BlogPaying for Performance Dealers Need

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Solomon Coyle is pleased to announce the 2017 edition of our dealer compensation survey. The survey is a biannual research program, launched in 2013, that Solomon Coyle conducts in cooperation with Allsteel, Haworth, Herman Miller, Knoll, and Steelcase. This year’s survey—formally named the 2017 Solomon Coyle Compensation and Practices Survey—will be released October 16. Responses are due November 17. Participation in the survey is exclusive to dealers of the sponsoring manufacturers and by invitation only.

Why Dealers Participate in the Dealer Compensation Survey

Dealers historically show keen interest in the industry-specific compensation data provided through Solomon Coyle’s biannual compensation survey.
We understand why. Wages and benefits total 70% of the typical dealer’s operating expense. With such a hefty commitment to human resources, it’s important to have a competitive compensation and benefits strategy and to understand the correlation between pay and performance.
Participating in the Solomon Coyle dealer compensation survey is an assured way to obtain current market information on which to base compensation and benefits decisions that can boost the dealer’s wins in recruitment, performance, and retention and thereby lead to improved bottom lines and operating ratios.
Using the survey data, you can benchmark compensation levels and benefit policies with your peers in a variety of ways and gain a clear understanding of what similar companies are doing. In addition to basic salary information, you will have access to breakouts by region, company size, revenue, tenure/years of experience, and when possible, market-specific data. You will also find salary reports showing base pay, variable pay, and total compensation; commission and bonus plan summaries and expense practices; and more.

Breadth and Depth of Survey Data

The Solomon Coyle Compensation and Practices Survey is a unique resource for the contract furniture industry and a core element of Solomon Coyle’s research activities.
Our 2015 dealer compensation survey is a reliable predictor of what participating dealers can expect to see from the 2017 survey. In 2015, we received complete, valid survey responses from nearly 200 contract office furniture dealers in the Allsteel, Haworth, Herman Miller, Knoll and Steelcase dealer networks. The respondents represented 43 states, 7 provinces, every region of the US and Canada, and 17 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MCAs).
The high level of response enabled Solomon Coyle to provide a broad range of reliable compensation data for more than 37 typical Sales and Non-Sales dealer positions representing more than 6,700 employees (approximately 1,300 Sales employees and more than 5,400 Non-Sales employees).
The individual survey results and the survey questionnaire itself are confidential to the responding dealers and Solomon Coyle. To ensure the confidentiality of all data, a minimum number of responses are required for results to be displayed.

Why “Practices” Appears in the Official Name

Conducting our Compensation and Practices Survey involves far more than collecting and crunching a huge volume of compensation data. By amassing information about compensation plan design and policies, benefits and expense policies, onboarding processes and other HR practices, the survey is a unique resource for benchmarking dealer effectiveness in recruitment, retention, and organizational performance. These are all contributors to organizational health, competitive strength, market position, and business value.

New Topics in the 2017 Dealer Compensation Survey

There are three new topics in the 2017 edition of the Solomon Coyle dealer compensation survey. We will be capturing information and establishing baseline research about Sales Management Compensation, New-Employee Onboarding Practices, and Turnover of Non-Sales Employees.

Look for the Invitation on October 16

We will email the survey invitation starting October 16 to four types of dealership contacts in the Solomon Coyle database:

  • Principal
  • Financial Contact
  • HR Contact
  • Solomon Coyle Research Contact (also known as “SCI Contact”)

Survey Orientation Webinars

Participants in earlier Solomon Coyle dealer compensation surveys will find the 2017 edition very familiar. However, because two years have passed since the last survey, we recommend that dealers attend an orientation webinar. The one-hour (or less) session will serve as a refresher on survey mechanics, you will learn about topics appearing for the first time this year, and you will get a preview of the kinds of information you will see in the survey report.
The webinar schedule options are listed below. All times are US Eastern. The content is the same for all webinars. Our survey invitation emails will include a link to the webinar registration site.

Allsteel Dealers

Tuesday, October 17 at 11:30 AM
Monday, October 23 at 1:30 PM

Haworth Dealers

Tuesday, October 17 at 1:00 PM
Monday, October 23 at 11:30 AM

Herman Miller Dealers

Tuesday, October 17 at 3:00 PM
Tuesday, October 24 at 11:30 AM

Knoll Dealers

Wednesday, October 18 at 12:00 PM
Monday, October 23 at 3:00 PM

Steelcase Dealers

Wednesday, October 18 at 11:00 AM
Tuesday, October 24 at 3:00 PM

Gaining Access to the Survey Results

Solomon Coyle will compile the dealer compensation survey results in a report to be released in mid-December. Dealers providing complete and valid survey responses will receive a link to the online survey report.
We will offer another set of webinars early in 2018 to review the report contents, point out key results, highlight some of the critical analyses, and answer dealer questions.

Cost of Survey Participation

There is no charge for survey participation. Due to the generosity of our manufacturing partners and their commitment to supporting their dealers through relevant industry research, dealer participation costs—including the cost of the survey report—are borne by the sponsoring manufacturer.
Invited dealers that do not submit a valid survey response will be able to obtain a copy of the survey report from Solomon Coyle at a cost of $1,200.

Key Dates for Participants

The most important dates are October 16 and November 17. October 16 is when we will email the survey invitations. At that point, the survey is officially open and we start a 30-day clock for completing it. November 17 is the official close date. Please submit your response by midnight.