The 69th Annual Survey
Of Distributor Operations
We’re excited to provide the readers of Industrial Distribution with the results of our 69th Annual Survey Of
Distributor Operations. The objectives of this report, as always, have been to understand the most critical
issues affecting distributors, and to provide data to help drive their educated business decisions. Through these
findings, we’ll discuss new and ongoing industry trends and what trends have fizzled. How has the ongoing
industrial recession impacted distributors? Read on to find out.
In this segment, we focus specifically on:
• Demographics, which establishes a profile of
survey respondents based on company size, years
in business, sales volume and product line.
• Challenges, Trends & Economy, which outlines
the initiatives distributors are undertaking to address
key business and market concerns. This also covers
mergers and acquisitions and how distributors view
the impact of the economy. (Page 18)
• The Balance Sheet, which offers insights into
revenues and profitability. This addresses areas of
investment, concern and other analysis of factors
impacting revenue. (Page 22)
• Best Practices, which sheds light on distributor
relationships with suppliers and customers, as well
as their global business plans and what challenges
are involved. (Page 24)
• Tech Usage & Investments, which covers areas
like e-commerce and other big-impact technology
solutions for now and the future. (Page 26)
• Value of the Distributor, which addresses the
reasons our survey respondents believe customers
do business with them, and which service offerings
play a significant role in the industry. (Page 28)
• Employment, which identifies hiring and layoff
trends, recruitment and compensation. (Page 30)
The results of this study are based on an email survey
sent to Industrial Distribution subscribers. Recipients
of the survey were offered an incentive to complete the
questionnaire. Industrial Distribution’s subscriber base
is comprised of 30,000 readers, the majority of whom
identify as executive, upper management, 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.
Comments on this year’s results? Email ID’s editor, Mike Hockett, at Mike.Hockett@advantagemedia.com.