Productivity Best Practice 2: Develop an Action Plan

Productivity Best Practice 2: Develop an Action Plan

In the previous part, we talked about how using your data can be a great best practice to usher in productivity in your business.

As productivity best practice No. 1 detailed, using your data is essential to becoming a more productive organization. But the truth is, you could have all your company’s data at your fingertips, you could have that big data culled down to relevant information, and you could even have all the insight and analytics you’d ever need in order to determine which areas you’re excelling or struggling in, and it wouldn’t make a difference.

See, assessing your business means nothing if you don’t intend to do something with the resultant data. More than just looking at the numbers, nodding your head, then carrying on with business as usual, you need to develop a measurable, strategic action plan that will get you moving in the right direction on your problem areas.

The term “action plan” alone is enough to send most people running for the hills. But it doesn’t have to be this labyrinthine task that fills you and your staff with dread.

All you really need in order to get moving on developing your action plan are the following four things:

  • The data that illustrates your organization’s problem areas, bottlenecks, etc.
  • Tangible actions you can take — ones that have trackable metrics associated with them
  • Something (paper, digital file, etc.) to record those actions on
  • A timeline for getting those things done

Let’s say your data analysis has uncovered that XYZ legacy device, which happens to be in 75 percent of your clients’ environments, has ABC component that is peculiarly prone to failure. Let’s also say that your data analysis has uncovered that, in the past quarter, you’ve dispatched 20 technicians to replace this component, but out of those 20 techs, only 10 have had the replacement part with them when making the service call.

Yikes, right? But with a good action plan, you can pretty quickly turn that frown upside down.

Clearly, your goal is to make sure those techs have the right part on hand when they make their service calls the first time around. That may be just a short-term goal — the long-term goal likely being replacing the XYZ devices containing ABC component with new devices that work – but let’s focus on the short-term goal to start.

Since you haven’t always had the ABC component available the first time around and you’re losing money each and every time you don’t, some tangible actions that can be taken to solve this problem might be to keep an overstock of ABC components in your techs’ service vehicles. Another solution might be to ship said component to the location ahead of a service tech’s arrival as soon as a related diagnosis is made.

There are many other options — some more viable than others — but you get the drift.

Whichever option you decide upon, write down that strategy somewhere, along with how the action’s effectiveness will be gauged and where that associated data will be recorded. A grid of some sort is good for this purpose. For example, you could plan to have four spare ABC components per service vehicle starting January 1, with a check-in and replacement of any used supply scheduled for January 7, 15, 21 and 31. Track how many ABC components have been deployed per week from each vehicle’s surplus.

And since this problem is costing you money, figure out how swiftly you want to remedy the situation with your chosen action plan. For the purpose of illustration, let’s just set a three-month time period in which to achieve a 100 percent first-visit fix rate.

As you go along, checking in on the weekly dates specified, you’ll be able to quite quickly tell if you’ve overshot or undershot your need. Better yet, you’ll be able to adjust quite easily on the fly, getting pretty close to or actually achieving that first-visit fix rate you had in mind. Action plan deployed and completed!

Do you think you can move on to becoming more progressive when you’re not changing anything at all? Find out if you’re right on the next best practice.

Questions? Let’s talk about your use case and see if DashboardFox is a fit.