Roger Klouda, president of MSI Mold Builders in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, recently wrote a column for Mold Maker Journal on the importance of participating in a Plante & Moran PLLC survey of mold makers. Using some fun and effective sports analogies, Klouda made a strong case about the importance of participating in these types of surveys:
How much fun would it be to go to a football game if no one kept score? Gambling wouldn't be much fun if they just pulled the winners out of a hat. Working on improving your golf game wouldn't really matter if you didn't know how the “pros” score and you couldn't track your progress and know you were getting better. Our businesses are the same way. My father always says that you find out how good you are at the end of the year when the numbers come in. While that may be true, it is hard to know how they come to be what they are unless you are tracking the things important to the success of your business. Once you know your own progress you start to wonder, how am I doing compared to the industry? Where do you find these numbers? Are there common numbers, generated in similar fashion, which I trust and believe in? If asked to assist in the generation of these numbers will I report my true numbers or what I think they should be? If I don't truly understand what they are asking for, is it worth reporting?Klouda worked with Plante & Moran to make its survey easier to complete, and now he's hoping the effort will be worthwhile. The key will be to get more companies to participate.
Your investment will get you a number of things you don't currently have that could be instrumental in driving the success of your company. How do you compare to your peers in the industry? How do you compare to others in your area of specialty- automotive, appliance etc. How is your efficiency? How does your on-time delivery compare? What are your sales per employee-manufacturing/total, sales per square foot of space? How do I compare to other operations that have similar sales to mine? All this information can help you make better decisions. Should I get bigger/smaller as a business, build bigger/smaller molds, get into a different specialty, and specialize – in what?I'll reprint Klouda's column (with his permission) in the comments section of this blog item. If you're not convinced yet, take a look at his arguments. Or save some time, click on the link above and fill out the survey!