Survey reveals benchmarks
The recently completed 2007 NGA Competitiveness Survey provides a broad view of business practices and performances across the membership of the National Glass Association, McLean, Va. Survey findings, based on responses from 88 NGA members, reveal a wealth of benchmarks that can help all members steer their firms toward more profitable, productive years. Among this year’s top-line findings are:
Sales: Not surprisingly, member sales are driven by firms providing architectural and automotive glass. The architectural side collectively accounts for an average 50.7 percent of member sales with a median 30 percent. Among contract glazers, an average 79.7 percent of sales derive from architectural glass with a median 70 percent. In addition, the majority of member sales derive from private work with a median 95 percent and average 84.3 percent, rather than public contracts with a median 5 percent and average 15.7 percent.
Averages will sum to 100 percent, medians might not; a median of 0 percent means that half or more of the members reported 0 percent sales.
Employment: NGA members project employment to rise from 2006 through 2008 by 33 percent based on median annual figures, and by 8 percent based on average annual figures. The wide disparity between median and average figures—e.g., median 17.5 employees and average 227.1 employees in 2007—indicates that a handful of members are employing a significantly higher number of workers than the typical NGA member.
The majority of NGA member workforces are field labor/installers with a median 58.6 percent and average 50.9 percent, followed by managers/supervisors with a median 10 percent and average 13 percent, administrative with a median 10 percent and average 10.7 percent, sales with a median 5 percent and average 8.2 percent, and production/operators with a median 4 percent and average 13 percent.
Business environment: Seventy percent of NGA members express concern that energy/fuel costs will threaten their profitability in the coming year; 54 percent cite finding skilled labor; and 54 percent cite insurance costs as threat to profitability. The perceived impact of business factors is closely related to type of business; for example, 75 percent or three-fourths of manufacturers cited the health of the economy as the top concern; among contract glazers, 71 percent cited finding skilled labor as the top concern; and energy/fuel cost concerns were paramount among 83 percent dealers/retailers.
Seventy-two percent or nearly three-fourths of members raised prices in the past year; 31 percent increased prices by more than 5 percent; 15 percent lowered prices last year; and 13 percent kept pricing in check.
In the coming issues, look for more detailed information about these three topics as well as analyses of costs, operations practices and performances.