Monitoring your company’s vital signs? — Business Management Daily: Free Reports on Human Resources, Employment Law, Office Management, Office Communication, Office Technology and Small Business Tax Business Management Daily

Monitoring your company’s vital signs?

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Identifying and monitoring key data from within your company can net you valuable dividends: You gain the ability to spot problems early on, and you have time to respond when a snag occurs.

Some candidates for monitoring—such as raw sales data—are obvious. Others— including percentage of return customers or quality defects—are not.

Here are four steps you or your right-hand manager can take to check on your company’s health:

1. Develop six or seven vital signs to focus on. What quantifiable data can best tell you where your company stands? Determine which pieces of data are meaningful, and strive to correlate different figures that can help you assess the situation.

2. Establish the most efficient way to gather data. All information should be current, and you should get to know those employees closest to the data that you need.

3. Determine how often you need to track the vital signs. This largely will depend on the data’s availability and nature. Example: Three-day averages may prove more valuable than checking in daily.

4. Revise your list of vital signs regularly. Rethink your information needs as your situation changes.

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