The distinction between manufacturing- and distribution-focused enterprises used to be very clear. Lately, however, the offshore movement of manufacturing capacity has made many domestic manufacturers look and act very much like distributors, while distribution companies have had to start performing functions that typically have been performed by manufacturers. Yet, even as the lines become increasingly blurred between manufacturing and distribution, the key processing needs of these organizations remain significantly different. In this special primer, TEC's P.J. Jakovljevic takes a look at what those needs are and how they have changed over time.