8 Benefits of Dashboards for your business

I have an important question for you …

How is your business doing? Can you tell me if you are having a “good” year or a “bad” year?

​​​​​​​If you can only check your bank balance or ask your accountant, you are flying blind… this is not enough information to make good decisions and evaluate what is working and what to change.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​You may have heard of “Key Performance Indicators” or metrics, so let me tell you why I highly recommend that every business track these on a simple one-page document called a “dashboard.”

​​​​​​​8 Benefits of a Dashboard for Your Business

​​​​​​​1. Visibility: The new field of “Business Intelligence” or BI shows that the more you measure in your business the more you can improve. What is measured becomes a higher priority and gives you a tangible target to improve.

​​​​​​​2. Maintain quality during growth: If your business is growing, you need to make sure that you are maintaining the quality and customer experience standards and your team are not burning out.

​​​​​​​3. Alerts before systems break: When you track leading indicators, you can see issues coming before they happen. For example, if you track pending orders you might see that your current production schedule can’t handle the order volume and will be backlogged by two weeks. Dashboards can alert you to this before chaos ensues.

​​​​​​​4. Less stress: When you have a dashboard, you can get timely and accurate data on your business health, compared to your targeted goals and to historical trends. This will allow owners and general managers to feel more comfortable letting go of responsibilities while knowing they are “watching the store” and things are running smoothly.

5. The basis for accountability: How do you know your managers are doing their job? Easy, just check their department dashboards. Where do they need more coaching? — you will see a lack of improvement or a drop in their key numbers to let you know there is an area to discuss and determine the root cause. This ongoing process improvement conversation increases the business knowledge and the decision-making competencies of your managers.

6. Data to make/evaluate decisions: Did that marketing campaign or new training program yield positive business results? If you see improvement in your dashboard numbers, you can see if a project was successful.

7. Creates ownership thinking and alignment: This is especially true when business dashboard metrics “cascade” down to departments and to individuals. Employees and managers start to understand what they can do to increase revenue and customer service and efficiency or reduce costs.

8. Improves revenue, productivity, margins, profits, and teamwork. As you can see from the list above, focus and clarity around what is important to drive business value and improve your value to customers will only improve your financial results and operational capacity.

These are not just a “report card” or your income statement from last month– they are far more powerful as they look under the hood at the engine and other moving parts of your business.

Implementing dashboards and management review and planning around the data can be the foundation of high functioning, profitable and growing organization.

“That which is measured improves. That which is measured and reported improves exponentially.”  Karl Pearson

If you want to find out how dashboards can be the foundation of your business management and team coaching, you can read the rest of the process in my Guide to Coach Your Team for Accountability & Performance.

Download here: “Guide to Coaching for Accountability & Performance”

Employees “get” their purpose with cascading goals

Employees “get” their purpose with cascading goals

The Balanced Scorecard Institute calls it “cascading goals.”

I love this term, because you can visualize how the organization has a strategy and a big goal for the year, and important bits cascade down to departments (sales, customer service, production, even accounting). Then the department manager lets each employee know how they contribute to this department goal.

A great example I heard last year at a seminar was how a chain restaurant made corporate goals tangible and clearly understandable to every employee.

The general manager had a goal of 5% increase in revenue this year (to achieve the corporate goal of 5% increased revenue at same locations.) She then computed what this meant for the hostess, servers, kitchen staff, and even the “busboys.”

The Hostess knew that the team needed to reduce wait time (goal- less than 10 minutes at peak hours) so they did not lose diners due to a long line. She worked with the busboys to clear dishes so that diners left faster after eating (goal- 2 minutes) and clean up tables for a new party (within 2 minutes).

Servers knew that they needed to increase their average sale per diner 5%- which equaled an extra appetizer or dessert for every 3 tables. Servers also concentrated on expediting orders, response to requests (ketchup, please) and rushing food to tables to decrease overall customer time at the table.

I think you get the picture… when employees have simple Key Performance Indicators, they understand their purpose, the results to achieve, and the priority actions that would achieve those results.

Then the restaurant manager would share daily and weekly results (average sale per diner, average time per table, table wait time at peak, etc) so that employees could see if they were on track to meet monthly goals. A simple visual dashboard of these KPI was posted in the employee area, and reviewed with weekly and monthly update and celebration meetings.

Different shifts and days even had a friendly competition going, and servers would stop to ask their KPI results after a shift!

After a few months, revenue increased 10% over the prior year, and better yet, customer satisfaction scores also increased significantly.

After all, those KPI weren’t just good for the restaurant, but also what customers want: no wait for a table, faster and more responsive service, being offered the specials of the day.

Here is a great free guide from Gazelles & Rhythm Systems:
5 Tips All Executive Teams Must Know About KPIs

Learn more about how Expectations, goals and KPI dashboards work as part of your People Plan:
Clarifying Expectations section of our free resources


Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid at FreeDigitalPhotos.com