Everyone knows the old chestnut: what gets measured gets managed. The corollary to that, of course, is that if you are to manage the right things then you have to have effective ways of measuring them.
Easier said than done – and there are always Donald Rumsfeld’s famous “unknown unknowns” to deal with – those things that we don’t know we don’t know.
Examples arise all the time. Clearly, no-one in the aviation industry ever thought it was worth coming up with metrics for safe levels of volcanic ash in the atmosphere – not until the Icelandic volcano erupted a couple last year.
The temptation is to try to measure everything and then try to work out what it all means afterwards. But that is wasteful and inevitably will throw up large amounts of confusing data.
Certainly, there is plenty of evidence that the complexity and scope of global supply chains means measuring performance still remains a challenge for many companies.
It makes sense to focus on the quality of metrics rather than quantity for effective performance measurement and improvement.
But how do you go about that? How do specific strategies stack up and what are the pitfalls? Ultimately, good metrics require people, tools and processes right across the enterprise taking into account company strategy to show meaningful performance.
Avery Dennison has done a lot of work in this area and Michel Schuetz, vice president operations & supply chain – materials operations Europe, is well placed to offer some insights. Look out for his session at ESC Brussels in November.
You can find full details of the conference at: www.esc-bru.com