The Benefits Of Measuring & Re-Measuring Performance
6th June 22
Measuring the productivity of your operation makes sense. You will already have a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that help track how your business is performing. You will be used to spotting trends over time and the power of insights from regular measurement.
There is huge value to be had from the one-off diagnostic productivity measures that we carry out for clients. Onsite studies provide a useful snapshot of the operations measured that can inform your strategic, financial and operational decision making, as well as enabling you to compare your business to others within the same sector.
So what happens if you take the power of ongoing measurement and apply it to the deep dive productivity measurement Rethink provides?
Why re-measuring is important
A one-off work measurement project provides a great basis for sizing opportunities and creating a prioritised plan – an approach that many of our clients use to good effect.
Once you have your benchmark KPIs, it is important to re-measure frequently because…well, how else are you going to know if you are performing better or poorer than before?
How often you measure is entirely up to you and your business goals. But, as a rule of thumb, we would recommend re-measuring current performance against your benchmark statistics every six months.
There are ongoing productivity measures which help to keep the operation on course and are useful for coaching conversations with the team, getting their input into how things can be done, quicker and easier. For example, deciding on a case handling rate for stock tasks, or tracking sales to keep a focus on trade-ups and add-on services. But not every part of the operation lends itself to easy productivity measurement – so a periodic deep dive approach becomes the best alternative.
But how can you tell whether you have a genuine commitment to continuous productivity improvement? Answer: You involve us to selectively re-measure your operation.
How we measure and what our clients have learnt
Many of our clients have already used the power of re-measurement to supercharge their process improvement efforts:
- A client commissioned us to carry out an efficiency study and then repeated the same study over several years in order to track how effective they were in reducing task time and moving focus to the customer. These repeated studies meant that any new processes were also measured, preventing them from filling up any operational space that had been created
- A coffee shop we worked with measured how long it takes to serve a customer and make hot drinks. They realised that a redesign of the counter would help speed up their processes and improve customer experience too. We measured task times and efficiency for three prototype counter designs in order to identify the slickest prior to an expensive roll-out
- Another coffee shop introduced automated machines to help speed up coffee making, enabling team members to carry out other jobs. Re-measuring their coffee making times identified that colleagues were in fact watching the coffee maker rather than using this valuable time to speed up the overall customer journey
- After measuring the time it takes to put away deliveries and manage filling up, a grocery retailer introduced an extra overhead shelf to store excess stock. The plan was to save time. Re-measurement of the revised operation showed it could save time but was not yet optimised as, despite being briefed, colleagues were not following the most efficient process. A useful insight that shaped the store leadership engagement plans
- Measuring operational timings for a trial versus a baseline creates useful insights when devising a realistic business case for technology investment. Once they had quantified and proved the potential time saving, our grocery group client rolled out electronic shelf edge labels across all their stores
- A trial within our client’s bakery showed the potential time saving of moving to app-based ordering versus their previous manual and paper-based approach
- Measuring newly installed self-checkouts created task time standards which allowed the retailer to effectively plan the cover needed to deal with interventions required at the tills. Not only that, it also gave them clear pointers on how to reduce the number of interventions triggered by the till
So, the long and short of it is – measure, re-measure and re-measure again. You’ll never know where or how you can improve unless you have something to measure against.
Looking for a little help in the right direction? We are experts at designing the measurement approach that will give you operational insights to inform your decision making. Discover how our business improvement consultants can help you decide on your KPIs and then help you to improve on them, time and time again.