“This is your captain speaking. I have a quick announcement to make from the flight deck. We are in the air, and the co-pilot and I have no idea what altitude we are flying at or what direction we are headed. Now sit back, relax and enjoy the flight. We will let you know when we get somewhere.”
As an air passenger hearing this over the PA system, you would want to turn around and land the plane – and you definitely wouldn’t feel like taking a nap.
I recently read an article on LinkedIn about what keeps CEOs up at night. They are the same topics we think about as employees, business owners and shareholders that prevent us from getting a good night’s rest.
The article, which includes a survey of 38 CEOs, states that 45% were not satisfied with their executive team’s performance; 82% thought their team was not acting with enough urgency; and most importantly for the purposes of this article, 71% of the CEOs felt they did not have meaningful data to help them make good decisions.
We wouldn’t tolerate our pilots flying without the information they need to keep us all safe – yet CEOs are making decisions that impact our lives without all the accurate information that they need to lead their companies.
The days of flying blind should be over. The amount of data available today should allow CEOs to see everything they want to see. CEOs should be able to identify Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) in every area of their company, and they should be able to see and analyze the data in order to make good decisions.
One KPI CEOs should immediately have at hand is sales per customer. For example, “early warning lights” should be going off when sales from the company’s largest customer start trending down. CEOs should also know if their company’s top three products currently make up 80% of all of their new sales.
If you aren’t readily getting the data you need to make good decisions to run your organization, you need to make some changes.
The first step is building a system that accurately accounts for transactions. The Microsoft Dynamics product line is the best place to start. A solid accounting package is a must. But, just buying the best package won’t get you there. Begin with a reputable Value Added Reseller (VAR) that has proven experience and expertise in implementing the Dynamics products on-time and on-budget. They will provide expert planning and implementation consulting to make sure the technology fits your business.
The next step is limiting the amount of duplicate data entry in your system.Implementing a CRM system is one great way of limiting duplication of effort. It seems that many companies, however, do not integrate their sales systems with their financial systems. A good CRM system will allow you to enter the customer information once, process it through the sales cycle and effortlessly bring it into the accounting system. Once you are limiting duplicate data entry, you can spend your time identifying the metrics that your business runs on.
The final step is knowing what makes your business tick, identifying KPIs and reporting them in real time. If you don’t know right away who the top 5 customers are this week, how many touches they have had during the week, how much you sold to each of them and how that compares to last year or the year prior, you are flying blind.
You need to know what metrics your business runs on and you should always be looking to improve them. If you are tired of flying blind, now is the time to do something about it. Call the experts at NexusTek at 303-773-6464 to get started on a business requirements analysis.