When faced with a big ‘ole pile of information there are only two options: cringe and run for the hills or dive right in to a more productive and cost-effective future for your business. If you choose door number two, read on for five ways to make the most of the data you’ve collected and use it to gain clarity in decision-making moving forward.
1. Have a plan. Before you even start collecting data, have a good idea about what problems or issues you want to solve or which areas you think could use some massaging. Find out what data is important to each department and the best way to present it to them. Reach outside your circle to colleagues and industry partners to find out what they are collecting and why. Do their practices apply to your business model?
2. Focus on process and productivity. Look for ways to implement technology, automate tasks, streamline workflow, or optimize your workforce’s movements and tasks. Is there a more efficient way to lay out your materials or equipment? Does assigning trucks and loading bays to orders make deliveries more productive? Does building component assemblies save time and money? Look beyond straight costs for ways to make the most of your logistics and human power.
3. Consider safety. Real time data on employee movement, fabrication, deliveries, and loading trucks can help optimize your shop layout for better ergonomics and workflow and thus better safety.
4. Review your bids. The more complete and relevant data you have on the bid and actual job costs, the more accurate your bid comparisons can be. Moving forward with good data improves your ability to bid, which means more cost-effective jobs while strengthening your reputation as a company who delivers on time, on budget, and with the quality you promised.
5. Make sure your software performs. The best way to get the most from your data is to have robust options when it comes to what you collect, how to and who can access it, and whether you have support in how to analyze it. Choose a cloud-based platform that collects data in real time and offers proven customer support.
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