When considering altering programs for sales compensation, distributors should ask what they are hoping to accomplish and align their programs correspondingly, author Mike Emerson says. Upfront, inclusive planning is important, and implementation should offer clarity and demonstrate what is at stake for each salesperson, Emerson advises.
Amazon Supply is a clear attempt to win the growing online market for industrial supplies, but there are differences between the Amazon offering and traditional wholesaler-distributors, according to this analysis. Amazon's price points and Web focus are advantages, but it could struggle with customers that lack time to compare prices and value customer support and expertise. "For many years, there's been lower-priced online competitors -- we're used to competing with them. It's hard for me to imagine that in the short term Amazon will have a significant impact," said Tom Cox of MSC Industrial Direct.
American Tire Distributors, Arrow Electronics, DPI Specialty Foods, School Specialty and Ricoh Americas were recently honored for operational success and growth in the wholesaler-distributor industry by Oracle.
A projected doubling of U.S. freight traffic by next decade means logistics, infrastructure and distribution will require substantial change and expansion, writes Mark Crawford. Memphis, Tenn., is expected to benefit from its convergence of rail hubs, while fuel costs will benefit inland centers, he writes. "Distributors will want to be closer to the end customer instead of distributing from one large center in an area where land and labor is cheaper," said analyst Rene Circ of Grubb and Ellis Co. "Transportation costs are higher than labor and real estate costs combined."
Wholesaler-distributors across the U.S. have donated money and supplies to the relief effort in Haiti. Spice manufacturer McCormick donated $50,000, and maintenance-products supplier W.W. Grainger donated $100,000 in cash and supplies. Health care company McKesson also donated medical supplies for earthquake victims. Meanwhile, Wakefern Food has given a $250,000 donation to the Red Cross.