Industrial Distributors

Amazon and Walmart: Facing The Titans
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Distributors have always played a key role for industrial companies where product availability and short lead times (including same-day-delivery) can often mean avoiding interruptions to production processes, manufacturing lines, or distribution operations. Whether operating a single manufacturing site or operating on a global scale with extended supply chains, companies recognize that distributors are playing an increasing and vital role in managing costs and reliability.

Certain geographies and sectors are experiencing rapid growth that presents opportunities for distributors. At the same time, other regions and sectors are experiencing fluctuations in demand. Combined with the greater reliance on distributors for their Maintenance, Repair and Operations (MRO) requirements, distributors are increasingly creating a competitive advantage by providing visibility and flexibility into their supply chains, while improving on the availability of the right product, at the right place, at the right time.

There are many challenges facing distributors. Two that are new threats and long-time objectives respectively include:

  • Changing competitive landscape: The entry of Amazon Industrial Supply into the marketplace is a game changer. It interjects a new level of price competitive pressures across the entire industry. Read more about key tipping points for distributors.
  • Improving Margins:  Whether driven by increasing profit goals, competition, or the need to compensate for the introduction of lower margin products and services, finding ways to enhance margins through reduce distribution costs remain an essential ongoing effort. For steps to find and execute new solutions, review approaches to assessing and defining solutions look to your DC operations, transportation, and inventory operations.

Whether the strategy is to focus on regional, national or global services, the key to success is to create a mechanism for customer “stickiness.”  Click here to find out frequently asked questions that Tompkins International can answer for you.


Get a quick look at the powerful impact demand-driven supply chains can bring to your customer satisfaction and operational value in this short video from Jim Tompkins, CEO of Tompkins International, and Greg Brady, CEO of One Network.

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