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Turning Point Financial Newsletter                                      April, 2013:  Vol 4
Welcome to the Turning Point Financial Newsletter.  We provide a fresh perspective on the state of your finances, business strategy, and operations, so you can point your business where it needs to go.
Knowledge Is Power


Wondering if the competition is outperforming you?  Looking for some best practices?  Want to set realistic goals and targets for your team? 


These are all good reasons to consider benchmarking your company's performance against others in your industry.  

Benchmarking Is Knowledge

Benchmarking compares your performance against other similar companies.  Any metric is ripe for benchmarking - financial, quality standards, service levels, time to market, you name it.  If it can be quantified and measured across comparable companies - it can be benchmarked.  

The trick is getting the data.  With the exception of financial data, most of this information isn't public.  And, you can bet, the best in class performers are going to keep it that way!  The good news is that financial benchmarking can be incredibly helpful and the data is easily available.  

But, you say, "my business is an anomaly - no one does it exactly like us".  You would be surprised how many times I have heard this!  

Did you know that there are over 1,000 industry codes representing over 7 million businesses, not including the government?  That's really a lot!  Surely your business closely approximates one of them!  

Benchmarking Is Not a Perfect Science

However, it's true.  No two companies are exactly the same.  There are differences in product line(s), categorization of revenue and expenses, and the specific marketplace in which companies do business. 

But, there is power in the law of averages.  If there are enough companies reporting, then trends begin to emerge.  And those trends - or significant variances from the average - are what you need to pay attention to.

For instance, if your operating expenses are 10 percentage points above the average or you inventory turns are 3 times your peer group, that is probably a good place to look for opportunities.  

Benefits of Benchmarking

Benchmarking can help you identify areas for operational improvement, develop operating, and financial targets as well as provide input for strategic planning.


My guess is there will be no big surprises.  You know where you excel and where you don't.  But seeing and quantifying the gap can be very powerful.  And, sometimes that "gap" is wider than you ever imagined. 


In some areas, you might be doing well.  Perhaps your collection efforts are really strong.  In that case, take a moment to pat yourself on the back. 

In those areas where you could use some improvement, embrace the knowledge and develop strategies and initiatives for resolution. 


Benchmarking Is a Powerful Tool 


No matter what kind of business you are in, there is most likely meaningful data available to quantify the "gap" in key financial and operational areas between you and your competition.  Armed with this knowledge you can focus on improving those areas with the most opportunity.


A good benchmarking study can help make a poor-performing company good and a well-performing company great!



Best Wishes,



In This Issue
Benchmarking:  Knowledge Is Power
Who We Are
Turning Point Financial
provides finance, strategy, and operations consulting services to businesses in Seattle and Kitsap County.  Learn more abut Turning Point Financial's services.


Kelly Deis, Turning Point Financial
Kelly Deis, Principal

Kelly Deis is a senior finance, strategy and operations professional with an MBA from The Wharton School, over 20 years of experience (including Deloitte Consulting), and a proven track record of driving business results.
Kelly brings depth and breadth of experience in all facets of finance, operations and strategy - from hands on financial management to strategic direction setting and cost reduction. 
Call Today

Is your organization structured to be as efficient and effective as possible? 


Do you think your costs could be lower but are unsure where to reduce expenses?


If you need help thinking about these and other financial, strategic and operational questions, call Turning Point Financial to schedule a free initial consultation and complimentary benchmark of industry comparables.

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Bainbridge Island, WA 98110
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