Category: Management

12 Easy Steps to Get Started With a Lean KPI Methodology

November 29, 2018


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Starting with a lean KPI methodology is the simple and practical way for the beginner, the busy, and the budget-constrained to measure what matters for business performance.

Ultimately, I will always advocate that a robust performance measurement methodology is critical for every organisation to master. If we can’t know how well what matters is working, we can’t really manage anything well.

But practically, not everyone can start with a robust performance measurement methodology. Skill, experience, time, and money – especially in small businesses and non-profits, can all constrain the ability to start with something rigorous like my performance measurement methodology.

You can lay down a foundation for good measurement in less time and with less effort and know-how.

Good measurement can be as simple as having clear goals, choosing a few relevant measures, tracking them through time and looking for the signals worth responding to.

It’s best to start this with just one or two goals, before you progress to measuring a team or department’s collection of goals and align them to the corporate strategic direction.

More advanced organizations align and link goals and measures throughout the whole organization. Experts have performance measurement embedded naturally into routine planning, reporting, decision-making and performance improvement processes.

But it’s a journey to move from novice to expert.

Getting started on this journey means keeping it simple, relevant and making an impact.

There are 12 very specific but very simple and easy-to-follow steps to set up your first powerful performance measures:

  1. Choose a goal you really want or need to achieve. (10 minutes to simply decide, or choose universally important goals)
  2. Make your goal measurable by teasing out the performance result(s) it implies.(20 minutes using a measurability test.)
  3. Use sensory rich language to describe your result. (15 minutes to discuss)
  4. Choose potential measures that give evidence of your result. (15 minutes to list potential measures)
  5. Evaluate your potential measures and select the most meaningful one. (10 minutes to score your measures)
  6. Name and describe your selected measure. (5 minutes to apply a measure recipe to your chosen measures.)
  7. Define exactly how to calculate your measure’s values. (5 minutes to write the formula – get help from a data expert if you’re not confident.)
  8. Get the data and make it ready for analysis. (This is where time is hard to predict, as it depends on whether you have data available or not. If you do, get the data expert to extract it for you. If you don’t, start collecting basic data as a pilot.)
  9. Calculate your measure’s values. (10 mins to set up the calculated field in Excel.)
  10. Choose the presentation method that best highlights your measure’s message. (10 minutes to set up an XmR chart. Donald Wheeler is the guru in this space.)
  11. Interpret what your measure is saying, and understand why it’s saying that. (5 minutes to look for signals in your measure. 30 minutes or more to do a basic cause analysis.)
  12. Make a decision, and take action to move closer to your goal.(15 minutes to design a business improvement experiment. Up to you how much time to give to implementing the experiment.)

An important thing to continue reminding yourself of is that we often over think this stuff. Just get in and do these 12 steps, aiming for practicality, not perfection.It’s more important to learn the right way and less important to measure everything.

When you’re just getting started with performance measures, it’s more important to learn the correct mechanics of measuring what matters and to get the experience of the value of measuring what matters.

It’s far LESS important to measure everything or get everyone involved right up front. You should only ever measure what truly matters in helping you pursue and achieve the goals or results you want in your business or organization.

If measuring performance feels like jumping through bureaucratic hoops, you’re doing it all wrong, and doing more damage than good. Start small and specific, learn quickly, and measure more only as the relevance and buy-in start to grow.

6 Ways in Which IoT Is Revolutionizing Supply Chain Management and Logistics

November 29, 2018


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Supply chain management and logistics, for example, that have for long relied upon human inputs and capabilities have found a new hero in IoT. The addition of sensors, identity chips, and communication devices that are constantly connected to the cloud and analytics engines have brought a new wave of automation in business that delivers constant feedback and enable better business decision making for organizations of all sizes. So what are those five ways in which IoT has helped revolutionize supply chain management and logistics for global businesses? Let’s take a closer look.

What can IoT do for supply chain management

In a connected world where consumers and businesses have direct access to each other from halfway around the world, data becomes an extremely precious commodity, and an integral variable in the growth of a business. Traditionally, this data has been difficult, if not impossible to collect. Once the data was collected, it had to be sorted and analyzed manually for it to make a real impact on the business bottom line.

For example, a vending machine that shares real-time feedback with the warehouse management system and informs it when the inventory is running low and automatically places an order for those items, makes a payment to the suppliers, and generates a quick report for the manufacturer on the sales figures. This can allow companies to better segment their target audience in a particular geographical location and focus their energies on marketing efforts accordingly.

Such automation is no longer a piece of science fiction fantasy. It is for real and it is happening all around us. Another example can be seen at airports where RFID tags on baggage ensures safe delivery of luggage to its intended destination. With a reduced number of incidents of misplaced luggage, airlines can easily reduce their costs of having to compensate customers for such mishaps. When taken to the next level, use of RFID tags in conjunction with GPS, weather, and traffic etc. on large cargo consignments can enable businesses to track optimal routes of delivery by land, air or sea, and improve the overall efficacy of the supply chain. And all of this in a day’s work.

A responsive supply chain

Businesses are no longer confined to a single channel to reach out the consumers. As a result of this omni-channel market where everything and everyone is connected, it becomes pertinent for organizations to embrace IoT to enable an responsive supply chain that evolves constantly at every stage. Real time supply chain data collection and analysis can help businesses to accurately track and assess inventory movements with the help of sensors, and hence be in a position to accelerate or reduce the supply of inventory based on consumer demand.

Smart warehouse management

IoT enabled supply chains can operate efficient warehouses with a visible impact on the bottom line. Asset losses, temperature variations, order fulfillment, payment tracking, and other such operational hurdles can easily be optimized for accuracy and efficiency. For example, if assets in a warehouse are connected to the internet via small GPS enabled RFID tags that work like The Google Android Device manager to locate an android phone, they can easily be tracked anywhere before they become a problem. Such a system can not only ensure efficiency, but also protect against theft or damage to the inventory

Supply chain business intelligence

The increased connectivity in the supply chain offers a sizeable business intelligence to the organization. It includes financial data, customer data relevant for marketing, sales and operations, and allows improved accuracy in forecasting consumer demand. This in turn ensures better coordination between different departments that allows considerable savings in cost and time for the business. Not only that, supply chain forensics data ensures that things that went wrong during the process of delivery can be identified and rectified before it turns into a bigger problem for the business.

Consumer insights

IoT has proven to be a boon for the supply chain managers in the retail sector. Every device, our cars, our phones and even satellite radios share a lot of valuable information about our habits and preferences on the cloud. Companies can analyze this information and find out the kind of car we drive and if we have kids or not. And this analysis can help them transform their business in the way they manage the creation, procurement, and delivery of products across their supply chain.

Fleet and fuel cost management

Everyone uses Google Maps to know about traffic conditions and optimize their commute. IoT, however, can help logistics go a step further and learn from the traffic patterns at specific times of the day, temperature, humidity, altitude etc. to maximize fleet and fuel cost management. GPS devices embedded in pallets or even deployed on the vehicles can analyze historical data to ensure optimal delivery routes and times, and also keep a close check on fleet maintenance and driver health at every stage.

Reduce transit damage

Nearly 30 percent of perishable items are destroyed during transit across the globe. That is a significant financial hit on the business. According to UNFAO, most of this damage is caused by unregulated temperatures and poor storage conditions. It sounds like an elementary and uncomplicated task. But just think about how difficult it can be to regulate and maintain a steady temperature inside a car while traveling cross country on a highway, and you’ll get the picture on how difficult it is to do the same inside a fleet truck. Simply plugging this gap with IoT monitored consignments can reduce this transit damage and ensure that more perishables can reach their destination unharmed and on time.

Tips For The Best Employee Training & Development

November 29, 2018


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Employee training is essential for an organization’s success. Training is a program that helps employees learn specific knowledge or skills to improve performance in their current roles.

Employee training is a process focused on communicating with and teaching an employee information and/or instructions. When things get financially tight in business, often employee training is the first thing to go.

Your employees are your biggest asset since they get the required work done so your organization can meet its business objectives.

For employees to be efficient, productive and adaptable, new skills are required, such as:

1. Critical thinking and problem solving.
2. Communication.
3. Collaboration.
4. Creativity and innovation.

Properly training newly hired employees is essential in any industry.

Failure to provide adequate training can result in job dissatisfaction, low productivity, and staff turnover. In your job, you may have spent time sitting through training sessions of questionable value.

Now your boss has assigned you to develop a training program on the job for the rest of the department. Development is more expansive and focuses on employee growth and future performance, rather than an immediate job role.

However, a trainer can combat this by demonstrating that training is actually a crucial part of employees’ and managers’ work.

Why Employee Training Is Important

Training is crucial because it:

1. Educates workers about the effective use of technology,
2. Ensures competitive edge in the market,
3. Promotes safety and health among employees,
4. Creates opportunities for career development and personal growth, an important factor in retaining workers
5. Helps employers comply with laws and regulations, and
6. Improves productivity and profitability.

This is a positive experience for everyone involved: The information gained can prove useful to others who may have the potential to partake in a similar situation, while people who have experienced a similar situation have the chance to talk about their solutions that worked effectively.

Develop a Training Program on the Job:

1. Analyze the training need
2. Design the training program
3. Develop the training program.
4. Implement the training program.
5. Evaluate the training program.

First and foremost, remember is that learning can and should be fun. Your staff members want to absorb knowledge, and they’ll most likely want to learn concepts when they are presented in a fresh, lively and exciting manner.

Putting a twist on your current employee training methods can help people become excited about learning. As you can see from the breadth and depth of employee training opportunities, the ways in which you can provide your employees the chance to grow and develop are limited only by your imagination.

Employee Training is also makes sense to adjust your course evaluation criteria over time too to match different training goals. And changing business environments, different learner profiles, and market and/or technological changes.

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