Management analyzes the Company's consolidated results of operations and the results of each segment by identifying the effects of changes in the results of the base businesses, newly acquired and recently divested companies, restructuring costs, goodwill and intangible asset impairment charges, and currency translation on the operating revenues and operating income of each segment. Base businesses are those businesses that have been included in the Company's results of operations for more than 12 months. The changes to base business operating income include the estimated effects of both operating leverage and changes in variable margins and overhead costs. Operating leverage is the estimated effect of the base business revenue volume changes on operating income, assuming variable margins remain the same as the prior period. As manufacturing and administrative overhead costs usually do not significantly change as a result of revenues increasing or decreasing, the percentage change in operating income due to operating leverage is usually more than the percentage change in the base business revenues. Changes in variable margins and overhead costs represent the estimated effect of non-volume related changes in base business operating income and may be driven by a number of factors, including changes in product mix, the cost of raw materials, labor and overhead, and pricing to customers. Selling price versus material cost comparisons represent the estimated net impact of increases or decreases in the cost of materials used in the Company's products versus changes in the selling price to the Company's customers. Management reviews these price versus cost comparisons by analyzing the net impact of changes to each segment's operating margin.
The discussion of operating results should be read in conjunction with Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations and Item 8. Financial Statements and Supplementary Data contained in the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended
During 2012, the Company embarked on an Enterprise Strategy that includes three key initiatives - portfolio management, business structure simplification, and strategic sourcing. These enterprise initiatives are expected to enhance the business through 2017 and are targeted at expanding organic revenue growth and improving profitability and returns.
Portfolio Management - The Company's portfolio management initiative aims to construct a business portfolio that leverages the Company's differentiated business model and growth potential. As part of this initiative, the Company reviews its operations for businesses that may no longer be aligned with its long-term objectives. As a result, the Company's divestiture activity increased over historical periods in 2012 and 2013 and is increasing further in 2014 with the divestiture of the
Business Structure Simplification - The business structure simplification initiative simplifies the Company's organizational model and adds scale to the Company's operating divisions in order to increase organic revenue growth, enhance global competitiveness and drive operational efficiencies. This initiative focuses on reducing the number of the Company's operating divisions and increasing the average revenue size of each division, while retaining the positive attributes of a decentralized operating model. The Company expects to enhance its profitability and returns through a combination of applying its 80/20 business process to the new divisions, more focused growth investments and reduced infrastructure.
Strategic Sourcing - The Company's strategic sourcing initiative focuses on building sourcing capability in order to leverage purchasing scale to enhance profitability and global competitiveness. It incorporates both enterprise-level and segment-level purchasing that cross the Company's many businesses. This initiative is expected to transform sourcing into a core strategic function in the Company.
The Company periodically reviews its operations for businesses which may no longer be aligned with its enterprise initiatives and long-term objectives. As such, the Company may commit to a plan to exit or dispose of certain businesses and present them as discontinued operations.
In the third quarter of 2013, the Company also committed to plans for the divestiture of a construction distribution business previously included in the Construction Products segment and a specialty coatings business previously included in the Polymers & Fluids segment. The construction distribution and specialty coatings businesses were classified as held for sale beginning in the third quarter of 2013. In the first quarter of 2013, the Company committed to plans for the divestiture of two transportation related businesses and a machine components business previously included in the Specialty Products segment, two construction distribution businesses previously included in the Construction Products segment, and a chemical manufacturing business previously included in the Polymers & Fluids segment. These businesses were classified as held for sale beginning in the first quarter of 2013.
These held for sale businesses discussed above, as well as certain previously divested businesses, are reported as discontinued operations in the statement of income. All related prior period income statement information has been restated to conform to the current year reporting of these businesses. Refer to the Discontinued Operations note in Item 1 - Financial Statements for discussion of the Company's discontinued operations.