Setting a Backlog Benchmark with CSS

Stats Fact of the Week: Week of October 22, 2018

If you’re tracking your company’s orders and shipments, then you are most likely also tracking your company’s backlog, or the total amount of outstanding orders from customers that have not yet been shipped. Backlogs are usually measured in dollars. They increase each time a new order is received from customers and decrease each time an order is shipped to customers. A rising backlog may indicate that a company is experiencing increased sales or production problems such as a shortage of labor or supplies; a falling backlog may indicate the company’s sales are falling or that it is increasing production efficiency.

Establishing a dependable backlog benchmark can help you develop a better sense of your company’s sales and production performance, and NFPA’s Confidential Shipment Statistics (CSS) contains the data you need to do just that. Calculate backlogs using the formulas below:

Backlog $ = Orders $ – Shipments $


Backlog % = ((Orders $ / Shipments $) -1) * 100


The chart above highlights the monthly and year-to-date 2018 backlog for fluid power products. Participants in NFPA’s CSS program receive the orders and shipments data necessary for calculating a dependable backlog benchmark. The CSS program data also allows you to adjust your focus depending on how detailed your orders and shipments data is.

NFPA’s Confidential Shipment Statistics (CSS) program is the only monthly source of aggregated industry data for the U.S. fluid power industry and is the association’s primary resource for identifying industry trends and benchmarking company performance. For more information and to enroll, please CLICK HERE.

Questions? Please contact Eric Armstrong, NFPA’s Economic and Statistical Programs Manager, at or (414) 778-3372.

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