2015 14th Annual Law Firm COO & CFO Conference

Do You Want to Avoid a Fire? Dashboards are the Answer

yangin-alarm-sistemleri-2For years, people have sought the crystal ball. A way to somehow sniff out disaster before it occurs. The ability to possess this knowledge gives a leveraged advantage to those that have it. Clearly, if you knew things before they happened you could make decisions to avoid disaster. Sometimes those decisions are life changing. Consider how the simple design of the smoke detector has changed lives. Before the smoke detector, the common man knew little about fire prevention. A select few could come to your home, look around, and be on their merry way after delivering you the information. Now, look at the statistics below to see how the common man’s use of the smoke detector changed your safety.

  • Three out of five home fire deaths result from fires in properties without working smoke detectors
  • More than one-third (37 percent) of home fire deaths result from fires in which no smoke detection are present.
  • The risk of dying in a home fire is cut in half in homes with working smoke detection.

You own a house. And in that house are multiple smoke detectors, decorating the walls and ceilings of random rooms awaiting the rare instance that your house does go up in flames. These smoke detectors do just that, detect the smoke before the fire so that you and your family get out safe. It wouldn’t be beneficial if your house were on fire, burning to the ground and suddenly and alarm goes off telling you there’s a fire. I think at that point we’d already know.

The CEO of any sized company doesn’t know IT jargon, nor can he spend the time needed to look at loads of spreadsheets and discover what is going on. When a CEO of any sized organization looks at information about the progress of their company, one thought is on his or her mind “What can I do to make us more profitable?” Fixing mistakes discovering where you went wrong is the first step to answering that question. It’s not really beneficial to know all the good you’ve done. Boosting company morale is great, but when there is red in your charts on your dashboard, and metrics show your competition is surpassing you, you know you have to stop it immediately.

Enter Dashboards. The crystal ball for your corporation. Complete with graphs and charts that represent your data. The number one reason to implement data visualization in 2015 was demand from executive leadership for self-service analysis. “Data visualization becomes a critical enabler for disseminating insights to senior leaders who may not have the technical ability, or frankly the time, to customize reports or analyze data in Excel” (Gleansight Benchmark Report 2015). You can use dashboards to visualize performance, but the real value is using them to detect the smoke in your organization. We seek the crystal ball, but those without dashboards cannot see disaster coming before it strikes. Their “house” is exposed to an environment consistently described as “putting out fires.”

Consider the following facts that are directly related to dashboard ownership:

  • Better decision making – Simplistic views and revenue streams provide immediate insight to pivot your corporations quickly
  • Revenue Growth – By being able to visualize your stream by relevant segment (i.e. Region, department, product, sku, etc..) changes can be made to enhance further growth in faster growing areas.
  • Improved Operational Efficiency – The knowledge to know where and why we are losing profitability can be known before it’s too late. (See the Smoke Detector Concept above)
  • Enhanced Customer Service – Value added services through visualization for your customer base. This allows your customer to make better decisions with you as their vendor!

If you knew this detection or crystal ball existed for your corporate “house”, then why wouldn’t you own it?

Smoke detectors save lives andyangin-alarm-sistemleri-2 they save homes. Their purchase has become a no brainer in the personal residence industry. They are a proven tool for detecting issues before they occur.

In the corporate world, the same critical detection exists today with Dashboards. Everyone can use them, everyone can gain from their on-demand, visually stimulating, and easy-to-use interfaces. Therefore, the question can no longer be, why do I need it? But instead should become do I need 1 for every office?

The corporate life you save today may be your own! Remember where there is smoke there is fire!

Article originally appeared on Smartceo.com

 

5 KPIs your Professional Service Firm must measure!

imagesService Performance Insight (SPI) is a global research organization dedicated to helping professional services organizations. Architecture, engineer, law firms and other professional services organizations are always dealing with a variety of different clients as well as trying to stay competitive and remain profitable.

SPI has analyzed many aspects of the professional services industry and identified “the profit-centric measures with the highest correlation to financial success in Professional Services Organizations”

After research conducted in 2014 showed growth of 10% or more for three consecutive years, SPI predicts that 2015 will have been, and continue to be a very strong year financially for Professional Services Organizations. Given this research and information, Compudata has posted the top five key performance indicators for driving that financial success:

  1. Annual Revenue per Billable Consultant: “SPI Research considers revenue per billable consultant to be one of the most important KPIs, but it must be viewed in conjunction with labor cost. Revenue per billable consultant shouldminimally equal one- to two-times the fully loaded cost of the consultant.”
  2. Annual Revenue per Employee: “Revenue per employee is a powerful indicator of the overall profitability of the firm because if the average cost per employee is known, profit can be estimated representing the difference in cost per employee and overall revenue per employee.”
  3. Billable Utilization: “Utilization is consistently the most measured key performance indicator but must be examined in conjunction with overall revenue and profit per person along with leading indicators like backlog and size of the sales pipeline to become truly meaningful.”
  4. Project Overrun: “This KPI is important because anytime a project goes over budget in either time or cost; it cuts directly into the PSO’s profitability.”
  5. Profit Margin: “Project margin is the percentage of revenue which remains after paying for the direct costs of delivering a project.The key to any successful professional services organization meeting its financial objectives is the management of all revenue and cost information.”

There is more information about Professional Service Organization’s popular trends and also biggest challenges hereThere are always obstacles and challenges when running an organization, but for now we can be sure that these five KPIs, and the focus on the correct financial metrics, will give you an advantage over competition.

Budgeting Tips for CEOs

video.yahoofinance.com@51b6e7b0-36c1-3fc1-9616-cd99aeae36b4_FULLBudgeting season is among us, and that can be stressful for any employee–especially CEOs. Given that the CEO has their hand in all aspects of their business, budgeting for the year can be another added stress and an even heavier work load. But the CEO of any company needs to rid themselves of that added work in order to focus on what’s important, the future of the company and meeting the goals that get them there. As a CEO, confidence in these goals is key. Here are a few tips for CEOs trom Truesky to ensure that you reach them.

 

1. Define objectives: No matter how amazing the plan, goals need to be put in place. Defining clear, attainable goals will bring the company together, motivate employees and bring you one step closer to surpassing competition.

2. Involve your team: As the CEO, having a hand in everything may seem best, but it’s teamwork that will carry you through to the end of your plan and beyond.

3. Plan & Strategize: Plan for multiple scenarios so that you are always prepared and know how to adapt and make changes in any given circumstance.

4. Account for everything: Every piece of data and information is important! Having a solid budgeting and forecasting system will make keeping this data together seem like a breeze.

5. Make cash flow targets AND profit targets: “Every budget should have profit targets and cash flow targets, because the two bottom line measures are very different and they require different kinds of attention to control them.”

6. Forecast and re-forecast: predictions need to be constantly reevaluated because changes through the year, that you couldn’t predict, will always happen.

7. Most of all, use the right tools!: It’s impossible to succeed in everything mentioned above without the right tools. “When you’re growing your business, it is crucial to maintain financial parameters and targets every step of the way. By setting goals, involving knowledgeable people in the process, developing flexible plans, and keeping your tools up to date, budgeting and forecasting should be as seamless as possible. Even though life throws its curveballs from time to time, following these tips will help ensure that you and your company are prepared to tackle anything and emerge victorious in your industry.”