It’s been a year of transformation. The pandemic has accelerated business. It’s also slowed it down. In between the rises and falls, distributors are finding themselves in need of new ways to communicate, track inventory and monitor team performance. This whitepaper shares both results stemming from MDM’s latest Trends survey as well as real-life scenarios on how distributors are investing in technology to tackle the unique business challenges and opportunities of 2020. Download it now.
Executive Summary: 2020 Economic Benchmarks for Wholesale Distribution
At the beginning of 2020, who would predict it to be one of the toughest years most wholesale distribution companies have faced? For more than 10 years, MDM has published an annual chartbook that benchmarks the U.S. wholesale distribution industry with a variety of financial metrics: historic and forecast revenues; average gross margin; employment change; segmentation by company size and industry sectors served.
This Executive Summary provides an overview of our 234-page 2020 Economic Benchmarks for Wholesale Distribution report, based on 2019 data. Given the fundamental upheaval to this $6-trillion industry comprised of 19 sectors, these 2019 financial statistics will be critical benchmarks against which the recovery of the U.S. wholesale distribution industry will be measured over the next several years. Download it now.
MDM’s 2020 Top Distributors List
MDM’s 2020 Top Distributors List provides rankings for more than 150 companies, across 16 discrete sectors. The rankings reflect 2019 revenues, whether company-reported or estimated by MDM.
Although the world has changed since these 2019 revenues came in, the areas where many of these leading companies succeeded last year serve as a harbinger for the elements of business that are helping distributors to now make it through 2020.
Click here to download the report.
Inside Sales Transformation in the Age of COVID-19
Even before the global pandemic became our worldwide reality, leading distributors were attempting to move their inside sales teams from being reactive call-takers to hands-on sale-makers. For many distributors, simply transitioning to having an inside sales team that operates proactively versus reactively can make a world of difference. In this white paper, we explore the top sales challenges that wholesale distributors are facing in the digital age and show how they can shift over to a more meaningful, engaging sales model that’s focused on the customer.
The 2020 Distribution Industry Outlook
The U.S. economy is experiencing the longest economic expansion and bull market in history, although distributors saw mixed results closing out 2019. What are the best growth opportunities going forward? Lifted by a strengthening economic picture and the prospect of easing trade tensions, distributors intend to improve digital capabilities and invest in talent to sustain the industry for a new, technology-fueled decade.
How You Can Preserve Cash Flow to Strengthen Business in a Slowing Economy
With the national economic recovery in its 10th year, wholesale distributors may have forgotten what it takes to keep the lights on and the wheels running in a more challenging selling environment. Despite industry disruptors like Amazon Business, geopolitical issues such as trade wars, and a massive uptick in business-to-business e-commerce, wholesalers have been posting healthy year-over-year sales growth.
How Small(er) Distributors Can Gain Marketshare Online
Nearly 270 industry leaders—distributors, manufacturers and service providers—participated in a September, 2019 MDM survey on strategies for small distributors. This survey revealed a number of challenges facing smaller firms as they compete in an evolving marketplace. These challenges include resource limitations, changing customer expectations and evolving marketplace technologies. This white paper summarizes these survey results, discusses the findings and offers recommendations for moving forward.
Strengthening the Distributor-Manufacturer Relationship
What does it mean to choose a channel partner in the digital age? As technical capabilities improve, distributors and manufacturers need to work closer together than ever before to integrate systems and master customer needs. These five key areas are essential to ensuring a strong, mutually beneficial working partnership.
Mining the Gold in Distribution Data
Distributors can do so much more with their existing business data, but many are not aware of the tools at their disposal to analyze and execute on it. Or, they know the tools exist but aren’t sure how best to leverage them. Managing data in more effective ways can yield dramatic financial results. MDM’s John Gunderson and Tom Gale have outlined the most common challenges and address ways to overcome them. They combine MDM’s latest research on best practices in data management to help you strengthen your capabilities.
The Old Value Proposition is No Longer Enough
Distribution companies are increasingly hearing about the digital transformation imperative for a reason. As explained in presentations at MDM’s 2019 Digital Distributor Summit, commoditization, competitive innovation and changing market dynamics are combining to forever alter the distributor’s traditional value proposition. Making a technology investment is no longer optional.
2019 Top Distributors List
This year’s free edition of MDM’s annual ranking of the top 150+ profiles North American industrial and construction product distributors across 16 product sectors. This is the tenth year MDM has profiled the size and shape of these markets. We’ve expanded the list this year to more accurately capture the largest suppliers of an incredibly diverse and fragmented product portfolio of MRO, production and consumable products (OEM products excluded).
How Distributors are Managing Online vs. Offline Pricing Challenges
Nearly 250 industry leaders — distributors, manufacturers and service providers — completed MDM’s survey on pricing practices. The responses revealed a lack of consistency and direction concerning online sales strategies. Although customers are increasingly demanding it, some industry players appear reluctant to adapt historical sales and pricing practices to a digital environment. Download the white paper to read more about the results, conclusions and recommendations.
Optimize Online Pricing
Learn how to optimize online pricing. This whitepaper will address pricing as it relates to five key areas: time, measure and test, people, information and price point. Understanding these components and how they fit into the overall picture of your price strategy across all channels will be critical for distributors to succeed into the future
2019 Outlook for Wholesale Distribution
MDM provides an outlook of the state of the distribution industry based on reader surveys and data collection in partnership with Oracle NetSuite. This white paper includes the growth outlook, top concerns, pain points, plans for building revenue and cutting costs and technology plans for 2019.
Technology Trends in Distribution in 2019
Distribution companies expect their customer touchpoints to radically change in the next three years, as sales channels continue to rapidly evolve. Even so, the distribution community is not aggressively embracing digital strategies, according to a recent MDM survey in conjunction with Infor.
Distributor Ecommerce Lessons: Barriers & Best Practices
The road to true, transaction-enabled e-commerce is fraught with obstacles, with many “right paths” to success. But there are proven best practices. Read the results of MDM’s latest survey on e-commerce implementation and learn how to quickly build a strong e-commerce platform with integrated inventory management capability.
Annual 2018 Distribution M&A Roundup
In like a lion, out like a lamb – 2018 started with a few landscape-shifting deals in the industrial and building materials sectors. The competitive landscape continued a healthy pace in second quarter with major deals by Sunsource and MSC, plus competing bids to buy Essendant. The Staples-Essendant saga finally settled in October and M&A extended into marketing groups as IDC-USA merged with the marketing group Affiliated Distributors. Download a free copy to read about other M&A deals of 2018.
How Distributors Can Close the Gap with Amazon Business
Amazon Business has not only changed the rules for customer expectations on price and purchasing options, they’ve rewritten the book on how distributors of all sizes, across all product sectors, compete in the future. Distributors need to map out a plan to invest in the technology and the strategic capabilities that will help them engage and retain customers, even as Amazon Business grows at exponential rates globally and other digital disruptors and traditional competitors quickly advance their value propositions.
Is Your ERP Ready for Artificial Intelligence?
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is no longer science fiction – it’s the here and now. And it’s transforming how business leaders look at enterprise resource planning (ERP) functionality, driven by digital disruptors that are leveraging AI across several dimensions to innovate on behalf of customers. But what is it? And how exactly can it help a business grow? This white paper outlines how artificial intelligence will increasingly support and enhance core ERP capabilities for distributors.
The Future of AI in Distribution
This report defines artificial intelligence and machine learning and how leading companies are using them so that executives understand both the promises of AI and the threat posed by competitors who use it well. In this analysis, we will cover a wide range of technology topics, and we will start by defining and explaining some terms that may be new to you.