Lessons from Office Depot on Measuring the Metrics that Matter to Your Building Products Organization

“The metrics you measure are the metrics you manage.” We’ve all heard that phrase a hundred times before, but when’s the last time your organization really thought about what’s being measured, and what each measure means for the business?

The past 4-5 years have brought dramatic change to all of us in the building industry and that means the metrics we measure should change as well. Below, you’ll read about a large retailer that encountered a similar challenge, and how they dealt with it. Perhaps the lessons they learned will spark a question or two for you to consider.

Office Depot thought they were doing the right things to measure the ongoing performance of their retail locations, but their President quickly realized how wrong that assumption was.

In a recent article from the Harvard Business Review, Kevin Peters, Office Depot president, detailed how the management team was struggling with understanding their sales decline, which was even steeper than their competition’s. Their customer service scores, measured through a third-party mystery shopper program, were consistently strong.

It wasn’t until Peters went out to over 70 stores to do his own mystery shopper investigation that he realized the problem – they were measuring things that, ultimately, meant little to their customers.

Even worse, measuring those things meant Office Depot employees were concentrating their time on work that did not ultimately make a difference to the customers. This research led Peters to 3 insights, which resulted in dramatic changes in their culture and operations that, so far, appear to be making a tremendous difference in results for the company.

Spend some thinking and considering: is your organization measuring the metrics that matter or are you just measuring the same things you’ve always done?

 

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