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Route to Market & Supply Chain Blog

FMCG KPI/Balanced Scorecard or Monthly Data Dumping?

Posted by Dave Jordan on Wed, Aug 07, 2013

Last week was spent enjoying the weather in UK as I moved the heiress into her third new student house in 3 years.  This time the house has 9 – yes nine – residents which must make it a no go area for anyone above the age of 25 unless wearing protective clothing and packing a can of MACE. Carrying boxes down from an attic room via narrow and winding staircase was quite a work-out but my notorious glass back survived intact although the box of books came close.

Job done I made my way back to base with another couple of KLM flights but this time without a Jobsworth amongst the crew. The weather in UK was on the warm side on departure so I decided on a minimalist approach to clothing to ease my way through the various security screenings. Shorts, t-shirt, socks and trainers enabled me to glide through the checks without being patted, prodded or made to make a second pass through the metal detector.

Data rain FMCG CEO resized 600The end of the world was in progress on arrival back in Bucharest. Heavy dark and angry clouds were dispensing rain by the bucket load and it was relentless. Coat; what coat? The rain quickly soaked what clothes I had on and whatever I did made absolutely no difference. In effect my fellow passengers and I were taking a prolonged but warm shower.

Futile attempts at shelter included the held-aloft flat newspaper and the rather dangerous shopping bag with eye holes over the head. Even the all in one little black bin bag number was ineffective in diverting any of the torrential downpour. This was a storm without escape where complete saturation was guaranteed and inevitable. Saturate! Saturate! Saturate, as the Daleks might say. Everything I tried to improve my situation failed miserably.

I felt rather like an FMCG CEO. Bombarded with data that people believe he/she needs to see in order to run the business. Completely overwhelmed by meaningless numbers and perceived trends. In reality most of that data is aimed at passing the buck to other departments for failure or lack of success. Sadly, the motivation for receiving data from any area of business is to ensure backside protection for the post-mortem that takes place long after the month or quarter or whatever period has closed.

Even if you do not run a swish ERP you need to be able to address in-market issues while you still have a chance of making a difference. However, to do that you need to receive information which quickly converts to relevant knowledge and then facilitates actions. To actually see the reality of market performance you don’t need meaningless masses of numbers, you need actionable facts.

If you don’t have a KPI or Balanced Scorecard then sort one out quickly. If you already monitor performance in this way then take a long hard look at what is actually being reported; is it for the benefit of the reporting colleague/department or for the benefit of the entire company?

Continuing to respond to out of date data will see your business performance stay under the weather.

Image courtesy of Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee at freedigitalphotos.net


Tags: FMCG, Dave Jordan, CEO, Performance Improvement, KPI, Supply Chain

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