White Papers

Metrics That Matter: Key Metrics for Distributors to Drive 2022 Revenue

Throughout history, the distribution industry has looked to specific metrics to understand business performance. By tracking these metrics, organizations know how they are doing, month over month, quarter over quarter, and year over year.

But often, organizations fail to review, reevaluate, and adjust their metrics regularly; as a result, organizations can end up paying attention to the wrong metrics or things that are no longer truly meaningful. The events surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic caused dramatic shifts in the supply chain and the distribution landscape. As a result, some of the historical key performance metrics that distributors looked to in the past are no longer relevant, some are much more important, and some are even more important.

Get started with five key metrics that distributors should be reviewing, reevaluating, and adjusting to drive 2022 revenue.

5 Top Trends That Will Drive Distribution Technology Investments in 2022

Among the pandemic-era trends that have impacted distributors, a deeper focus on robust technology investments may be the longest lasting. Read the results and analysis of the technology portion of the 2022 MDM Trends Survey, where you’ll find how distributors expect to make technology investments and ways companies can plan now to get ahead of the next wave of innovation.

Distributors Rethink the Supply Chain in Light of New Challenges

Supply chain disruptions are expected to continue throughout the coming year and beyond. But that doesn’t mean there is nothing distributors can do about it. This whitepaper addresses some of the key issues that are preventing a smooth supply chain and ways that distributors are approaching the challenges. From taking a closer look at near-shoring to investing in more collaborative business partners and technology, three supply chain experts will take you through the latest thinking on the topic.

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.

2018 Market Leaders Profiles Full Report

This free PDF includes lists of top distributors in 14 sectors, including:

  •  Company profiles
  •  4-year revenue trend data
  •  14 sector snapshots

2018 Top Distributors List

This free PDF includes lists of top distribution companies across 14 sectors.

The lists are ranked in order of 2017 revenue size alone; no other factors were used to compile these lists.

Your Amazon Business Playbook: A Strategic Evaluation for Distributors

This report, focusing on distribution’s omnichannel future, follows Amazon’s rise as it rapidly built the competencies needed to master B2B distribution the way it mastered the online bookstore. We examine the threats that Amazon poses, the rise of Amazon Business – formerly AmazonSupply – and why it presents a clear threat to today’s distributor.

The Field Sales Rep of the Future

This free report highlights five practices firms are using to transition their field sales rep roles from being self-directed generalists to management-directed specialists.

Top 5 Mistakes Distributors Make with Vending

Learn how to avoid these common pitfalls distributors make with vending.

2018 Distribution Industry Outlook Highlights

Each year MDM provides an outlook of the state of the distribution industry based on reader surveys and data collected in partnership with Baird.

This PDF includes an overview of current economic conditions, expectations for 2018 and the top three trends to pay attention to in the year ahead.

2017 Top Distributors List

This free PDF includes lists of top distribution companies across 14 sectors.

The lists are ranked in order of 2016 revenue size alone; no other factors were used to compile these lists.

Investment Banking Directory

The MDM Investment Banks in Distribution directory is a listing of firms with expertise in the wholesale distribution industry.