Associations and their members have long valued the highly relevant and actionable data delivered by benchmarking studies. Unlike traditional surveys, online benchmarking provides true business intelligence through meaningful comparisons of key performance indicators in a timely and interactive manner rather than a static, one-size-fits-all approach. Because of this, associations have quickly found that they can leverage these studies as a means of increasing member satisfaction or as a non-dues revenue stream.
As with any good idea or new technology, the value of benchmarking is quickly being recognized by non-association businesses as a way to do the same for their clients, especially for businesses who are often looked upon to provide strategic direction or business intelligence. CPA firms, consulting practices, association management companies and other business advisors are finding ways to leverage benchmarking in their day-to-day business, using it to create increased customer satisfaction and new revenue streams.
In 2010, REDW, a business and financial advisory firm, was chosen to create a compensation and benefits survey for the National Indian Gaming Association and its affiliated group, the National Native American Human Resource Association. The resulting Tribal Gaming Compensation and Benefits Survey and Tribal Government Compensation and Benefits Survey were both well received, though onerous and time consuming to conduct, compile and prepare.
In 2013, NIGA re-launched its Tribal Gaming Compensation and Benefits Survey using the Dynamic Benchmarking platform. REDW continues to provide analytical and technical support to NIGA while offloading the data collection, analysis and reporting of the benchmarking study to the more efficient and timely processes provided by Dynamic Benchmarking’s innovative technology. This allows REDW more time to focus on their core competencies and more lucrative business endeavors, while providing their client better access to national and regional compensation data that is not only robust and industry-specific, but allows them to perform true peer-to-peer comparisons of key performance indicators in real time.
“The partnership strengthens and enhances the compensation data available to Tribes and their enterprises, while also promoting membership within NIGA and NNAHRA,” said Lisa Wilcox, Principal of REDW. “We are so excited to be a part of this important initiative for Tribes and their Gaming Enterprises.”
As a provider of management consulting and performance improvement solutions to service-oriented companies, one of SureVista Solutions’ main service offerings is assisting its clients in gathering and analyzing key performance data to help develop strategies for improving customer satisfaction.
They saw an excellent opportunity in the Dynamic Benchmarking solution to add a new service for their customers that aligned closely with their existing services. SureVista launched its first benchmarking platform using Dynamic Benchmarking in April 2013 for the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC). The interactive survey and data analysis tool, ARVC AdvantEDGE, collects the key financial and operational data of ARVC’s 3,000-plus private RV park and campground members and delivers real-time, customizable reports on key performance indicators. SureVista Vice President of Operations, Jason Soltis, is pleased with the tool’s overall performance, especially its ease of use and implementation, and sees an opportunity to leverage their success with ARVC with other clients.
“The Dynamic Benchmarking platform fits well with our other solutions,” says Soltis. “I see great potential for its use with other clients and in other industry niches.”
Cherry Bekaert (CB) is one of the largest CPA firms in the US and has managed the benchmarking initiatives of the Southern Association of College and University Business Officers (SACUBO) for the past few years.
In the past, benchmarking data was collected and compiled by Cherry Bekaert using an Excel-based survey and results were shared with SACUBO members in a static report. As the project grew, CB began to investigate ways to improve the process, including the possible development of their own benchmarking system.
Finding development too costly and outside the scope of their core services, Cherry Bekaert engaged Dynamic Benchmarking to streamline the data collection, analysis and report generation for SACUBO’s financial benchmarking study. Like SureVista, CB saw the value in what Dynamic Benchmarking created and, rather than reinvent the wheel, put the solution to use for their client so they could focus on the services at which they excelled.
Integrated Solutions Group (ISG) is an Association Management Company that provides executive and administrative management, financial management, meeting planning and member services to trade and professional associations.
When their client, the National Retail Hobby Store Association (NRHSA), wanted to create a financial and operations benchmarking study for their members, ISG began to investigate the best way to go about it. Recognizing the efficiencies and superior capabilities of Dynamic Benchmarking’s platform, ISG recommended it as the tool of choice to add value to a NRHSA membership. By delivering true business intelligence rather than static data points, the NRHSA financial and operational benchmarking study will provide members with relevant comparisons of key performance indicators. ISG is able to provide their client, NRHSA, with an intelligent, innovative and cost-effective solution. They, and other AMC companies, once familiar with the technology, can extend the same type of offering and their newfound expertise to their other clients.
Just as associations have long been reaping the benefits of benchmarking, other service firms are proving that they can do the same. Consultants, advisors, and other providers of business intelligence can all leverage the useful and actionable data delivered by online benchmarking to create increased satisfaction among their client base and a new revenue stream for their business.