Mangement For Design

Autumn Release

Making Management Reporting Work for Your Business

At Management for Design, we talk to many architecture, engineering and design firms that find management reporting a difficult task. Not only do businesses find it time-consuming, but they find it hard to uncover even the most essential reporting on business performance. These include:

  • Employee productivity
  • Business development costs
  • Company, department/cost centre or client profitability
  • Financial growth
  • Staff and salary growth
  • Employee utilisation
  • Projects delivered on time
  • Budget vs actual costs on projects in real time.

Key performance indicators, as outlined above, provide a meaningful way to measure business growth. If firms don’t take advantage of implementing these often within the daily running of their business they will struggle to control and grow their business. Being able to accurately assess your business is paramount to forecasting and planning for success. If the business management systems aren’t effective for an architecture or engineering business, firms will ultimately struggle to grow. Knowing how to address the problems and improve the effectiveness of management reporting will ensure alignment with your KPIs and will keep you on track for enhanced performance and business growth.

Five signs that management reporting isn’t working

1. Incorrect data

Incorrect data may be entered into your systems for a number of reasons including mis-keyed data or disjointed data communication between various systems. Problems like these can easily be avoided if a single management reporting software is used to obtain and report data.

2. Unavailable data

Storing all collated data in one place by taking advantage of centralised management reporting software is key to ensuring required data is immediately available and reports can be accessed accurately without difficulty.

3. Data duplication and inconsistency

If your business operates from many different data stores and applications, you are at much greater risk of creating duplicate reports. Other negative implications caused by this error can include an increase in the cost of storage and the hours taken by staff to fix duplication errors. Problems like these will impact the running of your business and performance will decline. Data duplication can be avoided by replacing your isolated business systems with a single authoritative enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and taking the time to train staff so they are familiar with the standards expected for data input. If your business uses multiple systems to enter data, inconsistencies can easily occur that ultimately impact the reliability of your information. Staff training, automated data collection and the use of a single ERP system or management reporting software can all help to reduce inconsistencies and enhance the accuracy of your data.

4. Inaccurate results

While it may be tempting to alter metrics to make the business look good, adjusting some metrics in the system can inadvertently have a negative impact on others. How will you know where to look for problems in the business if they aren’t accurately reported? It is important to ensure your statistics present your business performance accurately and that results aren’t tweaked. Business leaders need to be able to act quickly when issues do arise to avert what may otherwise become a disaster if left unnoticed. By reviewing the numbers regularly, setting up system rules to detect data tweaks and establishing a policy of transparent reporting, you can avoid encountering problems and any knock-on effects that inaccurate reports could have on your business.

In summary

The more you grow, the more your business will rely on business systems. The difficulties that many firms experience are directly linked to the systems they have in place. Systems are the key to giving your business an edge on the competition. Ensuring your systems align efficiently with your KPIs is essential in order to assess your business performance and make your life a whole lot easier. Taking the time to get the system right will make a world of difference to the overall success and growth of your firm.

Ready to take you take your business to the next level?

Arrange your complimentary consultation with the aim of assisting you to make the most effective decisions for maximising your business performance.