Make Process Improvement Part of Your Business Culture - Part 2

Posted on in Growth Strategies, Process Improvements

In Part 1 of this two-part series, we talked about what process improvement can mean for your HME business. Now, we'll focus on key performance indicators (KPIs) as guides to prioritizing process improvements. We'll outline rules of thumb for determining KPIs unique to your business and give you practical ways to use them.

"The owner and the senior managers must know the numbers. You must understand the financial performance metrics of your business. We call these 'Key Performance Indicators.'"

–Mike Mallaro, CEO of VGM

Determine Your Business KPIs

Understanding your business's key performance indicators is vital to getting the most value out of your organization's workflow processes.

Do you need to determine the KPIs unique to your business? Scott Gerber, founder of the Young Entrepreneur Council, gathered these tips from a variety of business gurus.

  • Think of your KPIs as a funnel, starting from overarching business priorities, narrowing to teams, and finally to the success of individual team members.
  • KPIs should inspire you to act.
  • Tie KPIs directly to your business goals.
  • Customer satisfaction should be at the heart of the majority of your KPIs. Walk the steps a customer takes while interacting with your business to focus on the experience your company provides.
  • Create a KPI dashboard to monitor trends; edit metrics to include only the most valuable to hone focus.

Getting Mileage Out of KPIs

Once you have identified your KPIs, you can begin a workflow analysis which can be used to plan, prioritize, and extract requirements for your new (or revamped) work process design. 

But what does that look like, exactly?

  1. Understand the KPIs for your business—past, current, trends, and other comparable entities.
    What are the outcomes you're seeking? Where are you now? Where are you headed?
  2. Set target KPIs and track progress over time.
    What processes can you change to reach your target?
  3. Use KPIs as a part of your decision-making process.
    Using quantitative data informs and legitimizes your strategic road map.

In summary, process improvement guards against waste and helps managers develop and document formalized job functions and roles. It takes more than gut feelings and anecdotes to make positive changes to your process. Lean on your KPIs as you seek to make ongoing process improvements part of your business culture.