The North American Association of Floor Covering Distributors (NAFCD), an organization that promotes wholesale distribution in the floor covering industry and provides members with resources for enhancing performance as industry suppliers, has heavily invested in industry intelligence over the past three years. This decision to focus on industry intelligence has given NAFCD a strong advantage against competitors due to valuable reports and key data offerings the organization is now able to provide to its members.
NAFCD defines industry intelligence as data in the form of member benchmarking reports, trend analysis reports by topical experts, and independent market research on industry topics of interest to its members. NAFCD identified an opportunity to round out its value proposition with offerings that bring value year-round, and which cannot easily or cost-effectively be obtained by members on their own. An additional opportunity was for NAFCD to strengthen engagement with its supplier members, who are secondary members of the organization. Investing in industry intelligence allows NAFCD to justify the membership dues that its supplier members invest in the organization, and allows supplier members to connect value to an element other than events. NAFCD identified industry intelligence as an excellent way to bring value to its supplier members year-round.
Because industry intelligence is a highly tangible value, NAFCD members receive a number of useful and detailed reports and studies throughout the year. NAFCD aligned with a number of strategic partners – primarily consulting and market research firms – that deliver these reports to members while also providing the analysis that are featured in the reports. NAFCD’s partners also help present the data findings by serving as presenters at events and as authors of articles and blogs on the findings within the reports.
Investment in industry intelligence is designed to provide NAFCD with a competitive edge, because members receive data and analysis that they cannot get elsewhere. In particular, benchmarking data reports are based on member input and are exclusive to NAFCD. Large firms in the industry cannot purchase benchmarking reports like the ones available through NAFCD, as the data comes from independently-owned businesses who share the data with NAFCD.
NAFCD’s reports are available through its Research Center, an online portal that is only accessible to members. The reports are continually made available throughout the year and address trends of high interest to member firms including home building, home centers, transportation and e-commerce. Reports include:
- Quarterly Economic Trend Reports: Developed with a team of leading economists, these customized reports are based on analysis of relevant economic indicators and allow business owners the ability to forecast what effect the economy has on their business.
- Quarterly Sales Trend Reports: Developed with a leading research firm in the building product space, these reports allow members to benchmark their sales results for the prior quarter as well as their sales forecast for the upcoming quarter.
- Quarterly U.S. Flooring Market Conditions Reports: Produced in partnership with a flooring-specific market research firm, these reports feature historical and forecast trends that are analyzed to determine their impact on flooring shipments and consumption in U.S. and Canadian markets.
- Annual Financial Benchmarking Report: Developed in partnership with a consulting firm that specializes in benchmarking reports sponsored by trade associations, this report is based on member distributors submitting specific financial data to NAFCD’s partner to be aggregated and analyzed. The report optimizes member performance in an environment of extreme pressure on profit margins.
- Cross-Industry Compensation & Benefits Report: Conducted every other year, this report provides members with a benchmark to compare their compensation levels for all positions within their firm to hundreds of other firms, ensuring that they remain competitive.
The results of investing in industry intelligence are evident in NAFCD’s high member retention rate. The majority of NAFCD’s reports and research studies are included in the cost of membership dues with no added cost. NAFCD has a high member retention rate that ranges from 88-92%, showing that the majority of members feel they receive a strong return on their investment. NAFCD report download statistics have increased vastly since prioritizing industry intelligence, and supplier members have been progressively providing the organization with positive feedback on its reports – making the decision to invest in industry intelligence an invaluable one.