How to Leverage Data to be Proactive Instead of Reactive with Your KPIs

data insights

In our first blog post on this theme, we discussed what KPIs manufacturing companies should prioritize when implementing a new ERP system. Now, we’re jumping into how you can leverage the data you’re capturing with the new system so that you’re proactive instead of reactive with your KPIs and data insights. All companies want to utilize KPIs to make better, more informed business decisions. How exactly do you do this in your company though? It’s not always clear, so we’re breaking it down so you can maximize your business’ ROI.

KPIs Under a Microscope

The value of tracking KPIs is well known, but not everyone does this effectively. You don’t just want to track the KPI results, you should also track the actions that attributed to the results.

Using a real-world example, one of IntelRise’s clients recently launched an ERP system which provided them with real-time data insights on their product delivery process. In post-implementation, this client was pleased to discover that they were hitting their on-time delivery KPI goal but failed to investigate how exactly they were accomplishing this. Just like all newsworthy stories, good news is no news. Eventually this client stopped meeting their KPI goal and were clueless as to why or how to reverse the downward trend in a timely manner. 93% of organizations that are curious about their data and make it a priority feel they tend to make better, faster decisions than their competitors. So make sure you take a deep look at the numbers to keep ahead of competition.

Your job isn’t done once you hit your KPI goals. So, before you throw a celebration party for hitting all your targets, you need to sit down with the subject matter experts in that area and uncover what individual actions attributed to attaining the goals. It may be because you worked hard at improving your supplier relationships, or you adjusted production schedules to be more realistic, or you expanded and increased staff onboarding training. The same can be said the other way around. If you’re not meeting your KPI targets, take the time to think about the actions that negatively impact the results and explore the gritty details to find out why. Once you’ve determined what specific actions are negatively or positively affecting your KPI results, leverage those actions appropriately.

Better Decisions with Better Data

69% of companies worldwide believe the biggest benefit of data is improved strategic decisions. Which is why most look to ERP systems for help. Before implementation, companies usually have some sort of idea as to what volume of transactions they do on a weekly, monthly, or daily basis. This gives most companies a general jumping off point. Rich Harbin, Founder and President of IntelRise recalls a particular client they worked with, “During their pre-implementation stage, our client was doing 1000 orders manually via spreadsheets. They decided to utilize that 1000 as a baseline. After the ERP was implemented, this client was rocking out 1200 orders.” With an ERP system, companies can easily compare pre-implementation data with post-implementation data by identifying jumping off points for growth post-implementation.

A new ERP can help identify the baseline or the average, and you can use these numbers to leverage your KPIs. This addresses issues in areas you may have hidden bottlenecks in, whether that’s orders, shipments or invoices. KPIs let you track each of these (and more) and react to whether you’re on schedule or behind schedule. This inevitably makes you proactive because now on an overall monthly standpoint, the executives are wanting to either be equal to or above pre-implementation status. To put it more clearly, Rich says, “You can now plan for growth and improve things, rather than wait for issues to show up and react.” Then, just like the snowball effect, as you get more and more data insights with the KPIs, you can make increasingly better decisions.

Ongoing KPIs

It’s also worth mentioning that leveraging KPIs proactively is not a one-time activity. It’s a continuous process that everyone should be involved in so the business can make critical adjustments if results are off. To help get everyone involved in the process, instill measuring KPIs proactively within the office culture so staff can also get on board. Create a mindset and develop an attitude that KPIs are important and beneficial for not just the business, but the employees themselves. Prove this by presenting the numbers in an easily digestible and relatable way. This will intrinsically motivate staff. They’ll be able to monitor their individual actions and behaviors and see how they contribute to KPIs results.

Organizations who embrace data insights are leading the way as 55% of manufacturing companies increased revenue through better use of their data. IntelRise offers ideas to leverage KPIs proactively so you too can increase revenue through data insights and make more informed decisions that continuously improve on-going operations. If you’re one of the many businesses who is struggling with trusting your new ERP system’s data, then be sure to read our next blog post in this series. It’s about data quality assurance and learning how to trust the numbers so you can make confident decisions that propel the growth and productivity of your business.