When performance is measured, performance improves

Most people recognise the maxim from their business life, but the concept pervades our personal lives too. Consider the Apple Watch and Health app; how many iPhone users have not checked the ‘health app’ to see their step count at least once? Some of us set a personal target and, surprise, surprise, we walk that little bit more.

Yes, there are dedicated apps that will allow you to set targets, get rewards or receive motivational messages along the way, but that goes beyond the simple maxim, the simple principle that: measure, and it will improve.

What you measure will improve

If you weigh yourself once a week, you will probably eat more salads and eat less fast-food at lunchtime. Record on the fridge when your children have done their homework, and it will bring a focus without the need to reward them; the measurement is enough to drive change.

The same is true with product quality. Whether the measure is complaints, CPMU, return rates or customer ratings, potentially aggregated and measured as KPIs against categories or suppliers; whatever you measure will improve.

Sharing performance effects change

The element often lost in the maxim is the need to share information with those that can effect change. For you, it is the health app on your phone reminding you to walk more. For the children, it is the list on the fridge. You need to measure it and share it with the people who can make the change.

And, in the case of store brands, it is the suppliers - the private brand manufacturers of your store brands. Which is why Affinity™ is so successful in helping store brand teams to reduce complaints and increase customer satisfaction, and with that store brand sales and penetration.

Accelerate the rate of improvement

There is limited benefit to record complaints and then provide information to the supplier at the end of the week or the end of the month. The principle of ‘measure and it will improve’ is true because the measure is there – front of mind – and it affects both the conscious and unconscious focus. As Pearson’s Law states: “When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported back, the rate of improvement accelerates.”

We see this in so many aspects of private brands. Share KPIs on the product development critical path and more products are launched on time. Share KPIs on compliance and specification accuracy and integrity improves. And one of the most marked improvements is in the area of quality, where to aggregate and share customer feedback is proven to reduce complaints and drive private brand growth.

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James Butcher

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