With a relentless focus on productivity, cost drivers and cash flows, clients wish to monitor performance and provide feedback to individuals or teams on a daily basis. However, given the high frequency, this by default cannot be accomplished by "hand held" tools such as spreadsheets.
Our consultants have developed automated reporting tools on varying scales, typically using e-mail, MS Sharepoint or web pages as output channel. Examples include:
- Operations departments in a major shipping company: Daily report detailing the most conspicuous changes on the previous working day, configurable by managers to deliver a personal view or team aggregate (or both). The core functionality was delivered in less than two weeks.
- European postal incumbent: Daily calculation of distribution workload vs hours booked, measured individually (i.e. for each postman/postwoman in the country). The solution incorporates an advanced statistical algorithm to calculate workload as a function of e.g. number and type of products delivered, vehicle, distance, recipient type and route. This project took three months to deliver.
- Quantitative basis for (Lean) "stand-up meetings"
- Increased transparency
- Culture change towards "getting things right the first time"
Example daily report for a dry cargo shipping operations team. Each record represents a change in expected P&L above a predefined threshold, all colour coded. Reports can be configured for the team as a whole or pushed individually to operators.
Visual representation of operations reporting in the context of the daily work cycle. At the time of day with least systems activity, the tool automatically generates the set of reports using an "off-line" version of the relevant enterprise data. The timing is particularly important for global organizations, where there is always someone at work.
Example architecture of the underlying IT solution. Reports are typically pushed to end users, who have no other interaction with the system. In a separate "administrator front-end" the report owner(s) can configure reporting parameters, add new users etc.