rive value from services. It’s likely some of our respondents took an
educated guess to try to factor in the additional spend that comes
with some of the services they offer as bundled, value-added elements to a larger purchase order.
Vendor managed inventory has remained a popular area of service and support, as 54 percent say they participate in some type of
VMI program (Figure 3). These results are fairly flat over last year,
and haven’t changed much in the past five years. As company size
grows, involvement in these programs tends to increase.
One area where there has been significant change over the last
few years is distributors’ participation in buying groups or co-ops.
Nearly 42 percent say they are involved in one, the other, or both
Are you involved with vendor-man-
aged inventory programs?
(Figure 4). The results last year posited that, in the previous two
years, around one in three survey respondents were active in these
types of groups. It’s possible that, as distributors are faced with
more and more business complexity that influences their abilities
to remain competitive, this increase since 2012 indicates that they
may need more support from organizations that might be able to
share the burden of marketing, training, or other investments of
What is your level of involvement in a
co-op or buying group?
Member of a buying group
Member of a co-op
Members in both
Not involved in buying group or co-ops