The distribution business is one of the rare instances where the phrase “if you are not getting better, then you are getting worse” applies.  The sales per employee is growing faster than the gross margin dollars per employee.  The variety of available products is growing each year, resulting in more parts to be stocked.  Non-traditional competitors are entering markets via Google and squeezing prices, but customers still expect their orders to be fulfilled accurately and promptly.  It is a great industry for a coordinated team who enjoys the challenge and are committed to staying out in front of the pack.  How do you know if you are keeping pace with the evolution of the market?


HARDI’s annual benchmarking analysis program Distributor Performance Dashboards (DPD) powered by CoMetrics allows members to compare their performance versus others.  This is our first year with CoMetrics, who has 20 years of experience delivering benchmarking analysis.  If you have participated with DPD any of the past few years, that historic data will be available for you to see.  There are also other meaningful enhancements this year with our shift to CoMetrics.


Multiple members at a participant company can have access with their own log-in and password.  The innovative presentation is crisp, allowing performance gaps or opportunities to be easily identified.  Participant’s historic data will persist, allowing a valuable additional layer of performance for consistent participants.  The data is easy to print or export to Excel.  And there is an additional intriguing view that helps answer that question, “how do you measure up?”



CoMetrics has developed the CoScore that quantifies a participant’s performance.  It is a weighted average of various key performance indicators.  The components of HARDI’s CoScore were developed in conjunction with the Management Methods Committee and consist of the following:


 – Turn-and-Earn

 – Personnel Productivity Ratio

 – Gross Profit $ Per FTE

 – Average Lines Per Order

 – Average Collection Period

 – Growth Potential Index

 – Sales Growth


The CoScore performance is presented on an anonymous participant scatter diagram.  We are very intrigued to see the result of this analysis and hear about the debates it inspires.  We hope to have at least 100 distributors participating this year for a robust CoScore picture of performance.

The survey is now available with completed versions due April 30.  I identified two members from each distributor to receive an e-mail from CoMetrics on April 3 that had a unique user name and initial temporary password.  Please contact me directly if you would like to participate and learn your CoScore but have not received an e-mail with this material.  I can change or add access contacts at any time.


Your performance vs comparable median member performance will be available May 22.  Then members can begin debating their CoScore, analyzing their performance and decide which operating ratios they will target for improvement.  Participate again next year to compare your annual progress, and your new CoScore.  We are very pleased to be working with the dedicated professionals from CoMetrics and offering this wonderful service that will help keep HARDI distributor members out front in the race for efficiency.




  • HARDI Advocacy 2018 Midterm Election Recap & 2019 Outlook   The following article is a blog post from Palmer Schoening, HARDI Vice President of Government Affairs & Alex Ayers, HARDI Director of Government Affairs, on the 2018 midterm election results and the road ahead for HARDI Advocacy.   Go to Article —>

  • The following article is a guest blog post from Brian Loftus, HARDI Market Research & Benchmarking Analyst on the importance of analytics & business intelligence (ABI).   Go to Article —>

  • The following article is a guest blog post from Chris DeBoer, HARDI Director of Marketing & Sales on the ongoing recruitment documentary project.   Go to Article —>

  • The following article is a guest blog post from Brandon Bateman, Director of Product & Supply Chain at Airefco, a HARDI distributor member based in Oregon.   Go to Article —>  

  • The following article is a guest blog post from Devin Ferriera of HMI Performance Incentives, a HARDI Proven Vendor.   Go to Article —>

  • Go to article >> HARDI’s Market Research and Benchmarking Analyst compares recent sales performance of HARDI distributors to temperatures recorded across the country. This article was published in the July 2018 edition of the Data Driven Newsletter.

  •   Go to article >> Heller is one of the speakers at HARDI’s upcoming Marketing & Sales Optimization Conference in Miami from June 3–5, where he will be discussing “The 10 Commandments of Distributor Marketing in the Age of Amazon Business” with attendees.

  • 87% of millennials say professional development or career growth opportunities are very important.   Being able to connect with millennials, which I know is just the hottest topic around these days, is absolutely a challenge. I’m a millennial myself, and I can confirm there is no one-size-fits-all solution for connecting with my generation. We’re the ones who grew up with computers and the internet at our fingertips from a young age. We’ve been exposed to…

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