Measure So You Can Manage

Having the right performance metrics helps you drive growth. Let me share with you six steps to implement effective measures to manage. Keeping a competitive edge in today’s marketplace requires ongoing investment in the transformation of your business. As Mark Twain said:  To stand still, is to fall behind.

1)      Clearly define your corporate goals

Without a clearly defined and documented strategy, it is impossible to set expectations and monitor performance. You can only manage what you can measure, so if you lack such a strategy, begin to brainstorm and evaluate opportunities for continued growth.  Understand what your weaknesses and strengths are and begin documenting so that when it is finalized, you can share it with your employees. You may think that everyone knows where you are going, but don’t’ assume.  No one has ever over communicated!

2)      Identify short-and long-term operational goals

Take your strategy and identify what you want to accomplish short-term (3 mos) and what needs a bit more time (12 mos).  This would include approaching the weaknesses and turn them into strengths. In operations you want to evaluate each step taken and whether it adds value or not to the final product or services.  Think lean here and optimize the process.

3)      Establish milestone, deliverables and tasks to support your goals

Now you may be ready for the roadmap.  Establish milestones, deliverables to be achieved and identify tasks and who performs them.  Now that you have documented and shared the strategy with your employees, it is important to listen to them and get their input.  Agree on goals, objectives and timetables.  Evaluate whether you have adequate resources, so you have a better chance of succeeding.

4)      Develop and implement metrics for all key activities

This is where the measuring starts. Make sure you engage your employees in setting performance metrics.  Here are some examples: Customer retention rate, supply chain rate of return, funnel conversion rate or call center support metrics. Be proactive and pay attention to leading indicators in your industry and pay less attention to lagging ones.  Clarify expectations with your executive team and staff, empower your employees and boost their engagement. Set some incentives in advance and make sure that all metrics are objective and not subjective.

5)      Monitor progress and make improvements as needed to stay on course

Now you have a roadmap in place that you can begin to monitor and manage. Your employees understand what is expected of them and how they can help the company grow.  Making a difference goes a long way in terms of talent retention.  There needs to be purpose and connection to the larger scheme as participation can give them a better understanding of how they personally can affect the business.

6)      Assess the effectiveness of metrics and modify if necessary

Close the loop by evaluating regularly how the metrics are working.  What is the assessment of your staff and how well are they adhering to these metrics?  Do you need to change them, are they giving you information that is meaningful to the future of your business?

Start the conversation today regarding how you can drive results with the right performance metrics. Transparency and accountability will be on your side as you seek a way to measure and manage. This is an ongoing process and of course, if your business changes, so do your performance metrics.

My book “Stop Compromising” has its own chapter (chapter 5) on this topic and explains ways to think about KPIs and performance metrics.

Let me know what KPIs and performance metrics have worked for you and what particular leading indicators you use for your roadmap.

 

Transform, Transition & Change

Transform ▲ Transition ▲ Change

by Rudi Scheiber-Kurtz

Words we are all very familiar with yet simultaneously love and hate!!  Everywhere you look you witness major shifts from status quo, whether it is politics, global warming or in fact our business models.

Mostly likely you will agree with me that the option to remain status quo is not a sustainable one.  One of my favorite words is A-G-I-L-I-T-Y because it hints at not standing still.

How are you going to transform, transition or change your business to provide your customers continuous value with optimal agility?

This January marks the 15th year of Next Stage Solutions offering strategic finance and operations to midmarket companies.  I am humbled at the hundreds of conversations with clients and prospects around sustainable growth, profit optimization and value creation.  I am proud to say that we have

The past 15 years have led me to a cross roads myself today, both professionally and personally.  I am in the middle of transforming. Transitioning and changing.  With that in mind I am working on the following:

  • Write a book/guide for CEOs on Value Creation. Each chapter provides hands-on tools and check lists for the busy CEO.  Looking to publish this spring
  • Transition NSS to an online digital platform for CEOs and CFOs to access finance and operational tools, proven methodologies, charts and guides
  • Develop a new online platform called Finance Beyond Numbers to establish a presence of forward-looking finance with a horizontal approach to leading
  • Lead XPX New England as the newly elected President of this 3 state chapter. It is an active and engaged group of professionals who help owners build valuable businesses and assist them in preparing and executing successful transitions.
  • Support my daughter Natasha with her brand new business that has the grand opening scheduled for January 16. It is a barre3 studio in Bedford, MA.  I have been taking her classes for over two years and I love the concept and work out. Words cannot describe how very proud I am of her for pulling this off single handedly.

Now that I have shared my five examples on transform, transition and change, what are yours? You may have heard me quote one of Yogi Berra sayings:  “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.”

I imagine that you do not want to be in that situation, we all want some kind of predictability.  More important than ever is for you to be WORKING ON the business, this way you have a chance to get to where you want to be.

Make it part of your culture to transform, transition and change and agility will be your friend.

 

 

NSS Launches CEO Mini Series

Spiral

A 3-part mini series for CEOs and Business Owners in how successful business leaders have grown their organizations.

Each of these programs is by invitation only!

Accelerated Growth Demands Critical and Innovative Shifts

Access ideas from CEOs and learn how they achieved accelerated growth from implementing the right infrastructure to effectively identify and develop new growth opportunities.

Sign up Pre-registration is required. Sign up for all 3 or 1 at a time.

PART 1: Building  an Organization that Can Thrive in a VUCCA* World  ( *Volatile, Uncertain, Changing, Chaotic, Ambiguous)

Thursday, January 21, 2016 12noon – 2pm at the Harvard Club, Back Bay

Learn about the importance of linking strategy, leadership, learning,  and accountability to create an organization with maximum flexibility to deliver positive results in changing environments. Come hear how 3 corporate leaders built organizations that have thrived in change and created lasting value, by getting the right people and getting them to do the right things at the right time.

PANELISTS:

  • Roger Berkowitz, CEO,  Legal Sea Foods
  • Pat Sullivan, CEO,  Game Creek Video
  • Dennis Slutsky, Former CEO,  American Dryer

Moderator: Andy Snider, President of Snider Associates

PART 2: Tomorrow is Here: Profitable Growth Requires Critical Assessments Tools for Effective Strategy Execution

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 12noon – 2pm at Waltham Woods, Waltham

Hear from successful CEOs in how they shifted their focus to achieve growth from implementing the right infrastructure to effectively identifying new growth opportunities. Join us to learn more in how CEOs have embraced qualitative and quantitative practices to address demands critical for future growth and longterm value creation.

PANELISTS:

  • Charlie Storey, President,  Harpoon Brewery
  • Kevin Young, President,  Mondi Group USA
  • Randy Nunley, CEO, Odyssey System Consult. Group

Moderator: Rudi Scheiber-Kurtz, CEO of Next Stage Solutions

PART 3:  Addressing the Challenges of Succeeding the 21st Century

Wednesday, May 18, 2016 12noon – 2pm at the Lanam Club, Andover

Approaches that worked in 2000 are not enough to succeed in 2016.  Learn about techniques that the most advanced companies are using to achieve extraordinary results and make their organizations more adaptive.  Panelists to be announced.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL 617-449-7728

Sign up

Conversation with an A-Player

Start a Conversation with Bob!

Bob Weber, MBA, has been a Managing Director with Next Stage Solutions, Inc. since 2012. Possessing extensive financial management experience, Bob is a global financial executive with over 40 years of Commercial and Operational Finance experience in the Life Science space, primarily within the MedTech and Pharmaceutical companies of healthcare giant Johnson & Johnson. In addition, he has been Director of Business Development for the J&J Orthopaedic Company; Vice President of Finance and Executive Committee member for a foreign based, privately owned Medical Diagnostic company; and been responsible for financial operations in the US, Canada, and the UK.

Over his career, Bob has assisted Company Leadership as business advisor in the development and execution of business strategies to support company growth objectives. These activities have ranged from new product evaluations/commercialization; negotiation of strategic business alliances; and implementation of critical business systems.

    

We are proud to present a sample of his accomplishments for both NSS and other organizations:

  • Participated in the worldwide commercialization of over 20 new products in highly regulated industries with combined revenue in excess of $500 Mil in annual sales.
  • Led development of formal strategic planning process for two $175 Mil worldwide business franchises with strategic goals, divisional objectives, and interactive financial planning capabilities.
  • Conducted comprehensive financial and business analysis that reduced manufacturing structure from nine facilities to three centers of excellence avoiding $2.5 Mil in consolidation costs.
  • Led pricing negotiations that shifted $5 Mil in profit margin from strategic business partner to company, while resetting the pricing matrix agreement for our future relationship.
  • Directed implementation of Activity-Based Management and developed operations performance measures for 7 manufacturing plants saving millions in cost reductions and elimination of non-value added expenses.
  • Negotiated numerous New Business Development agreements (distribution, licensing, and supply agreements) with annual sales in excess of $20 Mil.
  • Organized and led highly successful CFO searches for midmarket companies in expansion mode.

Are you looking at growth differently, or what we call nonlinear growth?  Bob is easy going and the guy to talk to.  He will be delighted to start a conversation with you.

Email Bob at weber@nextstagesolutions.com or

call 617-449-7728

Tips for Faster Growth

Tips for Faster Growth

Successful Partnerships do not happen in a vacuum. Finding the right strategic partnership takes substantial upfront investment of your time and energy to identify, clarify, solidify and build. Find the opportunity, one that defines what you have to offer and how it aligns with the potential partner’s needs, then work towards a mutually beneficial partnership. Have a clear vision of what the benefits and challenges will be in forming this alliance.

  1. Understand your partner’s vision, mission and culture so you can leverage the capabilities of each party and achieve benefits greater than those of individual efforts. Recognize each others culture and differences.
  1. You may want to consider a short-term, high impact and relatively low cost project allowing you to work together before going into a longer term and more exposed form of partnership. Try it out as a test with your customers and get their feedback whether it adds value to their business. This gives you an opportunity to work together on a more informal basis and allows you to tweak areas that need improvement before launching the bigger project and solidifying a formal agreement.
  1. Clarify what the partnership will bring to each party and identify what work will be done specifically under this partnership. Coordination requires a commitment on both sides and a true understanding of what the wants are on both sides.
  1. Create a Shared Vision by identifying mutual goals and objectives. Determine key initiatives you want to achieve that will maximize the strengths and minimize the weaknesses. Whatever the deal structure, make sure you maintain control of your company. As a general rule, stay away from granting exclusivity to a partner. This has the potential of pushing you into a corner with no other way out.
  1. Negotiate a formal agreement that includes the scope of work and how to best communicate. Monitor and evaluate the work on an ongoing basis. Include a cross functional team and determine upfront who is accountable for what pieces. Take a pragmatic approach, look for the right fit, ascertain that your incentives are aligned and the cultures are similar enough.
  1. Be aware of things going awry and act quickly. Informality does not help here, so take the negotiating beyond social acquaintances. The focus and strategy can change for either party and the loss of key people involved in the negotiations may tip the boat. Be especially diligent around Intellectual Property such as patents, customer lists and trade secrets. Determine up front of what your rights are to access IP from the partner and what IP you are agreeing to share with them.
  1. Get your attorney to formalize your partnership agreement so that you have a good foundation as a springboard.

Forming partnerships is a growth strategy to be considered as it can get you further faster in the market place. Carefully weigh the pros and cons of this potential alliance and remember that the purpose in forming a partnership is quicker access to expertise or market share that could take time and resources to develop if done internally. Invest the time and energy upfront and you will end up with a successful partner.

Get more tips and ideas from our RudiTuesday Video on Strategic Partnerships.

Are you Considering a Partnership or in Midst of a Discussion?
Contact us to Discuss further at 617-449-7728.