The ASA Operating Performance Report (OPR) is an easy-to-understand, actionable tool that companies can use to evaluate their own operating results.

Let’s face it. Things are not getting any easier in the PHCP and PVF distribution industry. While we all keep hoping business will dramatically improve, the recession’s recovery has been much slower than anyone had ever imagined. The housing market remains mired at historically depressed levels, the federal and many state governments are operating with huge budget deficits, and the public sector has expanded significantly. This has all occurred while the private sector has struggled. It is no wonder that unprecedented uncertainty exists.

Ironically, even with all of these challenges, some industry wholesalers have flourished. Many others have more than just survived. For example, while “before tax return on net worth” for industry firms (in the aggregate) in 2009 was at its lowest level in at least 20 years (at only 4.2%), the “high profit” firms group (i.e., those in the upper 50% of profitability) experienced a 12.9% return on net worth (based on the 2010 ASA Operating Performance Report of 2009 results). The question is why and how did the industry winners excel when the vast majority of companies were only slightly north of break-even, or even lost money?

The reasons for poor performance are varied. Certainly the down economy is a major factor. One clear consistency exists among companies that continue to prosper: Their owners strive to seek and implement as much information about their business operations as possible. One tremendous industry tool in this regard is the annual ASA Operating Performance Report (OPR).

ASA Operating Performance Report (OPR)

Someone once said, “What you don’t know about your business has as much or more impact on your company’s success as what you do know.” Said differently, your company’s problems may have more to do with your own lack of knowledge, innovation, and implementation than the recession could ever have. The ASA OPR can help.

Each year, the ASA OPR provides you with vital financial and operating performance benchmarks for gauging your own company’s strengths, weaknesses, and improvement opportunities. Such information is not available anywhere else. For only $199, along with your participation in the confidential OPR survey, you will receive an in-depth, customized report showing your own firm’s confidential performance ratios. In addition, you will see the aggregated results of comparable groups of your industry peers. In addition to the customized report about your own company, you will also receive an industry-wide report. This report comes complete with analysis, historical trends, ratio definitions, and all the data aggregations.

For more than 30 years, ASA’s OPR has been prepared in the strictest confidence by independent firm Industry Insights Inc. ASA simply pays for this member service and never sees specific company results.

Participating in the OPR survey takes only about 30 minutes. Participants simply fill out the confidential survey form and submit their information in confidence to Industry Insights Inc. along with a participation fee of $199. The reports you will receive in return could literally save your company thousands of dollars, and may even be the difference between survival or failure.Is it worth it? Absolutely!

Why Your Participation is a Must

You may be saying to yourself: I am not a financial expert. I simply do not have the time to pore through countless performance ratios trying to understand what they mean. The fact is, the study is designed so you do not have to be a financial expert and you do not need to spend much time in order to learn invaluable insights about your business that are not otherwise possible. Rather than writing a 20-page dissertation about the benefits of participating, here are 10 short reasons for doing so each year:

1) The OPR is the only true benchmark available for the PHCP and PVF distribution business.

2) The report provides vital information pertaining to profitability, productivity, sales performance, liquidity, operating expense control, cash management, inventory management, receivables management and more.

3) The study is done in strictest confidence by Industry Insights, Inc., as has been the case for nearly 30 years.

4) Your own company’s ratios are calculated and shown alongside the most relevant peer group comparatives. You never have to make any calculations.

5) In addition to the comparative performance ratios, participants also receive an objective report card showing your own company’s potential strengths, weaknesses and improvement suggestions.

6) Over time, trend graphs will highlight your own company’s historical performance (for key measures) versus the trend performance of your industry peers.

7) The report is an invaluable tool for dealing with financial institutions in obtaining the most favorable loan terms.

8) The report will help you to value how much your business is worth; plus, survey participants can utilize ASA’s Business Valuation Appraisal service at a reduced price.

9) Participation is easy. Just fill out a short confidential questionnaire and submit it to Industry Insights, Inc.

10) The participation fee is insignificant relative to the improvement potential for your business.

Can You Really Afford Not To Participate?

The OPR is designed to help companies pinpoint their own strengths, weaknesses, and improvement opportunities.  If you need help in the participation process, please contact Tom Noon, principal of Industry Insights,, or 614.389.2100 ext. 107.

If after you participate you are not 100% completely satisfied or see no value, contact ASA for a $100 refund.

-Tom Noon, Principal - Industry Insights

ASA’s Operating Performance Report: Testimonials

“For at least the last 15 years and possibly even longer, Dakota Supply Group has been submitting financial information to ASA on a yearly basis. Both the Company Performance Report and the Special Executive Summary Edition have been valuable tools for us. Not only do we receive consistent historical financial analysis, the reports also allow us to examine other goals and benchmarks within our industry; categorized by the size of the company and by different product selections. Due to the diverse product selection we offer to our customers, we rely on ASA to provide consistent ways of measuring our company and others within our business segment.”

Ross Westby - CFO/Controller, Dakota Supply Group

”At Collins, we utilize the “high profit firms” benchmark as a tool for measuring our performance in every operating and financial area.”

Brian Tuohey - President, Collins Pipe and Supply Co., Inc.

“We use the OPR as a benchmark against our internal numbers and find it very useful. This is an added benefit to our membership in ASA & the Industrial Piping Division.”                               

Mike Abeling – President/CEO, Consumers Pipe & Supply