This year is going to be the year of numbers for us. We’re talking about it, teaching it, selling it, training on it. I’m reminded that at this time, each year, a lot of us are focused on the numbers. We cross the year threshold with hope of what could be if we reach certain metrics, or goals if you will.

 

A lot of us start the new year dreaming of: 

  • losing weight
  • exercising more
  • learning something,
  • saving more,
  • getting more sleep, and
  • stopping bad habits.

All these items could be tracked to a number, although our goals may be different in nature. But you could if you were inclined, track the number of pounds, minutes, dollars, or hours.

As an aside, I’m a big fan of James Clear’s Atomic Habits, and so I’d like to digress for a minute for those of you who are setting goals for the new year. James believes (as do I) that we are an amalgamation of our habits. A goal is a target. If you don’t have the right habit to take you there, the odds are not with you. For instance, if one of my goals is to eat fewer sweets and I have a cookie jar on my kitchen counter, I’m making it too easy for myself to fail.

In the manufacturing world, this looks a lot to me like the huddle rooms we see on plant floors. If you have a habit of recording a specific number for the things you want to track, you will see more success. Just having something to go after is a start. Publicizing it is the real win here. Let me give you an example. Have you ever asked a salesperson to give you the stats on their month and they start telling you about individual opportunities they are working? Would you get a better sense of whether these stories were significant in terms of movement and likely closure if you knew that they usually made 100 calls and 5 bookings a week and this week they were at 80 and 2 versus 90 and 8?

Numbers make a difference. Well, so do habits. I’ll talk about habits throughout this journey, as they play a key role in our ability to get the work done.

 

Learn how visibility can increase your capacity and profit

 

 

We will make it easy

Yes, we build manufacturing software that tells you the numbers you need to know so you are fully aware of how you’re doing. Whether you’ll be profitable. Whether you have the resources to get the work done. Whether jobs will be on time and who’s making that happen. What has gone wrong and why. How you fixed it (or didn’t).

There are so many of you that might not be ready for a system. You might need help today. Your work is going through the roof (or the floor). Your people are showing up (or not). Your jobs are coming in (or aren’t). You need to learn and adjust now and we’re here to help you, too. Whether you’re using QuickBooks, Sage, or NetSuite to tell you how you’re doing as a company, you likely don’t have the right numbers to tell you how you’re doing as a production facility, a factory, or a plant. Those are different numbers entirely.

This is not about the balance sheet or the income statement, although it most certainly is about profit and income. This is about you knowing how your production team is doing. Throughout this year, we’ll give you insights into what numbers you can focus on to know their throughput and what you can do about it as well. Each segment will be broken down into a number to target and why and then what you can do with the information. I’m going to start with a really easy one here.

 

Cash is king

I learned a long time ago that cash is the number one metric. No matter the business. You could be a retail storefront or a process-driven carbon composite manufacturer and you both need cash. Different amounts and in different ways, but you simply can’t survive without it. Cash is the oxygen of the business world. It lets the organization live.

 

Learn more about a data-driven shop

 

Every morning by 9 AM, I get a cash statement for our business. Total cash in the bank minus any loan amounts. Every. Single. Day. A pattern emerges quickly when you do this. You begin to automatically know what you have, what the average is, and how the cash comes in and goes out. This one, single number gives you a definitive view of your business. And it’s a leading indicator – truly important.

Leading indicators are more difficult to track (except this one – easy). While your profit and loss (P&L) and balance sheets are lagging ones – they tell you what has already happened – I truly believe the cash statement alone (nothing more, nothing less) tells you what is possible. Cash opens the ability to spend, to hire, and to purchase. While the actual cash number is a reflection of previous actions, the daily reporting makes it a living, breathing thing that you can use as actionable intel.

 

I'D LIKE TO SEE QUANTUM

 

We’ll learn more about this next week and what you can do with it to make it really meaningful. Until then, feel free to drop us a note at info@cimx.com with any questions you may have about how Quantum can give you the data you need to actively meet your goals.  We look forward to meeting you.

Contact CIMx Software to see how a Manufacturing Execution System can improve production control for you.

 

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