a cross-section of industrial supplies.

This index includes:

  • Abrasives Products
  • Cutting Tools
  • Power Transmission Equipment
  • Fasteners
  • Valves, etc.
  • Power Tools
  • Material Handling Equipment
  • Belting
  • Hand Tools
  • Misc. Metal

Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • MDM Pricing Trends Report: Fourth Quarter 2015 and Annual
  • 2015 State of Distribution Inside Sales: Strive to be Proactive
  • Market Analysis: Janitorial Supplies Consumption in the United States
Quarterly-MDMBaird

Robert W. Baird & Co., in partnership with Modern Distribution Management, conducted a survey of more than 500 distributors and manufacturers to gauge business trends and the outlook for the distribution industry in diverse sectors. Here is a summary of fourth-quarter 2015 results and distributor and manufacturer expectations for 2016.

This article includes:

  • Revenue, inventory and pricing expectations
  • Sector breakdown
  • Analysis of trends affecting sales and operating performance

Subscribers should log-in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • 2015 State of Distribution Inside Sales: Strive to be Proactive
  • Market Analysis: Janitorial Supplies Consumption in the United States
  • 4Q2015 Financial Metrics & Trading Multiples
ChasigProfitability

After following a yo-yo pattern in the wake of the Great Recession, distributor performance appears to have leveled off. The following analysis by Al Bates, director of research for Profit Planning Group and principal of the Distribution Performance Project, examines key profit drivers in wholesale distribution across 31 lines of trade. This article includes historical data from the past five years and trends in 2014, the latest year for which full data is available.

This article includes:

  • Distributor ROA by line of trade, year & segment
  • Sales growth & gross margin for distributors
  • Inventory turnover & days sales outstanding for distributors

Subscribers should log in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • MDM-Baird Distribution Survey: Grinding to a Halt
  • MDM Interview: Beyond Change Management
  • Top Trends for 2016

The MDM Market Analysis, based on data from MDM Analytics, includes consumption of janitorial supplies by end user in the U.S., plus the top end users by 6-digit NAICS.

Subscribers should log in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • MDM Pricing Trends Report: Third Quarter 2015
  • Market Analysis: Safety Products Consumption in the United States
  • Forecast: Continued Growth in 2016

A joint MDM-Real Results Marketing survey revealed that inside sales teams struggle in balancing proactive and reactive sales activities. This article examines how distributors can streamline those activities to make their inside sales teams more effective and increase revenue.

This article includes:

  • How inside sales teams spend their time
  • Ways distributors' measure inside sales teams
  • Tips for improving effectiveness of inside sales

Subscribers should log in below to read this article.

Not a subscriber? Subscribe below or learn more. Subscribers also have access to the following related articles:

  • Who's My Coach? The Changing Role of Sales Managers
  • Industry 4.0: Technology-Driven Change
  • AJ Adhesives Takes Service to New Level

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  • Build strategic sales plans.

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Turn your sales data into actionable data with Market Prospector.  A web-based SAAS tool that gives you insight into your market, your territories, your customers and new prospects too. 

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