Your industry is a moving target. One day things are going great, and the public companies you serve and vendor public companies are doing great. Business activity is gathering momentum, equipment pricing is getting better and you start convincing yourself that the recession is behind us. Until you wake up the next day.
The next day begins with news concerning how the earthquake in Japan is going to put a damper on industry in America, the stock market takes a dump, the inflation card is on the table with the talk of higher interest rates and all of a sudden your head is spinning. Soon you are pulling the 2011 projections up on your computer to reduce revenues for the balance of the year.
All I know at this stage of the game is this economy leaves me queasy, with a reluctance to stick my neck out too far; and makes me believe you have to apply the same cautious approach to your business by using a conservative plan until there is an absolute good reason to change it one way or the other. Stick your neck out a little further if you can convince your management team that the changes you are suggesting are more likely than not to succeed. At the same time, be ready to pull back should the KPI’s reflect that the plan isn’t working.
The main point here is you need to have a plan and the ability to get the data (KPI’s) you need to help you make decisions about moving ahead or pulling back. What do you think? Do you have the ability to mange in this manner or not? I believe some of you do, some of you don’t and some of you think you do but really don’t (probably more than 50 percent don’t).
For that 50+ percent of you who may need some direction to better control future operating results let me suggest a look at what AED is doing for dealers. While we primarily work with construction equipment dealers and rentals companies, we are all in the same boat; we sell equipment and parts, we service and rent equipment just like you do. You do better on the lease with maintenance side while we do more with rent-to-sell transactions. Believe it or not, when we discuss industry and economic issues we do cover the lift truck industry.
Here are some of the programs you may be interested in:
- Webinars directed towards CFO’s to keep you informed about the numerous accounting issues you will be facing and to keep your tax bill down.
- Our annual CFO conferences which also cover the tax and accounting issues, but this year also cover industry analysis for planning purposes, dealer and retail financing alternatives, social networking and how it can be used to increase equipment sales, and in general assist with the overall planning process for the balance of 2011 and 2012.
- New 20 Group program to help CEO’s understand what their problems are and how to eliminate them. This is an all new approach to 20 Groups and one that will provide comparative analysis up to 12 months a year. We will run a live demo of the program at our 2011 CFO conferences. All are welcome to check it out.
- A program to assist with the monthly and annual close process. Having current timely data is A Necessity if you plan to control your performance and make changes in a timely manner. It is also a requirement to participate in a 20 Group. Let’s face it folks, some close in 5 business days and others take 45 business days. The latter is no longer acceptable. You must have your monthly statement by the 15th of the following month.
- Preparing other webinars/seminars to discuss rental activity in all its forms; the accounting, the financing and profitability analysis. Rental is a big part of the industry, a very competitive part of the industry that needs to be reviewed to operate in current market conditions.
I think we understand the sensitivity to dealer finances resulting from the industry recovery and our unsettling economy and as a result are developing programs to keep dealers on the right path to recovery. You can review these programs on AED’s web site at AEDnet.org and call me with questions at (630) 574-0650 Ext. 323.
Garry Bartecki is a CPA MBA with BG Financial Services LLC. You may contact him by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.