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Distributor's Link Magazine Fall 2020 / Vol 43 No 4


54 THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK Nelson Valderrama Nelson Valderrama is the CEO of Intuilize, a software Service platform that specializes in helping mid-sized distributors transform data into profits. With more than 22 years’ experience as P&L manager executive for major PE firms and industrial distributors. Nelson has dedicated his career to help business uncover hidden competitive advantages and unleash the power of data in the new Digital Economy. For more information contact by email or visit IS YOUR BUSINESS BENCHMARKING ITSELF TO TACKLE COVID-19? If your business is finding it incredibly difficult to make sales decisions right now based on data in the era of COVID-19, believe me, you’re not alone. Business leaders around the nation are facing more uncertainty than they have in decades. How can we really understand macroeconomic trends in such an unprecedented time? How can we gather and utilize accurate sales performance data during the pandemic? We all know that flying blind during this unpredictable time will lead to huge mistakes and missed opportunities — So what exactly can you do to give your business the best chance to succeed? I was recently talking this issue through with a client of mine and we found ourselves focusing on one really important strategy for finding clarity amid the chaos: benchmarking. While no one really knows what cards will be dealt to us for the rest of 2020 and 2021, we CAN prepare ourselves and organization to make the most of opportunities we are presented with as they come. By getting sophisticated about our benchmarking, manufacturers and distributors can better monitor sales, assess performance and GM% against the market, use insights to avoid disaster, and capitalize on potential recovery scenarios in 2020 and 2021 to maximize your profits during the next twelve months. Benchmarking in Action in the Real World To get a realistic picture of how we can apply benchmarking in the real world, let’s take a look at a few CONTRIBUTOR ARTICLE of the top public distributors and how their sales have performed pre- and post-COVID-19: Now of course, we don’t know in detail the exact strategies or execution efficiency of these three companies (unless you happen to work for them), but when you compare the results, you can create empirical benchmarks, for example: 1. That it is possible for a company to have a growth rate (YoY) for Q1-2020 between 5-10% 2. That in the middle of COVID (Q2-2020) someone (Fastenal) found a way to actually benefit from the pandemic (the majority of this growth came from sales of PPE) 3. Having a diversified basket of products (as MSC does) is not a bullet proof strategy Let’s Dive Deeper Looking at this graph, I’m sure many would have the same first question in mind: What happened to MSC?! As you can see below, since July 2019 the company was struggling to find ways to grow and COVID-19 only exacerbated those challenges. CONTINUED ON PAGE 140

The NEFCO Corporation, a leading provider of an extensive and dynamic portfolio of products, services and solutions for the professional contractor, opened a new location in Syracuse, New York to further support and service the professional contractor trades in Central New York. This new facility will be our third location in New York State. The new Syracuse facility is located at 4629 Crossroads Park Drive. The new 10,000 square foot warehouse will house thousands of SKU’s across a wide variety of NEFCO’s core products known by the acronym S.H.A.R.P.® – Strut channel, Hardware, Anchors, Rod and Pipe hangers as well as broad mix of power tools, safety equipment, and general jobsite supplies. “We are excited to expand our New York footprint and continue to provide an extensive product offering to our valued customers,” said NEFCO’s President and CEO, David Gelles. “Being proud Syracuse fans, we are thrilled to finally have a location in the Syracuse Area and better showcase our product offerings and wave our orange and blue colors!” The NEFCO Corporation is a family owned and operated construction supply company providing a broad range of products and services to a large variety of professional contractors. For more information contact NEFCO Corporation Toll-free at: 1-800-969-0285 or visit them online at THE DISTRIBUTOR’S LINK 55


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