Industrial Distribution survey shows manufacturer-distributor relations continue to slip

Industrial Distribution magazine's 57th Annual Survey of Distributor Operations reveals a national picture that appears to mirror the truck equipment industry's continual struggle with manufacturer-distributor relationships. Nearly 800 owners and executives of industrial distributorships from across North America responded to the questionnaire, making it one of the largest studies of the industry."Over 80 percent of the distributors in this survey agree that delivering new value-added services is a matter of survival," said Mark Dancer of Pembroke Consulting. "After years of defending their position in the supply chain, many industrial distributors are looking to become more aggressive and creative by offering new value-added services." "This year, questions were also asked relating to the manufacturer- distributor relationship. The results clearly showed that the problems between manufacturers and distributors are getting worse," said Jack Keough, editor and associate publisher of Industrial Distribution Magazine. "Distributors were also asked how many manufacturers they viewed as true partners. The figures were substantially low and indicate there is little loyalty between manufacturers and distributors."Survey respondents also identified their top industrial markets. Construction topped the list, followed by machine/job shops, government, the food industry, utilities, automotive and institutions such as hospitals, schools and prisons. Also on the list were the chemical, aerospace, military and mining markets.

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