This week the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) released what it called key findings from its 2012 and 2013 annual Benchmarking Survey of members. The findings were of 2012 final results and dealer expectations for 2013 and according to the trade association, suggest that the industry has stabilized and is even back to showing moderate growth.
See more on these key industry findings against which you can benchmark your company’s results…
According to materials circulated to the press CEDIA says dealers are reporting moderate growth in revenues, positive progress in improving their profitability, and are considering ramping up hiring to handle their increased workloads. These, of course, are all positive trends.
The organization generally makes a more comprehensive release of data at the CEDIA Expo coming up next month in Denver, so there was not much detail released at this point. Still, we found a couple of items of note the organization did include in this release.
- 2012 Revenue Increases – In 2012, those members who participated in the Benchmarking Survey said that they anticipated an increase in revenues over their 2011 results of about 12%. But those who took the survey in 2013 said their actual growth came in at about 10% or just short of their original estimate.
- 2013 Revenue Expectations – Interestingly, despite their slight shortfall in actual 2012 results as compared with their original expectations, dealers again forecast an increase for 2013. And it is interesting to note that dealers now feel that their revenues will increase a robust 18% this year. We’ll have to wait until 2014 to see if growth actually hit that number, but we suspect that, once again, dealers may be slightly over-optimistic.
- Head Count – Survey respondents said that they have maintained their number of employees at the same level for 2010, 2011, and 2012 with an average of 6 full- and/or part-time employees per dealers. However, revenues per employee were reported to have increased 8% from $135,000 to $145,950. Consequently, dealers say they expect to increase their number of employees by about 14% in 2013.
- Profitability – Respondents said that they have focused on improving standard operating practices in order to gain profitability from the increased efficiency this tactic generates. Fully 8 out of 10 respondents reported this move.
- Recurring Revenues – Finally, the survey suggests a rapidly increasing number of dealers participating in offering their clients remote network monitoring and diagnostic services which generates recurring revenues. According to CEDIA the number of respondents reporting that they’ve adopted this tactic has steadily increased from 16% in 2011, 32% in 2012, to 41% in 2013.
Although survey takers tend to be a bit of an optimistic bunch, this year’s results seem to show meaningful increases in dealer expectations. Until more complete data is released, it is hard to know just why dealers have come to feel so optimistic.
Perhaps it is the result of improving economics. Perhaps it is the result of reduced competition. Whatever the reason, we look forward to the more comprehensive release next month.