Having offices in worldwide locations is great – in theory. However, while the amount of business you are attracting may be increasing, your business systems may not be running efficiently. If each of your offices manage their project delivery and reporting in different ways, this makes business growth more difficult. There are ways to align your business systems in a way that meets the local needs of each office, while standardising reporting and KPIs. This is an important factor if you want your multiple business locations to grow together, rather than disparately, as it is essential to have only one version of the truth.
Whether your business is operating multiple child companies, is opening international offices or has recently acquired other global interests, one thing is for sure – you need to align business systems or risk massive problems tracking overall performance. The need for a ‘single version of the truth’ cannot be overstated. Without complete transparency across all of your divisions, managing your business and its processes is all but impossible.
Define global KPIs
Regardless of the local activities, your business has common goals that transcend business units, offices and even global borders. Knowing those goals will form the basis of your business systems deployment.
At this point you are trying to ascertain your global key performance indicators which will likely include:
- Workload backlog
- Workforce utilisation
- Indirect rates
- Proposal win rate
- Days sales outstanding
This video shows that changes to your business systems are best measured with KPIs that look beyond ROI calculation.
Define metric measurements
With the KPIs defined, your business then needs to focus on:
- How these metrics are recorded and calculated.
- How these metrics are disseminated to key stakeholders.
Bear in mind that if you rely on several different platforms for critical business activities, you may find defining and collecting metrics impossible.
Centralise reporting and analysis
In most cases businesses will seriously struggle to gather KPI data from distributed, isolated systems. Even if they can gather the required metrics, chances are that the data will be out-of-date at the point of compilation, rendering it useless for global business growth strategy.
To facilitate strategic growth, your business needs to centralise reporting and analysis into a single system to provide:
- Accurate, timely data.
- Sufficient data for strategic planning.
- Channels for localised application of data and insights.
Align processes and systems
With supporting business systems in place, your organisation then needs to align operations globally. The four major factors of alignment that need to be implemented are:
- Standardised KPIs for every international business unit.
- A master data plan that mirrors systems and operations exactly.
- Centralised reporting that draws KPI data from each region.
- Processes to ensure data is collected in a standardised way across the organisation.
Standardisation of data and processes is key to ensuring you get the maximum ROI on your global investment.
“CEOs hate variance. It’s the enemy. Variance in customer service is bad. Variance in quality is bad. CEOs love processes that are standardised, routinised, predictable. Stamping out variance makes a complex job a bit less complex.” – Marcus Buckingham, author and business consultant.
Achieving global business growth
To ensure your business systems are ready to deliver global growth:
- Define common goals.
- Define your global KPIs.
- Define how metrics will be measured.
- Centralise reporting and analysis functions.
- Standardise global operations and business systems.
Creating a global workforce
For more information about creating a global workforce and the business systems needed to succeed, download: Planning a new ERP implementation – Your How-to Guide.