Wholesalers / Distributors: Statistics
Sales: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, March 2009 sales of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations and trading-day differences but not for price changes, were $310.9 billion, down 2.4 percent (+/-0.7%) from the revised February level and were down 18.1 percent (+/-1.2%) from the March 2008 level. The February preliminary estimate was revised downward $1.2 billion or 0.4 percent. March sales of durable goods were down 3.3 percent (+/-1.2%) from last month and were down 19.6 percent (+/-1.8%) from a year ago. Sales of metals and minerals, except petroleum, were down 10.6 percent from last month and sales of electrical and electronic goods were down 5.9 percent. Sales of nondurable goods were down 1.6 percent (+/-0.7%) from last month and were down 16.9 percent (+/-1.6%) from last year. Sales of petroleum and petroleum products were down 5.1 percent from last month and sales of chemicals and allied products were down 5.0 percent.
Inventories: According to the U.S. Census Bureau, total inventories of merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, after adjustment for seasonal variations but not for price changes, were $411.7 billion at the end of March, down 1.6 percent (+/-0.5%) from the revised February level and were down 3.5 percent (+/-0.7%) from a year ago. The February preliminary estimate was revised downward $0.8 billion or 0.2 percent. End-of-month inventories of durable goods were down 2.4 percent (+/-0.5%) from last month and were down 2.4 percent (+/-0.9%) from last March. Inventories of metals and minerals, except petroleum, were down 7.0 percent from last month and inventories of motor vehicle and motor vehicle parts and supplies were down 5.0 percent. End-of-month inventories of nondurable goods decreased 0.3 percent (+/-0.7%)* from February and were down 5.2 percent (+/-1.6%) compared to last March. Inventories of chemicals and allied products were down 6.0 percent from last month, while inventories of petroleum and petroleum products were up 7.9 percent.
Inventories/Sales Ratio: The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that the March inventories/sales ratio for merchant wholesalers, except manufacturers' sales branches and offices, based on seasonally adjusted data, was 1.32. The March 2008 ratio was 1.12.
Wholesalers / Distributors: How HCG Can Help
As the owner of a wholesale/distribution company, you should be aware that good sales efforts combined with proper controls equals ever-increasing profits. Let HCG assist you in examining your company's following key areas: sales, purchasing, inventory, warehouse, delivery and administration.
HCG can help you control operating expenses and reduce costs thereby yielding profits--if you take the time revise your operations, you can make it happen. HCG puts systems in place to assure profits. Specifically, HCG can help you establish or improve the following desired elements:
- Sound sales policies in selection, compensation training, territorial assignment and supervision
- Knowledge of gross margin and profitability by account, product line, product, salesman and sometimes by individual order
- Scheduled periodic reviews of results with present products and product lines and research into potentially profitable additions to present lines
- Clear-cut policies of authority and responsibility of those involved in purchasing to prevent duplications and omissions
- Maximum coordination starting with sales forecasting back through purchasing and inventory control to assure optimum inventory turn, minimum dollar inventory investment and good customer service
- Exposure to all vendors to assure stocking most saleable items at lowest costs
- Inventory levels established properly to take seasonal variations into consideration
- Procedures established to prevent capital tie-up by accumulation of obsolete and slow-moving items
- Layout designed to achieve as close as possible straight-line flow from receipt of order to the shipment ready to go on shipping dock
- Security measures followed to keep pilferage at a minimum
- Implement proper training and tools to ensure warehouse supervisors do the job right
- Routes studied and scheduled to assure maximum time spent servicing customers and soliciting new accounts and minimum time doing aimless driving or other time-wasting activities
- Controlled maintenance and repair costs
- Careful check of loading and unloading to prevent pilferage and shrinkage
- Authority and responsibility of key people clearly defined
- Management information available to measure and control key personnel performance
- Office procedures and paperwork sufficiently automated to accomplish objectives
- Sound credit and collection policies