Modern Distribution Management initiated this research project in early 2023 to give leaders of wholesale distribution companies a better understanding of the potential challenges and benefits of artificial intelligence. This report also provides a practical guide to help distribution executives develop a strategic roadmap for leveraging AI. MDM combined the perspectives of technology innovators together with the insights of distributors at the forefront of AI exploration, and built a bridge from the current state of AI in distribution to a practical roadmap for implementation for every distributor, to a vision for AI’s impact on the future of distribution.


With a hyperfixation on meeting customers where they want to buy, this report  presents new data and commentary to show how B2B distributors are stepping up their game. As industrial, commercial and building supply markets became increasingly fragmented and competitive over time, the emphasis shifted to customer service. Those companies that could deliver the most value-add to their products had the advantage. And while that is still largely true today, distributors’ customer services likewise have become commoditized. Distribution’s digital transformation — accelerated by trends coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic — has fueled the rise of today’s deciding factor for many buyers: Customer experience (CX).

To learn what distributors are doing on the CX front and deliver the buying experience that customers expect today, Modern Distribution Management partnered with Infor on a Spring 2023 research project. This resulting report illustrates current CX trends and the technologies that distributors are leveraging to meet and exceed customer expectations.

In this MDM report commissioned by Infor, the report examines ways in which distributors are navigating this journey, expanding the use of automation across every area of the business – customer-facing, back-office, warehouse and delivery. It shares insights from a distributor that has created transformational leverage through process automation and offers tips on how to frame your own successful automation deployment.

The definition of customer experience is changing rapidly across distribution channels. B2B customers are in a multi-year state of migration, from a field-sales and relationship-driven customer service experience, to a more digitally guided experience, where they have more control over their own buying journey. In this report, MDM Research benchmarks the state of distribution customer experience delivery and identifies emerging best practices to keep customers engaged in a noisier and more transparent marketplace. This MDM special report commissioned by Infor looks at the state of distribution customer experience and emerging best practices.

Why is now the right time to graduate to the cloud?

Construction financial managers today balance the need to manage an increasing level of business complexity with the need for speed.
You’re expected to keep your eye on multiple entities across multiple regulatory frameworks and multiple currencies. You need the agility to make decisions at a moment’s notice—and those decisions must be based on the real-time financial truth.

Read Sage’s Whitepaper, “Financials Face-off: On-Premises vs. Cloud” to get a better understanding of the advantages of a cloud-based financial management solution and the signs that you may have outgrown your on-premises solution.

Tracking manufacturing metrics to improve operations is nothing new to manufacturers, but they may be unknowingly disrupting their efforts. Data issues, lack of strategic vision, missing benchmarks, and a focus on lagging indicators all can contribute to a lack of business improvement. Other improvement-stalling contributors include metrics that don’t support corporate goals and too many metrics can also lead to an inability to focus on what is important.

In this playbook, you will learn how to look at the metrics that really matter.

Download the free Playbook today.

ERP systems transform critical business information to help increase productivity, improve customer satisfaction, and reduce errors.  They can help to improve system processes and provide visibility into operations across the entire organization. Leaders who have accurate information can identify trends track KPIs and find new opportunities.  If your business is struggling to keep pace with customer demands to stay competitive or even if its meeting or exceeding all of its milestones, it could be time to consider a new ERP system.

Download this solution brief that highlights the 7 Reasons Companies need an ERP System.

In recent years the wholesale distribution industry has changed and now faces the risk of major disruption. This inflection point will cause distributors to adapt to the changes or be left behind.

Read this whitepaper to discover a path to capitalize on the inflection point and become a distributor of the future.

In this Nucleus Research Small and Midsize (SMB) ERP Value Matrix, ERP vendors are ranked on the functionality and usability of their solutions as described by customers. As you’ll see, Acumatica came out as the leader in this year’s report. This cloud ERP provider combines financial management, project accounting, customer management, field service management and payroll capabilities in one unified platform.

Read more about Acumatica in the Nucleus report here.

Supply chain automation begins with data digitization to create true visibility across the network.
Read this whitepaper to find out how distributors can utilize human expertise, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to move towards an autonomous supply chain.