Realizing that the industry needs new tools to help companies survive the tough economy, SEMA has launched a new financial benchmarking program. Data collected thus far shows that SEMA-member manufacturers project varying levels of growth for the next three months. While 46% project sales to be down, 22% already expect that sales will make an upward trajectory within the next three months compared to this time last year.
So far, more than 600 companies have decided to participate in SEMA’s financial benchmarking program. The program is designed to accumulate data that you can use to see how your company is doing in comparison to others in the industry. Each month, information from responding companies will be aggregated and reports generated for the basic distribution categories of the industry.
The program asks a battery of financial questions that provide essential information for business management. Using aggregated data from similar companies, SEMA members will be able to benchmark their operations, answering questions such as:
- How does my cost of goods compare to my peers?
- Does my company invest more in marketing than others in my category?
- Is my quick ratio above or below the norm for the industry right now?
- How are my inventory turns doing compared to similar operations?
- Are the amount of product returns my company is having out of whack right now?
The data will provide benchmarking information for just about all aspects of a company’s financial operation. The added benefit is that trend data will emerge over time, again providing a yardstick by which to compare your company’s operation.
To ease concerns that some company executives may have about SEMA seeing their individual company data, the association has contracted with an outside vendor—Hedges & Company—to collect and aggregate the information each month. They willingly enter into legally binding non-disclosure agreements with any who request them and report only aggregated data to SEMA and program participants.
Below you will find a few nuggets from the data being collected:
Data collected thus far shows that SEMA-member manufacturers project varying levels of growth for the next three months. Around 22% already expect that sales will make an upward trajectory within the coming three months compared to this time last year.
Manufacturers surveyed said that 52% of their sales, on average, go through the traditional “distributors” channel, while a combined 25% go directly to a jobber's chain store.
If you have not responded to the notices you've received from Hedges & Company, don’t wait any longer to take advantage of this valuable new tool offered by SEMA. If you haven't received a notice for your company to participate, contact the SEMA Research & Information Center. — SEMA Research & Information Center