Orbit Industries COO, Bob Aleksandrovic, was a presenter at a business workshop in March of 2017 on the use of Dashboards and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) in management. Dashboards are a visual tool employed to help clarify larger sets of data into a more concise picture of current performance. The event took place at the Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C) Metro campus and was organized by the college’s Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Businesses program.
Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Businesses is a program available through Tri-C for company owners in the small business community. Accepted applicants are exposed to a curriculum that allows students to gain important skills that can be immediately put into practice in their organizations. Topics such as marketing, production, and personnel management are regularly covered.
The program is designed to help local small businesses grow and foster under a network of professional support that may not otherwise be readily available. Bob Aleksandrovic happens to be an alumni of the program and was asked speak to the group about how him and his team use Dashboards in their day-to-day operations.
To illustrate the concept, the discussion started off with defining what components make up the dashboard of a car. The audience listed off items such as the fuel gauge, speedometer, and thermostat. Bob then asked what Key Performance Indicators would cause the driver to react and at what speed would action be taken. Low fuel, high speed, and increasing thermostat temperature were cited as indications that the driver needed to take further action. An issue like high speed should immediately be corrected to avoid a speeding ticket, while low fuel would indicate that the driver needed to refuel soon, but may not require an immediate stop.
Following this example, he then went on to explain how a business dashboard functions in a similar fashion. The first step is to identify what KPI’s are essential to the success of the business, so that they can be measured. This data can be reported from all levels of the organization. Financial data from an income statement, sales numbers reporting amount of units sold, and quantity of units produced are just a few examples. Next a trending analysis is conducted to determine how the current selected KPI’s measure up to where they should be, based on the business case. This is also referred to as the target state. Following this, the audience broke into groups to build a sample dashboard for a case study and each group then presented their results. The exercise gave each attendee some practical experience that would aid them in developing their own dashboard.
Bob was happy to offer the benefit of his experience on this topic to current students and alumni of the 10,000 Small Business program. Orbit Industries, Inc. appreciated the opportunity to work with Cuyahoga Community College to support local entrepreneurs at this event.