What Good Is More Information … If I Do Nothing With It?

No doubt owners are busy operating the business. Everyday presents new challenges and some old ones too. So all this talk about better data, KPI’s (key performance indicators) and better information seems for the numbers guys and not for me a people person, or go-to tech guy or the company visionary. Right.

The facts remain that well run companies know where they stand and know where they are going. Even if you don’t embrace a numbers culture; consider how having metrics in the business can help you win more often.

The biggest challenge in business and any organization is effective communication and motivating the team to drive toward common goals. Too many things get in the way.

With well thought out metrics and ownership of them throughout the hierarchy of the organization (where everyone has measurable objectives) you can reduce the negative drag on accomplishing team goals.

Consider this: Let’s say our company consists of Sales, Design, Production, Service, Admin and Warehouse/Logistics. Six easy pieces that all inter-operate to deliver goods and services and delight customers.

Two goals per department might be reasonable. Within each department, two goals per employee are also manageable. But, what about your company’s working environment?

Ok, one cardinal rule is that over 50% of an employee’s evaluation should be on their ability to live the company’s values, such as client service, teamwork, respect, integrity, willingness to solve problems. Of course, you probably have never fired someone for lack of these traits.

By taking the company’s goals and KPI and downstream sharing goals that reinforce company’s goals, we begin to reduce chaos, get clarity of mission and work better together. Combine this with a consistent review of how employees meet the values of the team and how each manager/mentor can help each employee improve and you have a system for winning.

You say: so much for the philosophy stuff. Let’s put it into action.

Company Goals & KPI

  1. Increase revenue by a minimum of 10% each year

  2. Increase our ability to attract “A” clients

  3. Create a studio design experience second to none

  4. Improve our production instructions to do jobs better

  5. Achieve maximum billing efficiency per tech

  6. Complete projects inside budgeted hours

  7. Provide timely actionable date, reports

  8. Improve the equity position of the company

  9. Keep inventory & receivables to a minimum while optimizing the client experience

  10. Exceed client expectations for service every time

  11. Create advocate for our company from our clients

Next level


  1. Each person has a bid rate and close quota to exceed the company goal

  2. Clients with projects over $50K add to our communication program

  3. Consistently demonstrate the 5 values (service, integrity, teamwork, respect and willpower).


  1. Exceed 25 billing hours per week

  2. Exceed 95% inside labor budget per project assigned to.

  3. Consistently demonstrate the 5 values (service, integrity, teamwork, respect and willpower).

And so forth and so on for the other departments.

Similar goals can be assigned and reviewed with each employee; no one working in the business should be exempt from measurable goals and company values feedback. Every employee should have a proficiency objective something they want to be better at each quarter and someone assigned to them to help achieve that goal. Some companies dedicate a day each year to this exercise of goal setting and team building.

So, what about that data you spoke about?

Here is what is needed: data and information that allows you to:

  1. Obtain the best margins possible

  2. Illuminate productivity of your labor costs, which are typically 15% of sales and half of your payroll expense.

  3. Keep compensation in line which is typically more than half of the margin earned

  4. Drive team behavior for constant improvement

  5. Accumulate cash and distinguish real cash in the business

  6. Execute projects smoothly and to the benefit of the client

  7. See the business at any point in time accurately

  8. Compare to other companies to validate your performance.

All this can be accomplished without reams of reports or disparate data dumps. A simple dashboard system can make the essential data available on time and routinely. The team gets immediate and disciplined feedback.

We believe it’s the only way to run a GREAT CI company. Come see how this can work for you.

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