The Cabinet Makers Association is collecting information for its 2014 Benchmark Study, which surveys custom shop owners on their earnings, wages paid to employees based on experience, machinery preferences, customer trends, and industry outlook.
“The primary purpose of the survey is to see as a business owner where you stack up based on what other people in the same business are doing either in your area or across the country, CMA executive director Dave Grulke says.
“It discusses what respondents are feeling about their markets, whether they feel they’re going to have better years or worse years. It also compares payrolls and rates and all information that’s difficult to find anywhere else.”
Last year’s study included input from roughly 500 qualified respondents that include business owners or senior managers who hold the financial information for their companies.
“Last year, about 54 percent of the respondents saw higher sales in 2012 vs. 2011 and sales seem to be much greater for 2013, but the responses are still coming in,” says Grulke.
He’s expecting a similar, positive outlook for sales in 2014.
“Last year’s study [noted] more forward bookings,” Grulke says. “Around 180 people surveyed indicated that was among the reasons they were feeling more optimistic, and they were also finding more leads.
“For those that felt less optimistic, they were citing tighter margins and fewer forward bookings.”
Grulke hopes the survey will continue to get a strong response.
“We want the readers to improve their sales outlook and improve their business as a whole, to follow the patterns of folks ahead of them in the evolution by viewing what other businesses have done and what their outlooks are. They can make changes in their operation to hit the higher ground if they choose to do so.”
For information, visit the CMA’s website at www.cabinetmakers.org.
This article originally appeared in the February 2014 issue.