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Discovery mode

Rich VurvaThis issue of Industrial Supply magazine focuses on a theme familiar to many distributors. It's all about searching for something new. Whether it's new sales, new markets, new product categories or all three, virtually everyone in the distribution industry is in discovery mode.

Economic realities have forced most distributors to search for something new because the old is no longer what it used to be. Such is the case for MPT Drives, the power transmission and bearings distributor featured in our cover story. This Detroit-area company is reinventing itself to become less reliant on auto industry sales. It's been a struggle but the company has achieved early success on which it hopes to build.

We've assembled several more articles that we hope will be helpful to readers who find themselves in a similar hunt for something new to carry their companies into the future.

For example, Masters Program explains how buying from master distributors may be a profitable way for independent distributors to test new product categories without making a major inventory investment.

"SWOTTING" at New Sales discusses how to apply a business concept that's not new – looking closely at your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats – toward uncovering new market opportunities.

Listening to the Right Customers enforces the notion that you need to carefully examine your existing customer base before adding to your product mix. A close inspection of your current sales will likely uncover new opportunities with existing customers, which is the fastest way to grow.

Compared to last year, business has improved for industrial supply companies. The distributors that are most excited about the future are those that have uncovered something new to present to their customers. Here's hoping this issue of the magazine will help you in your effort to develop a response to the question, "What's new?"

This article originally appeared in the Sept./Oct. 2010 issue of Industrial Supply magazine. Copyright 2010, Direct Business Media.


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