From the blog


Mapping and demystifying an ever-changing landscape.

Unprecedented slides, historically deep lows, short-lived recoveries, new sources of competition. The past 20 or so years have been quite a ride for the office furniture industry. Dealers and manufacturers today have a very different landscape to negotiate. Solomon Coyle provides much-needed perspective through our ongoing research activities. Planning can be finely targeted, expectations more realistic, decision-making better informed. And for those seeking answers to unique questions, we do custom research and analytics.

The dealer perspective on future performance

infographic promoting Dealer Market Outlook

Previous Reports:

2021-Q1 2020-Q4 2020-Q3
There’s never been a bigger need for forward-looking market intelligence in terms of dealer strategy, budgets and staffing.

Solomon Coyle provides this critical edge for today’s environment through our Dealer Market Outlook (DMO) program, which is open to commercial furniture dealers in North America.

Using a quick and easy quarterly survey, DMO supplies continually refreshed information that reflects dealer market knowledge and is grounded in dealer sentiment regarding future expectations. Our reports are available online in PDF format.

Survey entries are confidential. Email to say you want to participate.

Learn more and get the public-access version of our latest DMO Report.

A deep dive into data that motivates higher performance

branding infographic for benchmarking research
Operational Performance and Financial BenchmarkingANNUAL RESEARCH AND REPORTING BY SOLOMON COYLE

Our most recent survey (YE2018) represents the participation of hundreds of Allsteel, Haworth, Herman Miller, Knoll and Steelcase aligned dealers. The findings (which are available exclusively to participating dealers) were reported in 2019 and were based on 240 complete and valid surveys.

Each participant gets a benchmarking report that goes far beyond traditional dealer financials. In addition to a granular analysis of the dealer’s own performance, we provide historical trending and anonymously present data that allows dealers to see how they compare to similar dealers in their channel.

Through a companion report based on the Solomon Coyle Index (SCI) of all aligned dealers, we provide additional comparative data to give participants an even fuller picture of where they stand within the industry.

The methodology is uniquely aimed at driving improvements in performance and profitability. Applying the Solomon Coyle key performance indicators, the participating dealer can easily target areas offering the biggest opportunity for improvement.

How do you pay for the performance you need?

branding infographic for comp survey

Solomon Coyle’s Compensation and Practices Survey yields the office furniture industry’s most comprehensive dealer salary, benefits, and HR policy and practices information. To keep it actionable, we run the survey and produce a new report every 2 years.

Our analysis covers the typical dealer positions for the surveyed period plus a number of increasingly common specialty sales roles. For each position we enable comparison by region, company size, revenue, years of experience and, when possible, market-specific data.

The 218 valid responses to our YE2018 survey represent more than 60 Sales Management, Sales and Non-Sales positions in dealers operating in 46 states, 6 Canadian provinces and 29 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

Whether it’s used to validate current plans, policies and practices or design better ones, our compensation research offers critical competitive advantage for staff recruitment, retention and performance.

Upstream intelligence to inform your decision making


Assessing your business’s challenges and opportunities is easier when you have the kind of broad perspective and situational awareness that our State of the Industry research provides.

Our quarterly in-depth report offers insights into the current economy, reviews leading macro and industry indicators, and compares manufacturer shipment data, market share information and public comments.

We also provide both an analysis of how economic factors and industry indicators will impact future sales and a dealer performance snapshot based on our Market Outlook data.

The Solomon Coyle team has been a great resource for me personally as well as for Intereum. The information and analysis that comes out of their research activities—particularly benchmarking and compensation—help us understand where the dealership can do better and achieve more. They also make a big difference as far as setting the bar high for the content of our peer group meetings and generally increasing the value of Intereum's peer group membership.MATTHEW SVEEN, LEADERSHIP TEAM – PARTNER, INTEREUM

Prepare your business for strategic evolution


Solomon Coyle’s Dealer of the Future research offers an unbiased look at the economic, demographic and technological factors that are forcing the evolution of the furniture dealership as we know it.

The dealer’s prime takeaways are insights that inform the development of creative business strategies and foster serious exploration of emerging business models that show potential for greater competitiveness and profitability.

Dealer services, product offerings, strategic relationships and customer buying patterns are among the many subjects we cover.

Drive improvement and opportunity on your own, proprietary terms

branding infographic for business analytics

Solomon Coyle creates and hosts research and analytical tools to address common objectives regarding the dealer distribution channel. These include our Dealer Market Outlook Survey, Operational Performance and Financial Benchmark Survey, a benchmarking companion called Scenario Planning Tool, and our Compensation and Practices Survey.

The same high-quality approach that distinguishes Solomon Coyle’s core industry studies is available to manufacturers, technology companies and dealers seeking answers to unique questions through custom research. These client-driven, usually short-term efforts are the mission of our Business Analytics team.

We address targeted interests in a wide variety of areas:

Industry Trends Market Potential Distribution Channels Customers and Channels

Competitive Climate Satisfaction and Attitudes Value Chain Voice of Customer

Market Segmentation Needs and Preferences Competitive Profiling

The raw data we deal with may come from a variety of internal and external sources. We’ll do the digging as needed to uncover the best candidates. We also design tools for collecting raw data, provide secure online environments for interactive input, generate reports and presentations, and partner with the client’s team to identify the implications for their company.

These are the hallmarks of our Business Analytics assistance:

Solomon Coyle quality

Custom research and analytics clients benefit from our trademark thoroughness, objectivity, industry knowledge, and confidentiality.

Rapid response

Great opportunities tend to arise quickly, big problems even quicker. Businesses should be able to rely on people whose analytics powers and understanding of the industry are always on tap and readily available.

Well-defined role

Our job is to quickly understand the objective, define the parameters for the data involved, develop effective tools for analysis, and let you get on with it. We’re there to get you over the hump, adding depth and analytics to the manufacturer or dealer team.

Client empowerment

We favor leave-behind capabilities over static deliverables. We build the best tool for the job at hand, show you how to use it to greatest advantage, and answer any questions you might have going forward.

Business Analytics engagements generally start with a conversation with the client’s senior management and take shape from there. Start your conversation by calling or writing John Joseph.