After a frustrating and unsuccessful experience of contracting the development of two different and costly Key Performance Indicator (KPI) solutions over the past three years, Active Networks Pty Ltd recently found a cloud based product to improve operations in all areas.
Wasting more than $12,000 in implementing programs that just didn’t live up to expectations or offer the capabilities and flexibility required, Stephen Indersmith, CEO of Active Networks had almost abandoned his enduring quest.
A chance meeting with CEO of MAUS Business Systems, Peter Hickey saw the Publisher of three geographically targeted lifestyle titles and an Online Business Directory agree to trial their new Cloud based solution, KPI Dashboard.
While less than optimistic initially, it is now six months later and the business has already achieved significant operational savings of more than $30,000 with increased levels of efficiencies and productivity throughout all departments.
Now a firm advocate of Maus KPI Dashboard , Steve explained, “The business had grown to a point where I needed better management tools that enabled predictive and reactive decision making.
“We produce three magazines a month; Peninsula Living Pittwater, Peninsula Living Manly Warringah, and North Shore Living (and maintain an online directory and an online deals site). With an in house team of 18 and over 150 contract employees, I knew the right solution would be able track all Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) that impact on our day-to-day effectiveness ”.
“The Maus hosted, “pay as you go” Dashboard program is delivered via the internet using “Cloud” based technology. It allows us to easily measure, analyse and identify any positive or negative trends and react accordingly”.
“I can access data remotely to track and monitor all departments and review all achievements along with any existing or potential problems, complaints or issues. I don’t use the Maus system for financial data as we already had a system in place for this.”
“It was up and running within 24 hours, offers great flexibility and all new features are automatically updated with payment via an annual subscription. The individual data allows us all to measure our own performance enabling us to analyse why a problem occurred and how to prevent it happening again or to find opportunities for improvement”.
He added, “The staff were initially a bit wary about us measuring performance so closely, however, we’ve demonstrated that the way Maus has designed the features, it helps them to manage their roles more efficiently. It can also help reduce work load due to less errors and hence rework. Any individual achievements are highlighted and areas of concern addressed to ensure continual improvement”.
In the last four months, we have uncovered savings of over $30K by identifying and understanding trends that impact on the effectiveness of our internal and external teams.
The very first saving we achieved was in the order of $6000. We normally contract local residents to deliver our magazines. However, if there is an area with no delivery person, we may need to pay a resident “Flying Squad” rates to travel to this area and deliver the magazines. This rate is double the normal rate and supposed to be a short term.
“Using the Dashboard, and by graphing the “Number of Flying Squads” we were able to make many changes to reduce these numbers. Almost overnight we were able to cut the numbers by half and make significant savings that will continue each year.
“One of the KPI’s we measure for each magazine is the “average page rate or average revenue per page”. We were able to identify a number of anomalies over the past two years where our average page rate was too low.
“Further analysis verified that there was an opportunity here, and that basically we were publishing a magazine with too many pages. We made some changes to how the magazine is laid out and set a target page rate for each magazine. We expect that by ensuring we achieve the most cost effective page rate every month for every magazine, we’ll save around $24,000 per year
Being able to measure the KPI’s within our sales department has provided us with a range of advantages. The accessible data allows us to gauge our ratio of success versus effort. We measure calls, appointments, sales and service levels. We then use the data to measure conversion ratios allowing individual sales reps to identify their strengths and weaknesses. They are then required to commit to actions to address personal growth.
Steve maintains, “KPI Dashboard has given me peace of mind in the knowledge that I can take a step back from the day-to-day running of the business. The KPI’s tell me what processes are in control and what needs to be looked at. The program allows my staff to take ownership and gives them the data and tools to push responsibilities down the line. It provides a conversation for continuous improvement and importantly, has resulted in significant cost savings already.
I believe Maus Business Systems has been producing a range of business management software for over 20 years, my only regret is that I didn’t discover these solutions earlier.