Executive dashboard: a decision maker's favorite: if you can't measure it, how can you manage it?Your automobile has a dashboard (1) See Mac Dashboard.
(2) A software-based control panel for one or more applications, network devices or industrial machines. Dashboards display simulated gauges and dials that look somewhat like an automobile dashboard. that gives you information. It tells you how fast you are going, if you are low on oil, when you need fuel, and other vital statistics. If the yellow warning light comes on, you know to rush to your mechanic for assistance. Could you imagine driving your vehicle without such information?
Multi-unit owners can make great advocates
As with your car, it is difficult to properly run your business without timely, accurate, and relevant information. Fortunately, executive dashboards have changed the way you can do business. If your vision of an executive dashboard is something attached to the CIO's car, then you're not alone. The true executive dashboard can provide the fastest and easiest way to stay tuned to information that affects your business. Items such as daily sales, performance scorecards of franchisees, inventory levels, and marketing reports are displayed as easy to read graphs, gauges, and lighted icons. Want to know more about a topic? Simply double click the graphic for the underlying details. Gone are the days of inaccurate royalty collection, persistent troubles with under-performing locations and difficulties understanding field operations.
Executive dashboards allow you to gain insight into issues such as:
* Actual sales versus targeted benchmarks
* Warnings from key metrics metrics Managed care A popular term for standards by which the quality of a product, service, or outcome of a particular form of Pt management is evaluated. See TQM. specific to your concept
* Details behind "low sales"
* Profitable/unprofitable customer profiles
* "Hot" industries for your franchisees to focus on
* "Cold" industries to avoid
* Centralized cen·tral·ize
v. cen·tral·ized, cen·tral·iz·ing, cen·tral·iz·es
1. To draw into or toward a center; consolidate.
2. customer database for marketing
* Any metric that effects the performance of your concept
Executive dashboards have been rapidly gaining in popularity with both large and small franchisors due to their high value proposition and scalability. No matter the concept's size, dashboards automatically and accurately supply operational, performance, and financial metrics to select members of your business. Metrics provide a means to assess progress; they provide valuable data points against which the franchise concept as a whole can examine and improve their progress. Metrics demonstrate accountability and allow franchisors to fully understand, act upon, and align align (līn),
v to move the teeth into their proper positions to conform to the line of occlusion. their efforts. In short, metrics enable the franchisor to truly serve as the "eyes and ears" of the company.
Quality over quantity
Royalty collection is a constant problem area experienced by many franchises. Inaccurate or untimely reports, slow payment collection and the inevitable collection calls are even more of a pain and can alienate To voluntarily convey or transfer title to real property by gift, disposition by will or the laws of Descent and Distribution, or by sale.
For example, a seller may alienate property by transferring to a buyer a parcel of the seller's land containing a house, in some franchisees. Royalty slippage Slippage
The difference between estimated transaction costs and the amount actually paid.
Slippage is usually attributed to a change in the spread.
See also: Spread, Transaction Costs
Slippage can run as high as 30 percent in some sectors of franchising. Dashboard collection engines can fully automate To turn a set of manual steps into an operation that goes by itself. See automation. this royalty process resulting in timely and accurate information, eliminating slippage and collection troubles. Just simplifying royalty collection can justify executive dashboard investment.
In addition to gathering royalty information, executive dashboards can display other key business information, such as the primary details that run your franchisees' day-to-day operations. Real-time visibility into each location's performance will drive your concept forward. By establishing metrics around top performers other locations will be provided with benchmarks to strive towards and processes to follow. Don't be fooled by just looking at the overall sales by location. An executive dashboard enables franchisors to investigate the underlying factors that make up those sales. For restaurants, this might include the number of table turns on a Friday night in July. For retail operations this metric might include the unit sales unit sales
Sales measured in terms of physical units rather than dollars. Unit sales data are often used by financial analysts when evaluating the health of a company. per square foot. For other franchise concepts, the real value might spring from comparing the current period to the same period last week, month or year.
Customers. Customers. Customers.
It's why franchises are all in business. How much do they know about their franchisees' customers? How quickly can the concept identify and adapt to a changing customer profile? Dashboards can store a centralized database for national marketing campaigns, and help identify the most or least profitable customer profiles and their respective buying patterns. By understanding the customer base franchises can quickly identify "up-sells" with particular products and customer types, so that they can offer an intelligent and interesting choice of add-ons at purchase time at all locations. Why was there a surge in the purchase of green widgets in the Northwest United States United States, officially United States of America, republic (2005 est. pop. 295,734,000), 3,539,227 sq mi (9,166,598 sq km), North America. The United States is the world's third largest country in population and the fourth largest country in area. ? Dashboards will allow franchisors to discover and understand the surge that will result in increased sales of green widgets nationwide.
When marketing on a national level, it is imperative to measure the impact of the marketing campaign. By tracking the sources of sales at the point-of-sale, franchisors can determine the effectiveness of a particular campaign by market segment. This provides justification to the franchisee for their advertising fund contributions.
As you move forward with your Executive dashboard, here are some helpful "lessons learned:"
Get executive sponsorship, it's crucial to the project. While getting executive sponsorship for an executive dashboard might sound redundant, having the entire team onboard Refers to a chip or other hardware component that is directly attached to the printed circuit board (motherboard). Contrast with offboard. See inboard. will only increase the project's chance of success. Without it, the dashboard may never see all flashing-green lights.
Not Just for Breakfast Anymore. Executive dashboards are not just for executives anymore. Have your entire team on board, and show them how this project can provide tremendous value and insight. Most dashboards have role-based access, so it can allow lower-level employees and franchisees to view certain data, reports and graphs. Ideas which generate the largest return-on-investment may come from a lower-level employee instead of your executive staff.
Start off on the Right Foot. Deploying dashboarding is not a difficult technical project. CFOs and business analysts are the biggest users of these features, which makes dashboarding more of a business process improvement. Deciding on key reports will drive what data to collect. Technical staff should get involved only after the franchise has chosen the correct solution for the concept.
Don't forget the human factor-Establish a champion. There are easy, automated au·to·mate
v. au·to·mat·ed, au·to·mat·ing, au·to·mates
1. To convert to automatic operation: automate a factory.
2. methods for collecting the necessary data from franchisees' remote locations. However, many franchisees may view this as a "Big Brother" step. A franchisor does really have franchisees' best interest in mind.
Have a champion establish multiple touch points of communication with the executive team as well as the franchisee community. This should be someone from the business side of your concept. If everyone understands what the purpose of the project is and clearly sees the benefits, rumors For other uses, see Rumor (disambiguation).
Rumors is a farcical play by Neil Simon.
At its start, several affluent couples gather in the posh suburban residence of a couple for a dinner party celebrating their tenth anniversary. and misconceptions Misconceptions is an American sitcom television series for The WB Network for the 2005-2006 season that never aired. It features Jane Leeves, formerly of Frasier, and French Stewart, formerly of 3rd Rock From the Sun. will be reduced. Multi-unit owners can make great advocates due to the increased manageability the dashboard affords them. Collecting data from franchisees can be sticky, but if they buy into the concept and see the inherent value it will create anticipation rather than anxiety. Promote selling points selling point
An aspect of a product or service that is stressed in advertising or marketing.
Noun 1. selling point - a characteristic of something that is up for sale that makes it attractive to potential customers such as:
* Centralized purchasing = cost savings
* Centralized marketing = more sales
* Better field visibility = competitive advantage
The Devil is in the Details. Collect and view "actionable Giving sufficient legal grounds for a lawsuit; giving rise to a Cause of Action.
An act, event, or occurrence is said to be actionable when there are legal grounds for basing a lawsuit on it. information." When your dashboard shows you that sales are down, understanding the "why" behind the decrease is just as important as knowing that sales are falling. Identify the correct customers for target marketing and analyze any reasons for customer attrition Customer attrition, also known as customer churn, customer turnover, or customer defection, is a business term used to describe loss of clients or customers. . Drill-down dashboards pick up the stone and let you peer underneath.
Keep it Real. Set clear expectations of achievements with the project. Focus on the basics first-royalties, operational metrics and target marketing. Collecting every ounce of data and then stashing it away won't help. Getting the right information is very important. Quality over quantity. A well-deployed solution can give you cross-discipline insight into sales, marketing, and support.
Does this look straight to you? Implementing an executive dashboard requires a delicate balance of business and technical skills. It is highly recommended to have a professional business analyst involved. If outsourcing (1) Contracting with outside consultants, software houses or service bureaus to perform systems analysis, programming and datacenter operations. Contrast with insourcing. See netsourcing, ASP, SSP and facilities management. , look for a firm that provides this perspective. Trying to do this yourself, without the specialized spe·cial·ize
v. spe·cial·ized, spe·cial·iz·ing, spe·cial·iz·es
1. To pursue a special activity, occupation, or field of study.
2. skill sets in-house, is like trying to cut your own hair.
Outsourcing? Outsourcing requires little from your staff and allows franchisors to provide the highest value to the creation of your dashboard. It doesn't have to be expensive, but look for franchise experience from any vendor; you will work with them to design the dashboard for your concept. Look for a firm that provides the business perspective, not just whiz-bang technical jargon jargon, pejorative term applied to speech or writing that is considered meaningless, unintelligible, or ugly. In one sense the term is applied to the special language of a profession, which may be unnecessarily complicated, e.g., "medical jargon. .
Put on Your Creativity Helmet helmet Public health A personal protective device of hardened plastic worn on the head to ↓ severity of injuries in the event of an accident. See Pro cap helmet. : You can show just about anything on a dashboard. Think big and small at the same time, incorporate weather data, local store information, and geographic labor rates. How about a "Discovery Day Dashboard" to show prospective franchisees that you have your concept down to a science.
Driving your business by looking through the windshield rather than the rearview mirror by using an executive dashboard can provide timely, accurate, relevant and valuable data that results in a true competitive advantage. You will be able to improve location performance as well as grow faster, based on more strategic and at-hand information. Franchisees will buy in because of reduced costs, increased sales, less overhead, and more visibility into their operations. Deciding on an executive dashboard and establishing clear objectives of the benefit to your concept could turn out to be the one of the best decisions you ever made without a dashboard.
RELATED ARTICLE: Franchisee buy-in.
Worried about business-wide buy-in? Information can benefit the entire team.
Has your team been discussing the merits of a centralized purchasing initiative? An executive dashboard can provide the centralized data that can catapult catapult (kăt`əpŭlt'), mechanism used to throw missiles in ancient and medieval warfare. At first, catapults were specifically designed to shoot spears or other missiles at a low trajectory (see bow and arrow). the idea of centralized purchasing for your business. A dashboard will provide the details for your purchasing manager A Purchasing Manager is an employee within a company, business or other organization who is responsible at some level for buying or approving the acquisition of goods and services needed by the company. to confidently negotiate with national vendors for completive pricing of products and services. Your purchasing manager will know exactly how many widgets your franchise network purchased last week/month/year and based on sales forecasts Sales forecast
A key input to a firm's financial planning process. External sales forecasts are based on historical experience, statistical analysis, and consideration of various macroeconomic factors. know how many you expect to purchase this week/month/year. The largest cost savings will be with the big ticket "widgets". This results in a direct cost savings to franchisees, who will applaud the franchise for the initiative.
Additionally, introducing inexpensive or free third-party data in the analysis, such as census information, housing starts or other demographics The attributes of people in a particular geographic area. Used for marketing purposes, population, ethnic origins, religion, spoken language, income and age range are examples of demographic data. can help identify how outside forces effect your franchise concept's performance. This will give your concept the foresight (graphics, tool) Foresight - A software product from Nu Thena providing graphical modelling tools for high level system design and simulation. to take proactive action in the dynamic business environment.
Rick Batchelor is CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board. of ZeeWise. He can be reached at 678-383-4040 ext. 1105 or email@example.com.