NetPlus Alliance members remain mostly optimistic for continued growth in 2024, according to the latest NetPlus Alliance Industry Outlook, a quarterly report based on a survey of NetPlus distributors.
Nearly 46% of members in the survey reported significant gains through the third quarter of 2023 (+8% or more), with an additional 35% reporting moderate gains (+3% to 7%). About three-quarters are expecting sales to be up in 2023.
Members said that focusing on new product-line opportunities within NetPlus, capturing business with existing and new customers, hiring new salespeople, adding new branches and taking market share have contributed to this growth.
The NetPlus Alliance Industry Outlook tracks business results and trends in the industrial and contractor supply markets. The latest quarterly survey was completed by 3 Aspens Media in October 2023, and the outlook was based on members’ third-quarter results.
Purchases from NetPlus Alliance preferred suppliers by distributor members were up 21% year to date through the third quarter.
Some NetPlus members are more conservative in their forecasts for 2024, citing industry slowdowns and fewer long-term projects in their customers’ pipelines. About a third of respondents reported decreased gross margins because of supplier price increases and other cost pressures. Members continue to experience challenges in hiring, training, and retaining employees.
“It will be an interesting year in a lot of ways: a presidential election, two significant regional wars, and a robust economy, but with an inflation level that the Fed is trying to get under control,” said Dan Judge, Founder of NetPlus Alliance. “The survey results for the third quarter are still very positive but do show some signs of softening.”
In this quarter’s survey, NetPlus Alliance also asked distributor members about their business plans for 2024. Nearly 83% reported plans to sell more to existing customers, with another 56% investing in operational improvements to increase productivity.
NetPlus Alliance’s membership includes 415 industrial and contractor supplies distributor members.