You Can Only Expect What You Inspect

A lot of CEOs and business owners are insulated from the ground because they are surrounded by personal assistants, managers, et cetera. So to get a feel of what’s happening on the ground, some of them resort to conducting unannounced visits or using mystery shopping services to find out if their staff is doing what they are supposed to do. That’s why there’s the common management saying, “You can only expect what you inspect.” That’s also why it is important to incorporate KPIs in all of your business systems. As KPIs are based on numbers and facts and figures, it gives people a clear perspective of their performance standards. Just from looking at the KPIs, they can see exactly what they are lacking in if their numbers are not good and they will know exactly how much they have improved when they see their numbers improving. KPIs eliminate the “human emotion” factor as it is an objective point of view and is not based on someone’s personal judgement of whether a job was performed to the standard required. That encourages personal accountability as people know the standards that are expected from them and this in turn, produces consistent performance standards among the staff. When you add the KPI factor into systems, it becomes more specific, reliable and useful.

PestBusters now relies on KPIs to run all aspects of their business because they have found that it has helped them improve their systems tremendously. Thomas shares how he introduced the concept of KPIs into his company’s systems.

“Previously in Secrets To Dominate Your Niche, I mentioned about how some of my technicians resigned when they found out that they would have to learn how to the use the computer and do reports for our clients. But now, things have turned around and now, my technicians actually volunteer to buy their own laptops so that they can do their reports. They have come to enjoy doing the reports because they like putting the photos together and writing up their analysis of how they handled the pest problem. And also because they receive a lot of praises from their clients who are impressed with the professionalism of the reports. I’m telling you this because I want you to know that whenever you set up a new system or make a change in the system, you can expect to meet with resistance. That is a given. A lot of other pest control companies don’t really do that so when I implemented that, the technicians were not happy about having to do something so new and foreign to them that a few of them resigned.

“But I persisted because the reports served many purposes for our company. For one, it provides a historical record, which is important because whenever there is any staff change, we will still know how to handle any problems with our clients. The report works like a medical report. Once you have a medical report, then any other doctor can follow up with your condition just by reading your medical history that is recorded in the report. Then a few years ago, I wanted to compile all these reports and have them translated into useful information so we can derive a set of KPIs. At first my Operations Manager told me she couldn’t do it because she didn’t have the time. So I said I will hire someone to do it but she would have to teach her. They were still reluctant to do it even after I hired the person, but today they can’t do without the KPIs that was created because they have experienced for themselves how it has made things so much easier for them.

“With the KPIs, they can narrow down to the source of the problem immediately just by looking at the bar charts. And from there, they can actually make recommendations to the technicians on what to do. For example, based on the data collected from all our hotel clients and the reports, we can predict that sometime in June, we can expect to see a lot more flies because in the last few year, we had a lot of flies for that same time period. Now we have KPI reports coming in from our operations in all the different countries so we can track their performance. When we notice any difference in performance, we will immediately ask them about it. Let’s say we see a chart from the Philippines that shows a sudden spike in the occurrence of cockroaches for a certain area. Then from our knowledge base, which includes our historical data and technicians’ reports, we will be able to help them by recommending specific solutions. This way, we can oversee performances and provide immediate solutions even though we are not physically there.

“Now every department in my company uses a set of KPI to measure their performance and to ensure that they are improving continuously. Currently we have an IT guy who is helping us colour code all of our KPIs so that we can see at one glance how we are doing. We have assigned three colour codes, red, yellow and green to the KPIs. Red means we are in the danger zone and we need to take immediate action, yellow is a warning that something may be wrong and they need to take action or some preventive measures before it goes into the red zone, and green means everything is okay. We actually print out all of the departments’ colour-coded KPIs and put them up on a notice board for the entire office to see. So if any department sees that another department has a yellow or red code then they can see whether they can step in and offer their assistance. Like for example, if the accounts department shows a red zone for the payments receivables, then the salespeople can help them out by calling their clients to chase for payments. So everybody knows what’s going on in the company and can be proactive in helping each other.”