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As part of our collaboration with Lauren Freedman of the e-tailing group, we have put together “A Merchant’s Metrics Playbook,” to guide retailers in their quest to embrace metrics across their organizations. The playbook looks at how merchants integrate metrics into their decision making process. The details of Lauren’s research can be found in the whitepaper.

PLAY #1 – ALIGN GOALS

The first play in the book focuses on goal alignment. You may have heard the author Jim Collins’ saying, “Get the right people on the bus, and then figure out where to drive it.” Similarly, for retailers, gaining company-wide alignment on goals should be a top priority.

PLAY #2  – RUN THE COMPANY LIKE ITS SMALL

The second play in our Merchant’s Metrics Playbook focuses on thinking like a small company. Small companies are nimble and have to be transparent to survive.

PLAY #3  –  MEET REGULARLY: THE MONDAY MEETING AND MORE

The third play in the book focuses on internal communication. The metrics themselves don’t matter if they are not socialized and accepted across the organization. As with so many things in life, sharing has strong benefits to the organization.

PLAY #4  –  STANDARDIZE DEFINITIONS PRIOR TO ANALYSIS

Comparing performance metrics from across your organization is difficult, and becomes even more difficult when everyone is using different definitions. The fourth play in our book focuses on establishing standardized definitions across your organization to help simplify the reporting process and, more importantly, allows for better metrics analysis.

PLAY #5 – FOCUS ON THE ACTION NEEDED BY MOVING BEYOND THE NUMBERS

A detailed metrics report is only worthwhile if it leads to action. The fifth play in our book is focused on the importance of looking beyond the numbers to clearly understand what they mean beneath the surface.

PLAY #6 – EDUCATE INTERNALLY

While there is a cost in gaining detailed information from different sources, retailers are realizing there needs to be a balancing act between cost, education and access. The sixth play in our book highlights the importance of internal team alignment on all touch points under review and how to tie analysis together to reduce complexity.

PLAY #7 – PROVIDE HOLISTIC VIEW OF INFORMATION

Presenting metrics in a holistic fashion allows senior managers to gain a more compressive understanding of the customer. Unfortunately, synthesizing and presenting data from various business units can be a difficult task. The seventh play in our book discusses this challenge and the need to overcome it.

PLAY #8 – INVEST IN DATA WAREHOUSES

While a data warehouse may require upfront capital, the investment will pay off in the form of more accurate and less time consuming report generation. The eighth play in our book discusses the value that merchants receive from data warehouses.

PLAY #9 – DIALOGUE AND DISCUSS

Creating a consistent internal dialogue about the metrics that matter most to your organization will allow for greater understanding and deeper insights. Initiating a discussion about why specific metrics matter is a great way to get the conversation started and will establish a basic foundation of knowledge throughout the whole organization. The ninth play in our book discusses the value of dialogue and discussion around the metrics impacting your organization.