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The 2014 MHEDA DiSC Report

By Robin Currie 

It’s time to prepare for this year’s MHEDA DiSC Report for the Industrial Truck, Engineered Systems and Storage & Handling industries.

Let’s take a quick look back at some of the highlights from last year’s industry report. The Currie team places substantial emphasis on the Return on Assets measure, especially in the Industrial Truck analysis. Remember, ROA is a critical measure, as it summarizes all other financial measures within a company, and a result of at least 15 percent indicates a positive cash situation. Last year’s “EBITDA or ROA?” article in The MHEDA Journal detailed the importance of measuring ROA opposed to EBITDA. That article was included in your industry report and is available on the MHEDA website. For the engineered systems and the storage and handling industries, we will compare participating companies by net income analysis to determine high performing companies. The participation of all engineered systems and storage and handling companies will significantly enhance the study. Another highlight of the DiSC Report was the focus area section; a deeper dive into a department identified as one in need of attention. Last year’s data revealed that the parts department, across many participating dealerships, required overall performance enhancement. The focus area will change each year based upon DiSC Survey results and offer best practices for improvement. The report is now designed to be beneficial at the investor/ executive and management level.

This year, we have additional changes that industrial truck dealers will find valuable. Members have requested that we offer an analysis of expenses by department, in the areas of personnel, operating and occupancy expense. We will be asking for additional breakouts of expenses in those categories by department. The industry report for industrial trucks will enable dealers to compare their performance to other dealers of a similar volume, and compare their results to high performing dealers. Each company will continue to see specific benchmarks, or “model” expectations, for all categories of expense in each department. The report will include a segment displaying comprehensive sales mix results. After discussion with MHEDA members, Currie has added a preview to the report, which can be found within the MHEDA DiSC Input Template.

Storage and handling and engineered systems will be receiving detailed comparisons based upon volume group and comparison to high performing companies. Additionally, best practices from participating companies will be shared.

There is no data input required for the new preview feature. The formulas on the preview tab will calculate automatically as the template is populated with your dealership’s data. After input is complete, the preview tab will give the dealer a summary, which the dealer can use to verify the company data that was entered and receive an instant report on several critical liquidity measures, an overall company sales mix analysis, expense tracking by department and employee productivity results.

MHEDA members should understand these points:

• A large collection of data points provides the highest validity, so it is expected that ALL MHEDA distributors participate in the DiSC Survey. There is great value in the comparative element of the report and companies will benefit by getting in the game.

• Survey data points must be entered carefully and accurately. The analysis is significantly enhanced with complete and accurate input. If the data breakdown, such as expense categories by department, is not available, enter the totals in the appropriate expense categories. It is requested that there is no guessing — we are asking for valid reporting only.

• The comparison of like-sized dealers is extremely important, and it is only as accurate as the quality of reporting. In order to continue to include these results participation is required of all MHEDA members.

• Finally, members who are also Currie Group members are expected to contribute their data to the DiSC Survey.

The MHEDA and Currie teams look forward to a continued partnership with all members and distributorships.


Robin Currie


Robin Currie is with Currie Management Consultants, Inc., in Worcester, Massachusetts, and on the web at www.curriemangement.com