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SEMA Financial Benchmarking for the specialty equipment industry

SEMA market research financial benchmarking

Realizing that the industry needs new tools to help companies survive, in January 2009 SEMA launched the new SEMA Financial Benchmarking program. Since then, more than 7,500 companies have participated in the program giving the automotive aftermarket unparalleled visibility of best practices and sales forecasts.

Participants get free copies of all three SEMA Financial Benchmarking Reports: Manufacturing, Retailing and Distributing. This added benefit gives participants a complete view of what's going on in the industry in all sales channels.

The program accumulates data to let owners and managers see how their company is doing in comparison to others in the industry. Respondents answer simple questions that provide essential business information. Each month, information from responding companies are aggregated and reports of key performance indicators are generated for manufacturers, retailers and distributors. This report contains exclusive data specific to the automotive aftermarket industry, including year-to-date sales, sales forecasts for the next three months, gross margins, quick ratios (cash on hand), shipping costs, advertising/marketing expense, inventory turns, the percentage of products and materials sourced overseas, sales per employee, customer returns and more.

The SEMA Financial Benchmarking reports contain exclusive data specific to the automotive aftermarket. All answers are kept strictly confidential. Data is complied in aggregate to provide an overall financial picture of the industry.

The SEMA Financial Benchmarking reports include: Overall year-to-date sales comparison; three-month sales outlook; sales per employee; average gross margins; quick ratios (a measure of liquidity); average shipping costs; advertising/marketing expense; inventory turns ...and much more.

Know how your company compares to the rest of the industry with SEMA Financial Benchmarking

Each month the reports generated from the SEMA Financial Benchmarking project lets you answer questions about key performance indicators like these:

How do my sales forecasts compare to others in the industry? Does my gross margin compare to my peers? Does my company invest more in marketing than others in my category? Is my quick ratio (cash) 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?

To ease concerns that some company executives may have about SEMA seeing their individual company data, SEMA contracted with Hedges & Company to collect and aggregate the information each month. We have a legally-binding non-disclosure agreement available on request. We report only aggregated data to SEMA and program participants. Any information shared with us is kept strictly confidential.

Free benchmarking reports

Companies that participate in the SEMA Financial Benchmarking program will get three free reports covering manufacturing, retailing and distributing a few weeks after that month's survey closes. Other companies that want to see the information will be able to purchase individual reports through SEMA for $50.00 each, two months after a months' questionnaire closes. For more information visit SEMA's Market Research site.

To participate in the program, watch for an email each month sent from Julie Hedges, pictured here (left). There are three versions sent out: One for retailers with a blue banner (shown), a version for distributors with an orange banner, and one for manufacturers with a green banner.

If you would like to participate and you do not get these emails, please contact our office and we will add you to the list. There is no cost or obligation to participate and responses are kept confidential.

If you get these emails and would like to change categories, for example from retail to distributor, or you would like to have these sent to someone else in your company, please let us know that and we'll change your settings.

To download a PDF version of our non-disclosure agreement click here. It is digitally signed and this agreement can be faxed to us at (234) 380-1658 or mailed to SEMA Financial Benchmarking c/o Hedges & Company, 5603 Darrow Road Suite 100, Hudson, OH 44236.

To learn more about Hedges & Company and our market research, read this page.