No matter your industry, assign your accounting department to investigate, accumulate, find and post key select performance indicators or information every day. Ask what key information your managers want to see; help them to decide what critical data drives your company, especially when received and posted in a timely manner. Request your accounting department to prepare your charts or reports every day by an early deadline in order for all to review. If you need to, track sales by each sales representative, schedule a person to come, prepare the report and have the summary ready to review by 9 a.m. each day. Put an emphasis on getting this report or set of charts posted or emailed every day by the same time. Make sure whatever you want tracked without exception, information that drives your business should hit you in the face as soon as you get to work.
When you post this information, make sure the people responsible for the data (whether in your office or across country) are receiving this report that summarizes their successful or failing efforts. This could include month-to-date shipments, month-to-date cash collected, month-to-date new sales orders, number of customers, number of orders or number of rejects as a percentage of shipments.
Instruct your accounting personnel that this information has to be published every day without exception. If the assigned person who performs this task is gone one day, make sure there is a backup who fills in without delay. If that backup is gone, the controller, accounting manager or supervisor picks up the slack. These reports must be posted every day like clockwork. If you discover some of the information cannot be generated because it is not received by other departments, involve those department managers to rearrange their employees’ duties to turn in the necessary data. For example, if the data requires information from remote sales personnel, require the information is wired in, emailed in, faxed in or telephoned in by the end of the day. If production data for the previous day is not available early in the morning, change the work schedule of someone and have an existing person or a newly hired person come earlier to assemble and hand in the necessary information.
Consider this as an alternative where information must be estimated from key data. Your billings people may not know the exact sales dollars of yesterday’s shipments, but do know the month-to-data actual amount for all other days. Use a good close estimate of the last day and add it to the actual previous month-to-date dollar amount that is exact. Adjust this number every day. This will be close enough for most management decisions and provide some indication of the progress or lack of progress for measuring sales.