Peer Groups

From the blog


Learning from others who share your passion for improvement.

The Solomon Coyle peer group is a uniquely effective learning environment. It’s a community of students of the industry who are serious about improving performance and profitability and willing to share their own success stories—under a code of mutual confidentiality—so that others in the group might also profit from them. Solomon Coyle brings value to the experience by applying our team’s industry knowledge and expertise as facilitators and association management professionals.

What is a Solomon Coyle peer group?


We bring together non-competing dealers from across North America with the same primary manufacturer affiliation and a shared commitment to growth, change and improvement. They are serious about improving their profitability and performance. They work together to fine tune processes and solve challenging issues. They exchange great ideas they can implement in their own businesses and challenge each other to higher performance.

It’s like having some of the industry’s best and brightest dealer principals working for you. You get to know them and their executive teams. Each dealer member’s expertise, insights and experiences become a valuable resource for your operation, just as your input is important to them.

Why join a Solomon Coyle peer group?


Learning how to perform better and profit more is the gist of the answer you would get from veteran peer group members. In our latest annual survey, for example, 93% of participating dealers said that peer group membership has helped increase bottom-line performance in the past 2 years.

Participation in a Solomon Coyle peer group is the most cost-effective method of dealer education and professional development available. Learning about new ways of doing business, benchmarking performance and identifying opportunities for efficiency are all ways a member can benefit. By taking just one great idea from a meeting and implementing it, a member can save thousands of dollars.

Peer group members also have access to Solomon Coyle information resources and expert advice. That includes Solomon Coyle's annual Operational Performance and Financial Benchmarking report, annual Compensation and Practices Survey report, quarterly Market Outlook report, quarterly State of the Industry report, ongoing Dealer of the Future research and more.

93% of participating dealers said that peer group membership has helped increase bottom-line performance in the past 2 years.

What’s in it for you?


Access to premium information, timely advice and resources, and a strong supportive network are all available when you join and participate in a Solomon Coyle peer group. Membership is a special opportunity to enjoy:

  • A vital network of non-competing dealerships
  • Regular exposure to best practices and new ideas
  • A true understanding of your operation
  • Professional analysis of your financial and operational performance
  • An engaged, effective leadership team
  • New business opportunities
  • Expanded business vision
  • Candid, dealer-driven dialog on the issues that matter most
  • Instant access to best-in-class benchmarking data, industry research and performance targets
  • Personalized help from your peers and the Solomon Coyle team
  • An improved bottom line
  • A more valuable business

Anybody that doesn’t belong to the WPA or similar Solomon Coyle peer group is missing a huge opportunity to improve performance and profitability.STEVE SCHMALTZ, VICE PRESIDENT OF FINANCE, FLUID INTERIORS

What are the mechanisms for learning?


Members meet twice a year to share best practices, successes, failures and ideas to improve operations. Between meetings, they continue the exchanges through webinars, benchmarking surveys, participation in special projects, and principal-to-principal dialogue.

Principals are expected to extend the benefits of peer group membership by involving their management team. Solomon Coyle facilitates regularly scheduled online forums dedicated to issues and best practices in Sales and Marketing, Design, Financial Management, Human Resource Management, Operations Management, and Information Technology.

To reinforce and facilitate this knowledge culture, Solomon Coyle provides every peer group with a private intranet where the members can access the group’s library of reference materials and shared documents, exchange ideas and information, stay abreast of upcoming events and activities, and participate in Quick Polls and other research being conducted within the group.

CTA to inquire about peer group membership

We are currently accepting applications for membership in peer groups for Allsteel, Haworth, Herman Miller, Kimball, Knoll, Steelcase and Teknion dealers and a peer group for independent installation companies.

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What is Solomon Coyle’s role?


Solomon Coyle knows the office furniture industry inside and out. That’s why we’ve become the leading provider of research, consulting and education services for the office furniture distribution channel.

We understand what it takes to successfully manage and grow a peer group by virtue of extensive resident experience in managing trade and professional associations as well as operating the Solomon Coyle peer groups.

We apply our industry knowledge, facilitation expertise and association management best practices to create tailored peer group programs that offer positive learning experiences while improving the members’ performance and profitability.

What about confidentiality?


Member compatibility is a prime consideration for all concerned. It’s our first consideration in talking with a prospective new member of a Solomon Coyle peer group. We begin addressing compatibility by ensuring that the prospective member is not competing in the geographic markets of any other member.

Mutual trust and confidentiality are assumed in every conversation and every exchange of information. Each member is required to sign a confidentiality and non-disclosure agreement, which basically holds that, with one exception, all information you share stays within your specific group and is not shared with other groups or other Solomon Coyle clients. That one exception consists of anonymous survey data that is aggregated as part of an industry-wide benchmarking project.

We have never experienced a problem with trust in our peer groups.