Rhythm Blog | Alan Gehringer

by Patrick Thean and the Rhythm Team

21 Production KPI Examples to Improve Manufacturing Performance

Alan Gehringer Thu, May 31, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

It is important to grow the top line of your business on an annual basis, but you also need to make sure the bottom line is healthy which can help fund that growth. This is particularly important if you are a manufacturing company. In most cases, the two biggest expenses in your business are labor and raw materials. There are exceptions, of course, in machine intensive automated manufacturing environments, but let’s focus on the former. So how can we make sure the production floor is running at peak performance? One very effective way is to put the right balance of production KPIs in place. Some of these KPIs are leading indicators and some are results. It is good to have both, although I always prefer leading as these drive the results.

Download our free KPI Guide to help you drive results with KPIs.

Here are some of my favorite KPIs that I used when I ran or set up manufacturing companies.

10 Examples of Key Performance Indicators That Drive Sales

Alan Gehringer Mon, May 7, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Driving new sales revenue is a common theme that comes up with the clients I work with. In fact, I can’t think of many companies that have more sales activity than they know what to do with, and most are always looking for ways to (build or grow) their sales pipeline. 

There a lot of variables that go into building a great sales pipeline, and marketing plays a big part in developing marketing qualified leads (MQLs), but another big variable is measuring the right behavior that drives the right results. To do this, we must put the right leading indicators in place. It’s one thing to measure results indicators like Revenue booked, but unless the right activities are taking place, you are not going to hit your targets and your stakeholders are going to be disappointed regardless if they are internal or external. You need to develop the right leading indicators for your sales team.

Five Key Leadership Skills Every Leader Must Master

Alan Gehringer Mon, Apr 16, 2018 @ 09:30 AM

I was going through some materials and came across a file that one of my good friends and mentors had given me in a training session a couple of years ago. It was material developed by Bill Bonnstetter, the Chairman of TTI Performance Systems, Ltd. I am a big fan of TTI and have used their services when hiring and to learn more about myself. The great thing about their approach is that everything is based on real world data that they collect, and they just keep re-validating and improving on the work they do.  

As Lao Tse stated, “He who knows other is learned. He who knows himself is wise.”  I think I am still working on the wise aspect, but I always attempt to learn more about human behavior, leadership and myself. I would like to share some of the key points from Bill’s presentation on leadership.

Stay Ahead of Your Competition with Continuous Improvement Efforts

Alan Gehringer Thu, Apr 12, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

How effective are your continuous improvement efforts? 

I focus a lot of my attention on top-line growth these days, but that by no means undermines the importance of improving what you do. I love cars of all types, especially sports oriented cars and exotic cars, but there is one automaker who is the king of continuous improvement and you probably guessed who it is - Toyota, of course. I have owned many of their autos and currently, have two in the stable along with a little something German. (You do have to infuse a little fun into things, right?) Toyota has created the strongest culture of continuous improvement on the planet. They continue to do what they do better every day, and every employee in the organization owns it. I like to tell the story of visiting their plant in Kentucky several years ago and as we gathered in the lobby to prepare for our tour, the person coordinating us asked us to form two lines and arrange ourselves alphabetically so that she could process us efficiently. I had to smile as these guys get continuous improvement and what most of us call Lean practices today. 

What is the Difference Between a Primary and Secondary Core Customer?

Alan Gehringer Mon, Mar 26, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

I have written previously about the importance of identifying your core customer because I have seen far too many companies waste their valuable time and resources selling to and serving the wrong customers. 

Your core customer is the one who values what you offer at a price and quantity that is good for both you and the customer and will take you into the future successfully. This is the individual that uses the product, the one you look in the eyes and can put a name to and the one you can’t live without. Knowing who the core customer is will impacts sales in a positive manner.

 3 Steps to Identify Your Core Customer [Infographic]

Alan Gehringer Sun, Mar 25, 2018 @ 12:00 PM

Philip Kotler implores us to do a better job of understanding “who” our target customers are and then to deeply please them, rather than trying to please everyone. 

Every company should have a brand promise that it makes to its customers. The promise should differentiate you in your market and support the sales process by making it easier to close deals. The first step in developing your brand promise is to identify your core customer. The better job you do with this step, the more effective your brand promise is going to be.

The 4 Most Common Reasons Revenue Initiatives Fail [Video]

Alan Gehringer Thu, Mar 15, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

You worked hard with your team to develop a winning annual plan. Everyone is optimistic going into the year that this plan is going to produce 20-30 percent annual revenue growth. Unfortunately, 67 percent of plans created fail due to poor execution. It’s a fact that the right strategy is important, but it’s even more important to execute that strategy or it’s all for nothing. Too many well-developed plans fail for 4 common reasons. You don’t need to fail if you avoid these pitfalls.

Download our free Annual Planning Guide to learn how to determine the right  annual initiatives to grow your business.

Here are the 4 most common reasons revenue initiatives fail:

5 Steps to Integrate Your Culture After a Business Acquisition

Alan Gehringer Thu, Feb 15, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

You just completed an acquisition, time to celebrate and break out the champagne. For some companies, acquiring businesses is one of their strategies to drive top line growth. Unfortunately for most companies, acquisitions fail to meet their objectives in the first year if at all. This can also be one of the most difficult ways to grow your business. That said, failure is not imminent if you do the right things to make the acquisition a success. One of these things is to focus on integrating the culture of the new company with the mothership. It sounds easy and straightforward, although integrating cultures is one of the biggest challenges and failure points after an acquisition. It takes a lot of time and effort to do it right. This is one reason that you should do your best to acquire companies that have good alignment with your Core Purpose and Core Values already.

Does Your Company's BHAG Connect to Your Hedgehog?

Alan Gehringer Mon, Jan 29, 2018 @ 08:05 AM

I recently prepared for an annual planning session with a client and one thing the client wanted to work on was their Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). The best way to develop your BHAG is to first discover your Hedgehog. If you have not read much of Jim Collins' work, you may be asking yourself, what does a Hedgehog have to do with my BHAG and long-term goals for the company? The term comes from the famous essay by Isaiah Berlin titled “The Hedgehog and the Fox.” The crux of the story is that the fox is cunning and knows many things while seeing the world in all of its complexity, but the hedgehog knows one big thing and simplifies a complex world into a single organizing idea.

5 Tips to Win and Retain Customers in 2018

Alan Gehringer Thu, Jan 25, 2018 @ 11:00 AM

Customer retention is a routine, where you rinse, repeat, and rise to perfection over time. In 2018, winning new customers and keeping their business is going to get more challenging now that new trends, like enhancing user experience through content and emphatic marketing, are on the rise. Therefore, if you want to win and retain customers in 2018, you are going to have to fine tune or make adjustments to the customer programs you have already implemented. 

Here are 5 tips to help you succeed: 

Know Your Brand

The secret that many companies continue to miss when attracting customers is having a clear vision of what their brand stands for and how it is communicated in the market. You need to know what wins customers over to begin with. To do so, you have to answer the following questions: