The 66th Annual Survey
of Distributor Operations
It’s that time of year again, and the editorial team of Industrial Distribution has worked tirelessly over the past months to obtain the
data for our annual Survey of Distributor Operations and assemble it into a usable report. We’ve
never had a problem obtaining information in this
industry; industrial distributors, by and large, are
happy to share information if it means they can
gain some insight into the larger issues affecting
The objectives of this report, as always, have
been to understand the most critical issues affecting distributors, as well as which drivers of future
activity will dominate business plans in the coming
years. In this segment, we will focus more specifically on the results and analysis of reader-gener-ated feedback in the following areas:
Demographics, which establishes a profile of
our survey respondents, including ownership characteristics, years in business, company size, annual
revenues, product lines carried, and so on.
Challenges, Trends & The Economy, which out-
lines the challenges and initiatives distributors are
undertaking to address key business and market
concerns. This will further spotlight mergers and
acquisitions affecting the industrial distribution
community, as well as examine how industrial dis-
tributors view the impact of what is still, for many,
a very uncertain economy.
Results of this study are based on an email
survey sent to Industrial Distribution subscribers.
Recipients of this survey were offered an incentive
to complete the questionnaire.
Industrial Distribution’s subscriber base is
comprised of 27,000 readers, the majority of
whom identify as upper management (executive
level managers or company owners). The remainder of the subscriber base identifies as sales or
sales management. Results are based on a pool of
respondents within this subscriber base.
Because Industrial Distribution transitioned to
a new publisher in 2010, no survey was conducted
that year. Therefore, results which track comparisons over the past decade will reflect a gap between
2009 and 2011.
If reviewing the results sparks any ideas for areas
you think we should cover in Industrial Distribution’s
annual Survey of Distributor Operations, feel free to
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Anna Wells, Executive Editor
May/June 2013 / INDUSTRIAL DISTRIBUTION 17