Here’s how to learn whether your company is trending positive or negative in key performance areas.

Image courtesy of Website Magazine (www.websitemagazine.com)

Image courtesy of Website Magazine (www.websitemagazine.com)

In my last blog, I told you about a family-owned business I counseled. The firm appeared to be doing well, but had no way of knowing whether its performance was trending positively or negatively. My assignment was to give company officers a means of gaining that insight, through the use of key performance indicators.

The company mentioned is a Web-based business that takes orders through the Web into its system. I first needed to learn how many product lines the company offered. Once I learned that, I identified three different measurements that we would need to help us gauge the cost of producing the revenues that flowed from those lines.

First, we had to determine the direct costs, or in other words, the cost of goods sold. Second, we had to determine the employee cost, split out including payroll tax and temporary help. Finally, we had to determine all other overhead.

Using the revenue from the product lines, we knew the consolidated revenue for the company. From that number we could calculate the average unit selling price. Next, I determined average unit cost for each of those three areas: direct, employee and overhead cost, and came up with total unit cost per period.

When we arrayed all the indicators, we had a lineup of direct costs per unit, summarized for the year. Those costs were clearly coming down. We then looked at the employee cost per unit, and compared that to the average selling price per unit, and that relationship was trending positively. The same was true when we compared overhead per unit with average selling price. We could also determine from those numbers what the unit gross profit was for the company.

Simply put, once we had the unit measurements in each area, we could plot and compare them period to period. Those plot lines revealed trends, and just as quickly, we knew the trends were positive. That knowledge made possible a discussion with management as to why those trends were occurring.

Whether your company is generating reports, offering consulting services, or selling gallons of oil, key performance indicators can determine important trends.

There is a way to measure the company’s performance using two ingredients: the number of employees on staff, and your output.

If you would like assistance in determining and tracking key performance indicators, please contact me. I offer a 100 percent guarantee on my work. I take on only clients I can help. Call me for a free consultation and let’s talk about your business. My phone number is 630-269-7646.