Key Performance Indicators (Business Dashboard)

For years before the terminology of “Key Performance Indicators” or “Business Dashboard” were popular terms to used when talking business, we used a set of reports on a daily basis in order to monitor and manage One Page Business Agreement the “health” of our company. The business classification was wholesale distribution of consumer electronics so there were “key” measurements that we determined were essential to know on a daily basis.
Some may seem extremely obvious and can (should) be used by almost all businesses. Others were specific to the business classification. They were:
Cash Position (= Yesterday’ beginning balance + Cash Received + Cash Disbursed)
Aged Accounts Receivable balance
Accounts Payable balances, with emphasis on discount dates approaching
Inventory level by vendor
Inventory run rates Property Consultancy (velocity)
Inventory Aging
Inventory by Warehouse
Sales by Customer
Sales by Salesperson with goal and run rate calculated
Each department would use the reports that applied to their area of management with report summaries back to department heads on issues that were being addressed, (how and when).
This data assured that the efficiencies of the business were maintained, that capital requirements were minimized and focuses attention on the key elements on measurement that management determined would allow them to make real time adjustment to achieve the goals. It is no to say that we didn’t look at financials of other reports, these were presented daily, monitored daily and then changes were made in employee’s activities to align them with desired results.
After the business was sold the acquirer made the decision not to continue the daily reporting (monitoring), they had a “better” way. The decline was not immediate, at first, but gained momentum over time, until there was no hope at saving the business, an entire failure. Was a lack of monitoring key performance indicators and only reason for decline? Probably not, there were definitely other factors, but change may have been initiated earlier and quicker had they been monitoring the business more closely, allowing for the saving of a least a pert of the business.
What are the key indicators in your business?

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