Advisor insights from the field

Choosing Smart Numbers (Part 2)

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(Read Part 1.)

Once smart numbers are developed, they need to be properly communicated.  The reporting process is as important as the numbers themselves.  Information cannot inform decisions if not shared in a practical and useful way.  A simple scorecard captures the smart numbers on a daily – or at least weekly – basis.  In addition to providing the current smart number, the scorecard should provide context (for example, the smart numbers for each day that week, the prior six weeks, or the last year).

Who should see the smart number report?  At the very least, the executive team should see the report.  Other managers may benefit from seeing the overall company perspective contained in the smart
numbers report.  Keep in mind, the purpose of the smart numbers is to enable decision makers to react quickly to the current reality.  Anyone who can help the company by knowing the smart numbers should be included in the distribution.

The second insight is a practical tip.  Business conditions change over time, so you should periodically review your smart numbers to ensure they are still applicable and appropriate.  Sometimes a slight modification is required, while other times, one or two of the existing smart numbers may need to be replaced completely.

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