Right focus

NGA survey shows how members plan to grow revenues
By David Walker
June 1, 2007

The 2006 NGA Competitiveness Survey focused primarily on how NGA members are managing their enterprises and achieving operational benchmarks. Even the best operators need to address the top line. The vast majority of members, 81 percent, expect to grow revenues via new customers in existing markets. The approaches favored to grow new sales do not vary much by the business lines in which members participate. Only architectural firms showed a higher percentage of respondents reporting that none of the approaches listed (see chart) apply compared to auto and other.

Not surprisingly, those members who’ve made either “significant progress” or “fully achieved” high performance status are more willing to step outside their comfort zones (see April 2006 Glass Magazine, Page 26). For example, 40 percent of those closest to high performance look to grow sales via new markets while just 20 percent of those that have made “some progress,” and 17 percent of those that have made “no progress,” will look beyond their current customer base.

Table 1

Fifty-one percent of NGA members, reports that they plan to “grow or expand physically” in the United States and 48 percent has no expansion planned. Sixty-two percent of auto-glass firms are most likely to expand in the U.S.

Similarly, about half of members, 49 percent, will be looking to expand sales and distribution. When asked specifically about their intent to “expand physical operations,” not just grow or expand, only one-quarter or 26 percent, report future physical expansion.

Table 2

One in 10 NGA members are expecting a dramatic change this year: 6 percent expect to be sold, and another 4 percent expect to close operations. One-third of firms, or 33 percent, that have made no progress toward high performance expect to close operations in the coming year, compared to just 4 percent of firms that have made some progress, and 0 percent of those firms closest to high performance.

The 2006 NGA Competitiveness Survey illustrates that in order to grow the top line, firms must pay attention to all the activities and metrics that affect customers and markets. Where is your organization focused?

Table 3


The author is vice president of Association Services, National Glass Association, 703/442-4890, ext. 153, dwalker@glass.org.