Every manufacturing operation has key performance indicators (KPIs). For some, the KPIs may be updated daily on a whiteboard, for others they may be updated hourly in an ERP. Regardless of how you store or update your KPIs, it is a good practice to revisit your metrics annually to make sure they are providing you with the insight you need to manage your operation.
Our modern-day view of innovation as needing to be “game changing” or “revolutionary” is ignoring an important business reality: incremental change is still progress. Sure, we would all like our business to be the next Netflix, Facebook, or Amazon that disrupts an entire industry. However, focusing too much on disruptive innovation can cause your business to ignore opportunities to make small changes that could ultimately transform it.
Many businesses out-grow Excel long before they realize they have done so. Excel is, after all, extremely easy to use and provides a very comfortable environment to work in if you simply want a basic repository for key business data.
Running a business day to day can be stressful enough, but if the business’s finances are always murky due to lags in reporting or missing information, the stress can become extreme. Getting control of key business data can help keep you from feeling like you are managing in a haze.
So much of what has been written about information overload in the past 10 years deals primarily with the amount of information bombarding us every day. While bloated email inboxes are a challenge, a bigger issue that gets missed in the coverage of individual struggles with information overload is the management logjam caused by the huge amount of data being received and generated by your own business.
Just to be clear. This post is not going to be about infographics. Data visualization encompasses many other useful methods of data rendering than the proliferation of infographics in social media would lead you to believe.
Many manufacturers struggle with accessing their customer and operational data and spend a great deal of time and effort developing or improving processes aimed at getting data to the right people at the right time.
We see it all the time in the news: whether it is the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the unemployment rate, new jobs created, year-over-year same store sales, or quarterly profits. We are expected to make judgments and react based on one number or another. While creating drama regarding one metric might make good headlines, it is not a good way to monitor and manage a business.
Leading a business or a business unit has always been challenging, but it seems like it is doubly difficult right now. It often seems like the information overload occurring in all aspects of our lives is the root cause. However, that same information overload can actually make it easier to run your business.
December and January are usually when we see a lot of people write about the trends of the past year or the trends to watch for in the new year. While those articles are often entertaining and sometimes useful, there is a better way to follow trends. Spot them yourself.