Management believes that the non-GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles) measures used in this report on Form 10-K provide investors with important perspectives into our ongoing business performance. We do not intend for the information to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for the related GAAP measures. Other companies may define the measures differently. We define the non-GAAP measures used in this report and other disclosures, as follows:
Organic sales per sales day is defined as GAAP "Net sales from the Industrial Distribution segment" less sales derived from acquisitions completed during the preceding twelve months divided by the number of sales days in a given period. Sales days are the number of business days that the Industrial Distribution segment's branch locations were open for business and exclude weekends and holidays. Management believes sales per sales day provides investors with an important perspective on how net sales may be impacted by the number of days the segment is open for business. Management uses sales per sales day as a measurement to compare periods in which the numbers of sales days differ.
Free cash flow is defined as GAAP "Net cash provided by (used in) operating activities" less "Expenditures for property, plant & equipment." Management believes free cash flow provides investors with an important perspective on the cash available for dividends to shareholders, debt repayment, and acquisitions after making capital investments required to support ongoing business operations and long-term value creation. Free cash flow does not represent the residual cash flow available for discretionary expenditures as it excludes certain mandatory expenditures such as repayment of maturing debt. Management uses free cash flow internally to assess both business performance and overall liquidity.