CFPA Corner: Sifting the Data
By Roy PietilaFluid Power CFPA
Canadian Fluid Power Association industry reports provide invaluable market insights.
As part of its ongoing mission to serve it’s membership, the Canadian Fluid Power Association (CFPA) provides industry information in two distinct reports on a quarterly basis specifically for the Canadian marketplace. All input for these reports is provided by CFPA members and is kept in strict confidence.
These reports provide current data on the fluid power market and allow members to compare their own performance against current market performance to determine if they are lagging, equal to or leading the market. Given the limited amount of fluid power specific market data available currently, the CFPA’s reports provide an important benchmark.
The first report is the Quarterly Market Update, which provides a geographic, quantitative breakdown of the Canadian fluid power market (sample graph shown above). This report not only shows the current state of the market but also provides industry trends over the past number of years. Decidedly, 2015 was a challenging year. Consequently, this data will be more important than ever in 2016 to help members cope with very unstable market conditions across the country.
In addition to the Market Update, the CFPA also provides a qualitative “gut check” on the fluid power market. This Executive Report reveals trends on a number of business parameters including daily rate of shipments, incoming orders and sales volume, among other metrics. This data allows members to benchmark against fellow leaders in the fluid power industry in real time.
We also create a new question each quarter to address specifics in the market. Examples include the impact of the lowering dollar and expectations for market segments on upcoming quarters.
Looking to the future, we plan to expand upon our offerings. For example, the proposed Compensation & Benefits report would be Canada’s only fluid power compensation study and, as such, would help employers compare salaried positions in the fluid power industry. Companies that want to ensure their overall compensation program (salary and incentives) is competitive could refer to this report as their benchmark. Included would be graphical information on the types of companies participating, distribution of participants by region, position type, education and average industry compensation.
We are also looking at third party reports, which would offer a macro view of the Canadian economy to augment the current CFPA reports. With this data, we could discern if the fluid power market is following or leading the overall market. We could also help identify market drivers that affect our business. The intent is to break the fluid power market down regionally and segment by major market type.
For example, RBC publishes a Canadian Purchasing Managers’ Index along with a corresponding narrative. There is a lot of great content published today that will be of value to our members. We are also in talks with NSERC to consider using university students to research the Canadian market to provide specific trend data.
To participate in the these and future studies from the CFPA, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s only through comparing your company’s performance against industry standards that you can truly judge your position in the market and make better strategic decisions.
Roy Pietila is the treasurer and past Market Insight Chair of the Canadian Fluid Power Association. He is also the Vice President of Finance for Festo Canada.