Monday, June 21, 2010

Tracking Systems

I believe in tracking systems.      Not spy movie style tracking systems, but rather the idea of having something that keeps track of everything in your business.

For Evolve, this system is the heart of what we do.  Everything is tracked within it, and we have signs posted around the office that say "if it's not in ConnectWise, it doesn't exist".  Only things written down and documented are managed.  Because if it can't be measured, it can't be managed.   I recently wrote a piece about this for my industry colleagues, and I think it's very relevant for my customers.

If you’re driving a car, you require a pretty steady stream of data to ensure you’re operating well. Your speedometer ensures you’re going the right speed, you keep an eye on the gas tank, your GPS for directions, your mirrors to know what is around you, and even the feel of the car to know how it’s running. But driving your car on feel alone would be impossible.

The same is true of business. Without good metrics, you can’t know how well the business is running without knowing the details. How efficient is your team? How profitable? How does your sales pipe look? Is your marketing functioning?

It’s important to take the time and measure all the parts, so as you adjust and make decisions, you know how well you’re doing. If you make a change to the way services are delivered, did you make it better? You only know if you know how well it worked before, and thus an improvement or slowdown in service will be shown via those metrics. Sales suffer from much the same problem. If you don’t measure, how do you know how well you’re doing?

There are multiple systems to help with tracking these kind of metrics, and generally fit into the category of "Customer Relationship Management", or CRM.   These tools let you track the various pieces of your business, and tie into your financial metrics systems.    Ultimately, you get insight into the various parts of your business, and let your team manage the parts that are important to them.

Embrace the numbers. They’ll help you drive your car better, and help you drive your business better.