If you don’t know the score you can’t play the game.
My dad was my coach and mentor when I started my first business in 1969. He loaned me $20,000 and coached me on the numbers so I could pay it back. It took me about 4 years, but it was worth an MBA. I would have to have all my financials by the 5th of the month and we would sit down and look at the numbers every way known to man. When we “computerized” in 1978, we stretched VisaCalc to the limits. With only 48k of RAM in our TRS 80 Model 1’s that wasn’t very far. I had one sales report that ran from Friday night to Monday morning – if it didn’t storm or the computer didn’t reboot. One of my fondest memories was when Lotus 1-2-3 came out in the 80’s and dad and I took a class together to learn how to use it. The computer became my best friend. We looked at the score all of the time. We added metrics to help us understand what was driving the numbers and how to improve them.
Static spreadsheets, as good as they are, are no match to dynamic computer generated reports and dashboards. We became obsessed with reports. We drove my poor sister Jane (the “Ja”in JaRay) crazy writing reports. In order to get good reports, we needed more fields to report. We added “Callbacks” – free job reports. Of course then we had to add variables to define what a “free” or no charge job was. Was it a case where the tech screwed up and we had to do it over under warranty; was it a continued job without a ticket; was it to gather information for a bid; did one tech do the job for another or did they do their own callback; were multiple techs involved, etc. Did we pay a commission or incentive? At last count, there are over 90,000 variables defined over the last 30 years and an almost infinite number of reports depending on how you run them – commercial vs residential, by work done, employee, customer, customer type, sales volume, job counts – shared jobs, bid jobs, free jobs, “won” jobs, media campaign, phone ordered, landing page ordered, preventative maintenance, production time vs driving time, overtime – you get the picture. They enable you to know what types of jobs drive the most profitability, compare work across branches and companies and know best practices. The more integrated products (GPS, Phones, RealTime Forms, M2M, etc.) you use from Famhost, the more valuable your dashboards will become.
We want you to know what is driving your profit and alert you to trends (good and bad) that might sneak up on you. All JaRay users have Famalytics as part of your system. What you do with it and what data you want is up to you, but this is an incredibly powerful tool. It comes with some standard graphs and metrics and you can set up different dashboards for your different users depending on what is critical for how you want to run your business. If you would like us to design special dashboards for you or your managers, just let us know. There is a fee for professional services to design your graphs if you don’t want to do it yourself, but sometimes that is cheaper than doing it yourself. Then you have your dynamic dashboards the way you want them. Your personal dashboard has what you need for your eyes only “Just the facts, ma’am – Joe Friday” without requiring you to sift through mountains of reports waiting for someone to run the numbers for you. Sometimes when you depend on other people to give you information, the numbers tend to get skewed or filtered – but that is another blog.