The economy is driving a huge part of the greater news cycle right now. Updates on inflation, still-rising producer prices, labor issues and Fed rate hikes are unavoidable for distribution executives and anyone else who tries to keep up with what’s happening in the world of commerce.

Amid all that chatter, it’s easy to get caught up in the talk of doom-and-gloom and be tricked into thinking that the robust demand distributors have experienced over the past 18 months is quickly drying up and that sales and profit growth will soon tank.

In MDM’s latest QuickTake Podcast, Indian River Consulting Group Founding Partner Mike Marks told our CEO Tom Gale that it’s crucial to pay attention to data right now vs. talk — as that talk isn’t necessarily reality.

Mike Marks

“I think there’s so much noise going on in the system right now, in terms of what the media is talking about, and all the VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, chaos, ambiguity) stuff we’ve talked about in several prior podcasts. If you listen to what people are saying, you’re going to think things are a lot worse than they are.”

Marks elaborated that IRCG has a client who just reported their fourth consecutive month of all-time sales records. 

“Talking to distributors, we’re saying, ‘You know, there’s a lot of people talking about recession. Are you dialing back your inventory? And most people have gone like, ‘What, are you an idiot? If I can get the product, I can sell it.’”

The straight-shooting Marks emphasized that anytime market uncertainty is heightened, there will be winners and losers.

“The standard deviation of growth is getting larger as the bell curve gets flatter because there’s some guys doing really, really well and some guys who aren’t.”

Above all else, Marks wants to inject a sense of calm and rationality amid the sea of commentary about economic downturn. The sky isn’t falling, he says.

“Just remember, economists had predicted 14 of the last three recessions,” Marks quipped. “So there’s lots of noise. It’s important to look at actions and things that you see. Don’t listen to all the words and what’s going on in the media.”

Check out the new QuickTake podcast from the audio player above, and check out all our Podcasts here.

Of course, MDM is in the media sector, but we pride ourselves on not fanning the flames of speculative economic talk but rather presenting and digesting data from distribution sector or how it pertains to it. Stay tuned for our 2022 second quarter MarketPulse and M&A reports — available exclusively to our Premium members — to see that distribution-specific data and our analysis of it. If you’re not already a Premium subscriber, you can get signed up here. It’s well worth it!

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