I am pleased to announce that Datacor has partnered with ITR Economics and incorporated their “Rates-of-Change” computations into Datacor CRM (formerly eChempax). ITR is the oldest privately-held, continuously operating economic research and consulting firm in the US. It boasts an extraordinary track record of forecast accuracy, delivering a 94.7% success rate since 1985. This data analysis is a great addition to our already very powerful CRM and sales analysis tools. Utilizing this data with depth in your business decisions will take you to the next level.
I have been attending the annual meeting of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) for over 20 years. As is with most association meetings, the NACD has a variety of speakers discussing timely industry topics such as the current political atmosphere and the move to digitalization. However, over the years there has been one very consistent topic: the state of the economy presented by ITR Economics. These sessions are the most popular of the conference each year with standing room only and always get great reviews.
One of the key takeaways of every presentation by ITR Economics has been how to use leading indicators in economic analysis and forecasting. A leading indicator is an economic factor that changes before the rest of the economy begins to trend in a particular direction. By calculating a leading indicators’ rates-of-change, we can draw conclusions regarding business cycle trends. ITR defines a rate-of-change as “the ratio comparing a data series during a specified time period to that series during the same period one year ago. These figures are expressed as an annual percent change and reveal whether activity levels are rising or falling compared to the prior year.” [Source: https://blog.itreconomics.com/blog/itr-experts-say-why-rates-of-change]
ITR explains in detail how to calculate the different types of rates-of-change: 1/12, 3/12 and 12/12 (12/12 is the sum of activity for 12 consecutive months (12MMT) compared to the same twelve-month period for the previous year). They use these values as an objective measure of where the economy, or your business, is in the business cycle and where it is likely going as part of their exceedingly accurate economic forecasting. Along with explaining how they use these leading indicators in their predictions, ITR explains how using rates-of-change and leading indicator analysis can be useful in making decisions in your own business.
After hearing this for many years and knowing our ERP and CRM software captures the data needed for these calculations, I decided that we should work with ITR Economics to bring their expert analysis and forecasting formulas directly to our customers. We developed rates-of-change analysis screens in Datacor CRM that display the sales rates-of-change trends across many different areas of the business. The biggest advantage of viewing this data series directly in the CRM is that you can quickly identify trends in multiple areas of your business. By being able to view these trends every day in real-time, you can make more informed decisions regarding the future of your business.
This rate-of-change data is available across many business segments, wherever sales history is offered:
- Customer Division
- Product Division
- Product Class
- Sales Agent
- Any customer or product level property
While there is a lot more analysis that goes into business and economic forecasting, looking at your sales rates-of-change is a good starting point. In addition to providing these calculations, we also added a link to the ITR Economics website in Datacor CRM for our customers to get expert advice and analysis of where they are in the business cycle. You can learn more about ITR Economics here.
We hope our customers enjoy this new tool providing data with depth in Datacor CRM. Learn more about how to use this tool in our on-demand webinar Datacor CRM Rate of Change Analysis & Microeconomics.
Datacor has been serving chemical and process manufacturers and distributors for 30 years, and offers all the tools you need to improve productivity, streamline operations and run your business more effectively. If you have any questions or want to see how Datacor ERP and Datacor CRM in action, contact us today or sign up for a demo!