In a very competitive and low-margin industry like HVACR distribution, it is so crucial to keep tabs on your competitors. But in constantly trying to improve, HARDI members often find themselves asking which aspect of their business they should concentrate those efforts on.

The Heating, Air-conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International’s benchmarking programs provide members with the ability to measure and identify areas with the most room for improvement relative to other similar companies.

We understand the unending, relentless drive to stay competitive and gain an edge. Our unitary report, free to HARDI distributors who participate, tracks your sales performance by product line or efficiency level and compares it to the general sales performance within your region. This resource is a valuable tool for distributors looking to compare their numbers apples to apples with similar companies in the region.

We here at HARDI also understand that general economic trends will have an impact on the industry, and can be a cause of fluctuating performance for your company. That’s why we also provide our monthly Targeted & Regional Economic News for Distribution Strategies analysis and report, the only HVACR distribution sales report in the industry and another easy freebie for members who submit their information for it. This report, compiled by ITR Economics, provides average monthly and annual distributor sales growth, annual inventory growth, sales per employee and days-sales-outstanding, all segregated by region and annual sales volume. Participants also receive quarterly economic forecast updates from Alan Beaulieu and ITR Economics. 

On an annual basis, HARDI members have access to the Distributor Performance Dashboards self-analysis tool for annual operating performance benchmarks, and in the spring of even-

number years you have an opportunity to participate in the compensation survey. News about all the benchmarking services, and other industry-related news, is also available in the twice-monthly Data Driven Newsletter.

As technology continues to improve and place pressure on HVACR distributors, we can also use it to provide tools that you can use to stay competitive. It’s tough to catch up when you fall behind, and using benchmarking tools like the ones we provide members here at HARDI can help ensure that doesn’t happen. Still skeptical? All of our top-performing members use at least one of our programs.

With the growing reliance on benchmarking tools, HARDI’s programs are growing to meet those needs. The TRENDS report is a must-have resource if you are serious about keeping watch on the economy and our industry. DPD has seen a complete user-friendly redesign through our new vendor, and our unitary report is on track to switch from regional metrics down to the state level. In a low-margin industry like HVACR distribution, take every advantage you can get and call us to find out how easy it is to participate and add these tools to your belt.

Anthony Lagunzad is HARDI’s public affairs specialist.