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Author: admin Created: 7/24/2008 2:51 PM
News and commentary on the industrial distribution channel

By admin on 12/13/2009 12:34 PM

Have you tried to phone the local office of one of your suppliers lately?  We conducted a mini-research project for one of our clients.  We discovered lots of automated phone systems that put us into voicemail hell.  We left messages that were returned three, four or a week and a half later.  Truth is nobody's home....

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By admin on 8/11/2008 7:34 AM

In the past couple of weeks we have noted electrical distributors making the move toward green products, industrial distributors moving toward green packaging and Distribution giant Grainger announcing that their green based products - from toilets to who knows what - are selling like the proverbial hotcakes.


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By admin on 8/5/2008 8:40 AM

This is one of those good news bad news stories for wholesalers. The US Census is reporting that manufactured goods are tracking upward. This no doubt leaves many distributors scratching their heads. If you happen to be an Electrical Distributor, Automation Supplier, or HVAC Distributor you will be particuarly interested in this.

Here are a few of the headline statistics:
08/04/08 – New orders for manufactured goods increased $7.6 billion or 1.7 percent to $457.6 billion in June, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. This was at the highest level since the series was first stated on a NAICS basis in 1992 and followed a 0.9 percent May increase.

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By admin on 8/3/2008 12:20 PM

We have long pushed for Distributors to get involved in the training business. This is especially true for those wholesalers involved in technology oriented businesses.

But allow me to add a point of clarification here; when many think of technology they think of Silicon Valley - computers, data-communications and the like. Technology is nearly anything that changes and needs a bit of training to understand. Distributor members of HARDI, NAED, PTDA, AHTD, NIBA, SEDA and others should be considering training as a potential source of revenue.

We believe that Distributor Specialists need to be involved in the training. Many upper quartile distributors have already figured this out, others are quietly ramping up their efforts.

A resent survey conducted by accounting firm, RSM McGladrey, detailed the need for skilled workers.

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By admin on 7/30/2008 2:44 PM

Point of Sale Data - Not used?

One point of discussion among distributors across all lines of trade comes under the heading of POS data. Distributors find themselves being muscled into providing POS data which is expensive (because every manufacturer wants it done differently) and distracting. In a recent informal poll conducted by this office, most distributor sales managers could think of just one or two suppliers who provided them with a reasonable clue that Read More »

By admin on 7/29/2008 11:49 AM

The trend for mega-distributors reporting growth continues. Wesco reports growth for second quarter 2008 at a time when many distributors are reporting down years. Since the construction industry is "in the tank" one can only assume that Wesco's MRO & Integrated Supply initiatives contine to gain traction..

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By admin on 7/27/2008 10:33 AM

PTDA (Power Transmission Distributors Association) style distribution accounts for a large and growing segment of the Automation/Motion Control type of business. Early this summer we contributed an article to Automation.com which disclosed the research conducted by River Heights Consulting. According to our numbers PTDA did over $800 Million in Motion Control business.

This demonstrates a fact that many of us have known for a long time, the manufacturing community in North America doesn't want a half dozen seperate suppliers (electrical, mechanical, hydraulic, motors, safety, etc.). They want one company capable of providing solutions.

Here is a related announcement from PTDA:

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By admin on 7/25/2008 8:06 AM

Distributors around the country are reporting mixed results.  Before convincing yourself the whole industry is tracking downward, you should check the latest results of a few of the big boys.  Motion Industries just reports a 7% sales gain.  Grainger 10% sales gain. 

I invite my readers to take the recession proof pledge.  "I promise to make sure my competitors have a recession - not me".

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