The graph you are looking at is the first output of the Indian River Consulting Group Pandemic Revenue Index (PRI) of distributor sales each week compared with their same week in the prior year as a percentage. The Index is based on data from many distributors across multiple lines of trade we have invited; they’ve agreed to share their weekly revenue data until this thing sorts itself out.
We only share the aggregate results and protect the confidentiality of our contributors.
Sales in the March 16-20 week were down 5.56% for the participating distributors, compared with the same week in the prior year. Sales in the week March 9-13, were up 3.01%, and sales in the week March 2-6 were up 3.17%. That compares with the final two weeks of February, where sales for distributors were up 6.87% and 10.17% respectively.
We think it says a lot about leadership when these firms, some quite large, are willing to do the work when everyone gets to look at what they see. They are supporting our distribution tribe for the betterment of us all. This first report only has data from five participants as we are busy inputting the data from other participants. This entire effort started late last week. When our sample size becomes large enough, we will name those firms who are willing as an acknowledgement of their contribution to us all.
If this pandemic rolls on for several months, we will be happy to do specific indices by industry vertical. We will welcome additional participants, but data must be shared going back to Feb. 17-20. If you would be willing to participate, please email Mike Emerson, Partner, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he will send you the input tool.
What we are working on next
- We will be doing webinars on how to stress test a distribution business over the coming weeks. We will record them and put them in the public domain for anyone interested. Stay tuned for dates and times.
- We are polishing up our primary Excel spreadsheet used for stress testing and trying to make it more user-friendly. We will post it in the public domain as well and maintain a blog answering questions posted by users of the tool..
- We are working on a webinar on best practices for a distributor reduction in force. Distribution is different and some of what we have learned from literally over 100 of these consulting projects is really counterintuitive. We will also post this in the public domain.
This kind of business issue has been a core part of our consulting business for decades. Often, it was getting a distributor out of financial issues when they still looked fine from the outside. It is sad to say but major disruptions are always good for the consulting industry. This industry has been great to us. We are strong enough that we will not have a reduction in force. Sure, we want business just like everyone else, but this page and the content that it will eventually contain is part of our payback to our industry.