Taking the industry’s temperature: FIDI reveals latest results

Launched at the end of 2019, just before the onset of the pandemic, FIDI’s Global Business Confidence Barometer provides essential insight into the changing mood of the international moving industry during the past year. Jesse van Sas, FIDI Secretary General, reports on the main trends, which include an encouraging recovery in confidence

It is human nature to want to know how our businesses benchmark against those of our colleagues and competitors and it’s incredibly useful, too. Aside from the success stories we inevitably hear during conferences and see on LinkedIn, having a zoomed-out view of how the business is really developing helps us understand better how our own ventures fit into the bigger picture of the industry.

In turn, this allows us to plan better, to invest well and proceed with future projects with confidence. It is why we launched the FIDI Global Business Confidence Barometer.

While data from the annual FAIM Financial Assessment allows FIDI to track the movement – up or down – of the global moving business in a given financial year, this doesn’t tell the whole story. We also want to understand what is happening now and what we expect to happen in the months ahead.

This has less to do with figures and more a combination of factors, including early indicators of demand, ongoing requests for proposal, bookings, and gut feeling.

We launched the quarterly barometer survey at the end of 2019 with this in mind – to gauge the mood of our membership and the wider business.

It gives an indication of how optimistic or pessimistic our Affiliates are about their revenue, pricing and workforce developments, compared with the same quarter last year; as well as their expectations for the coming three months, compared with the same period the previous year. Accordingly, it can be used to monitor output growth and to anticipate turning points in our moving activity. 

We collect responses anonymously, so the results should be less biased than any opinions expressed in the company of industry colleagues. The FIDI office has reached out to all CEOs and primary contacts of our affiliated companies, and we received responses from close to 40 per cent of them. Statistically, this gives us a strong indication of business confidence.

But we would love to grow this figure, to make the results more accurate, and so call upon our FIDI Affiliates to participate regularly in this quarterly survey. It will take no more than three minutes of your time. 

You can download the full report at https://www.fidi.org/fidi-publications/2020-FIDI-Business_Barometer

To participate in the next quarterly FIDI Global Business Confidence Barometer, please contact Lydia Cope, FIDI Membership Officer, at: lydia.cope@fidi.org

How does the Global Business Confidence Barometer work?

The FIDI Global Business Confidence Barometer compares figures for the current quarter against the same quarter the previous year and asks FIDI Affiliates to share their expectations for the upcoming quarter, compared with the same period the previous year. We can, therefore, monitor the overall evolution of entrepreneurial confidence in the industry over time.

Defining entrepreneurial confidence

Business or economic sentiment shows the opinion business managers have about the outlook and how they foresee the business developing in the months ahead.

The barometer measures actual business results against Affiliates’ expectations. It gives a year-on-year overview of how business is evolving in the FIDI space.

The following parameters are measured to get an overall entrepreneurial confidence score:

  • Change in revenue
  • Change in prices
  • Change in office staff
  • Change in crew and warehouse staff

The results are scored as positive minus negative responses, giving a net balance for each of the parameters. A balance above zero reflects increasing business confidence – healthy for near-term economic expectations – and lower than zero indicates falling confidence, which could be a forewarning of a downturn in the economy for movers.

FIDI Global Business Confidence Barometer

Q4/2019 to Q4/2020: Selected results

COVID-19 hit the world and our industry just a few months after we launched the barometer. While it impacted on the results immediately, it also demonstrated that our new tool works well.

An upbeat Q4 in 2019 was followed by a steep decrease in entrepreneurial confidence in Q1 and Q2 of 2020, which is exactly what we would expect. 

Q3 of 2020 however, showed the beginnings of a return to confidence – not to the level of 2019, but still a remarkable improvement.

In Q4, the entrepreneurial confidence continues to grow albeit less rapidly, showing businesses were markedly more optimistic at the end of the year, in line with good news about vaccines and the possible lifting of international travel restrictions. 

This might be a good indicator of the resilience of our industry, which has weathered many crises in the past. As we continue to run the barometer in 2021 and beyond, it will show if this is a long-term, structural trend. 

FIDI will keep you updated on this essential guide to our industry’s health.

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