Right to the bottom line

25 April 2008

How does your company stack up against others in the industry in terms of financial performance? Determining the answer to that question can help you improve the profitability and cash flow of your company.

Over the last 15 years, SC&RA has periodically provided that invaluable information for hundreds of member companies through the Financial Benchmarking studies. Due to very positive results and feedback on the 2004 study, which was released last year, the Association's Board of Directors agreed in January to build on that success by doing another study this year.

We strongly encourage you to participate in the upcoming study and it costs nothing to become part of. Simply fill out and return the questionnaire. Your confidential responses, when combined with those of other members, will highlight key financial and operating characteristics in our industry such as productivity, profitability, capital intensity, labour intensity, technology and competition.

In return for your participation you will receive a free copy of the study. Members who decide against participating in the study can purchase a copy for $495. Even more valuable, though, is the confidential, individualized Consulting Report, containing a wealth of financial management information.

The overall study and your free personalized report will give answers to important questions in a practical, down-to-earth style written specifically for SC&RA members. Nobody will ever see the Consulting Report except the participating member and Business Resource Services (BRS), the study's administrator.

Indeed, not a single piece of any individual company's data will be shared by BRS with SC&RA or any other party. BRS has earned SC&RA's complete trust after conducting the last Financial Benchmarking Study and similar studies for the Association in the past. In the process, the company has gained a considerable understanding of our industry and has devised proven strategies to help members become more successful.

In addition to the study, participants can gain additonal financial insight at the 2006 Financial Management Seminar, 11 and 12 October, at the Hilton La Jolla – 15 miles north of San Diego airport. Continuing the tradition of unique and extremely substantive Financial Management Seminars, this event will allow members to further interpret and make better use of the study and current financial management trends.

We are particularly enthusiastic about a session called Read Your Contract and Mine for Gold. Applicable for both crane & rigging and transportation members, the session will address extra work authorizations and how they have a direct impact on the bottom line. Attendees will gain insights into how systematic planning can yield profitable extras in contracts.

Among the other topics to be addressed during the seminar are:

• equipment leasing versus purchasing and the impact to your bottom line

• effective accounting and finance strategies, incorporating ratio analysis used in the Financial Benchmarking Study as well as non-traditional ideas and concepts

• proven risk management strategies that also tie directly to the bottom line

• strategies to address health insurance and other benefits and their costs.

Mark your calendars for the Financial Management Seminar. First, though, we encourage you to participate in the Financial Benchmarking Study. The deadline for signing up is 7 April. Contact me by e-mail at jdandrea@scranet.org or by fax at +1 (703) 698 0297 to indicate your interest.

The Association will contact you to confirm your participation and provide other details. We'll also provide further information about the study and seminar in the coming months. And we'll continue to explore other avenues for enhancing the financial success of our members. •

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