By Anthony Lagunzad, HARDI Public Affairs Specialist
It’s pretty easy to see a headline like “employment hits 3.7%” and take it at face value with general assumptions. But what most of us don’t automatically register is how that number is a national number that covers the country as one big region all the same. When you dive deeper, you start to see a lot of variance when it comes to looking at unemployment on a state by state basis. In other words, employment trends can vary per state; some states may have flat or declining employment while others may have growing employment.
Our HARDInomics Quarterly and Monthly Economic Reports launched last year were created to provide members with actionable economic insights to complement their use of other benchmarking resources. In line with this goal, HARDInomics Quarterly will now have state-level insights going forward. For example, you will now be able to see where your state is in its own economic cycle with commentary on the factors that will influence demand at your locations during the year ahead.
But we know that you have day-to-day business to conduct, and our resources aren’t effective if they don’t help you conduct business more effectively. So let’s go over some examples of how HARDInomics can help you:
· Predictability is key. We don’t have a crystal ball with 100% accuracy of the future, but utilizing Benchmarking tools can help get your predictions as close to there as possible. You have a certain amount of inventory you need to keep in stock based on buying patterns of your customers, and there are a bunch of different factors that play into effective purchasing and warehouse turns in HVACR distribution. HARDInomics, which is only received by TRENDS participants (no cost for participation), provides those external indicators that can clue you in to factors that may contribute to the reasoning behind a period of slower turns, and by extension help you adjust your purchasing accordingly. On the flip side, once positive economic indicators start eventually firing again after a slowdown or contraction, you’ll be able to see when you might be able to start placing bigger purchase orders. In a metaphoric nutshell, HARDInomics is an economic weather report that gives early insight into what’s happening in your state to help you plan accordingly. The national weather report may be interesting, but your local forecast will dictate what you wear today.
· No economic downturns or upswings are the same. Since the Great Recession, many of us have that fear in the back of our head thinking that the next recession, which will inevitably come, might be another Great Recession, or worse, worse. Looking at projections for the economy allows you to better prepare for a slowdown or get ahead of when things start speeding up.
· Don’t get lost in the headlines. You have a dedicated HVACR distribution benchmarking duo in Market Research & Benchmarking Analyst Brian Loftus and Economist Paul Hallmann here at HARDI. Take advantage of economic news, minus the spin, along with a dose of applicability to our industry. Paul and Brian condense the conflicting or confusing economic headlines into a meaningful or useful commentary from a national perspective, and then boil it down to your region.
HARDI Benchmarking tools are easy to use and easy to start using, and going forward we will be explaining how to use them and showing how they help you conduct better business. The easiest way to get maximize the ROI on your membership is to use the full suite of tools available to distributors at no charge in exchange for participation: TRENDS Report (Sales), Unitary Market Report (Equipment), Distributor Performance Dashboards (Annual Operating Performance Benchmarking), HARDInomics Quarterly & Monthly Economic Reports, and the biennial Compensation Survey Report (See specific job role wage rates in your market, purchase required if no survey participation).
Give us a call at 614.345.4328 or email at email@example.com to ask any questions you may have on your Benchmarking resources and to add these tools to your belt. We’re here to help!
Disclaimer: at the time of this article’s publishing, the national economy is still charging full steam ahead based on the most recent HARDInomics reports, with no current signs of a slowdown.
This article was published in the January 2019 edition of the HARDI Thermostatus Newsletter.