Technology investments by wholesalers and distributors are forecasted to exceed $80 billion in 2008, according to a study from Pembroke Consulting. The report, “Facing the Forces of Change: The Road to Opportunity,” surveyed more than 1,000 wholesale distribution executives who said they plan to expand purchases most quickly in the areas of online ordering, customer relationship management, salesforce automation and warehouse management systems.

“Last year, wholesalers and distributors spent approximately $53 billion on computer hardware and software, equal to one out of every five dollars spent by U.S. businesses,” said Pembroke Consulting President Adam J. Fein, Ph.D., in a statement. “In the coming years, distribution executives will invest in technologies that improve productivity, enhance existing service offerings, and meet new demands for customer self-service in B2B supply chains.”