Critical to the success of your business are timely data and relevant statistics about performance, materials and markets. So is leading information and analysis about our industry that helps you to make accurate, confident and supported decisions with channel partners and satisfy customer demands. Doing so more quickly helps you set better goals, objectives and priorities so your company is positioned to increasingly gain competitive advantages.
According to Kevin Craine, managing director of Crain Communications Group based in Portland, Ore., “Business intelligence can be used to support a wide range of business objectives and strategies.” According to an article he wrote for Workflow, short-term operational decisions, such as product positioning and competitive pricing, are generally enhanced with better business intelligence. Long-term strategies concerning things such as branding and market share are more successful with the perspective that business intelligence can provide. “In any case, business intelligence is more effective when it combines external data culled from the market in which the company operates with internal data found within the company, such as financial numbers and operational information. When external and internal data are combined together, the perspective creates an ‘intelligence’ that cannot be derived by any singular view or set of data.”
The American Supply Association is our industry’s national organization, and it understands how business intelligence gives you the insights to advance your business:
Prepare for change and develop longer-term strategies to continuously reduce risk and increase profit from evolving economic trends;
The most current and qualified market data and analysis on various materials with comprehensive insight on price-influencing actions within different market segments;
Detailed comparisons of compensation and benefits programs for distribution executives and employees;
Determine the market value of a business with an accurate and objective method that will save you thousands; and
Pinpoint operational strengths and weaknesses relative to industry demographics as well as regular snapshots of industry performance relative to the broader economy, different market areas, sales volumes and industry segments.
When it comes to pinpointing operational strengths and weaknesses as well as guidance for developing long-term strategies that prepare your business for the future, ASA’s annual Operating Performance Report (OPR) simply delivers.
With nearly 200 firms contributing data for this annual report, the OPR is the most comprehensive compilation of accurate and up-to-date financial performance information for the PHCP and industrial PVF wholesale distribution industry. For 35 years, it has served as the basis for comparing an individual company’s performance with industry comparatives across product emphasis, sales volume and number
You may be saying to yourself, “I’m not a financial expert. I don’t have the time to pore through countless performance ratios trying to understand what they mean.” The fact is, the OPR is designed so you do not have to be a financial expert and you do not need to spend a lot of time in order to learn invaluable insights about your business that are not otherwise possible.
Therefore, the OPR is designed to serve as a customized, easy-to-understand, actionable tool for you to evaluate your company’s operating results, identify profit leaks, set new goals and measure employees’ productivity. It also provides objective feedback for managers as well as valuable data about the industry to share with your company’s accountant and financial institutions. Further, wholesaler-distributors and their suppliers can and do use this information to strengthen partnerships with one another.
Bottom line: Understanding a variety of performance metrics and the impact of this type of analysis means the difference between simply operating your business and excelling in our industry.