What Is The Primary Challenge That You As A Distributor Expect To Face In The Next Year?

Our challenge, as always, is to fight slim margins and to try to keep accounts receivable in line. In this climate, a lot of people try to take advangtage of accounts receivable.”
Daniel Coffman, General Manager
Gem State Distributors, Albuquerque, N.M.

Rising costs will be our greatest concern for the coming year. With fuel costs being so high, it is affecting everyone.  Manufacturers have to raise their prices to pay for higher transportation costs.  Our freight costs back out to our customers are going up.  Plus our ‘incidentals’ like cardboard, poly bags, labels and tape are all going up.  It will be nearly impossible for us not to pass some of the increases on to our customers. Raising prices is always painful to everyone involved!”
Lynea Jones, Owner
Tropical Distribution Ltd., Pompano Beach, Fl.

We are a redistributor and a vendor to distributors. We sell to and service distributors, not retailers. For us, the primary challenge would be fuel prices.”
George Eversman, Director of Retail Channels
Dot Foods Inc., Mt. Sterling, Ill.

I believe the biggest challenge we will face next year remains exit strategies for slow-selling SKUs in the confections category.”
Howard Stroud, Director of Merchandising/Purchasing
Grocery Supply Co., Sulphur Springs, Texas

Taking costs out of systems to accommodate the needs of our customers — and having to do this at the same time many costs are rising is the greatest challenge. And not being a manufacturer, we cannot pass increases along.
“Cost reductions always require an increase in capital investment and, in many areas, additional expertise in human resources. The need to balance all of these requirements and at the same time trying to and needing to maintain profitability is — and has been — our biggest challenge.”
Warren Coopersmith, President/CEO
Marjack Company, Landover, Md.

I think the biggest challenge we face is that margins keep decreasing and the expenses, especially fuel, continue to increase. It is hard to increase margins because competitive pressures will not allow us to raise prices. Customers still want the service we provide but want the pricing that our competitors offer without the service.”
Joe Bob Blackburn, Vice President of Sales
McCarty-Hull Inc., Amarillo, Texas

The biggest challenge will be maintaining a manageable inventory while buying in larger quantities because of manufacturers raising minimum shipments.”
Tom Griffin, Vice President
McKeesport Candy Co., McKeesport, Pa.

Decreasing margins.”

Judy Truchan, Purchasing Manager
The Sledd Co., Wheeling, W.Va.