Making Visibility Tools (ahem) Visible

Posted by George Muha on May 16, 2017 2:23:47 PM

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Something prospective clients tell me they desire more than anything is visibility.  They want visibility to data, visibility to shipment tracking information, visibility to documentation, etc.  The more visibility the better.  When we start showing them all of the meaningful information we can put at their fingertips, they typically get googly-eyed!  Having access to all of this information can help skyrocket a company past their competition.  But one thing companies forget to do is actually make all of this visibility actually visible for people to see.  

"You can't manage what you can't measure"

Business guru Peter Drucker was famous for the above quote and CEO's throw this phrase around like they came up with it.  You can't blame them either because it's true.  However, I am literally in scores of companies a year and rarely do I see these CEO's practice what they preach.

As an example, one common metric companies like to throw around is "cost per pound".  However, when you ask them what their cost per lb is they don't know off the top of their head.  Sure, they can go and dig it up somewhere if prompted.  But if that is the a key metric that the success of ones' company relies on, don't you think this should be front-and-center for key players (if not everyone in the company) to know what it is at all times?  

Cost Per Pound Map

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As an example, let's say your company's cost per pound by geographic area is displayed on a monitor that hangs on a wall for the people in pricing to stare at all day long.  When they are giving quotes or buying materials, they won't need to go far to wonder what their benchmarks are.  

Tracking & Tracing

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How often do you hear the phrase "where is that shipment" hollered at your company in a given day?  How is that information obtained?  Typically there are internal phone calls being made to freight carriers or high paid people are wasting time jumping into a website to track a shipment.  Why not simply stick a large and inexpensive monitor on the wall to display where shipments are at all times so customer service, purchasing, sales and receiving don't need to be searching for this information.  Again, simply displaying this on a monitor for everyone to see will make lots of people's jobs easier.

Keep It Simple...

We are in the age of information and KDL arms it's clients with all kinds of meaningful data that allows companies to operate smarter, faster and more profitably.  Having visibility to this data is important.  Making this visibility actually visible can make a world of difference.    

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Topics: business intelligence metrics, logistics reports, supply chain analytics

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