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  • Writer's pictureIvy Duan

The Importance of Clear and Simple Metrics

Updated: Jul 1

Every company wants to measure its efforts. Doing so enables you to make better decisions and identify challenges. However, the modern landscape of metrics often becomes overly complex during growth and expansion. As a result, you miss insights and waste time trying to quantify every aspect of operations.

The idea is to get back to simple. Jack Welch, former Chairman and CEO of General Electric, famously said, "Don't make the process harder than it is." 

It's easy to do this with measuring performance. When this becomes overly complex, your metrics begin to undermine your business. Focus becomes too narrow, and you get trapped in a cycle of chasing numbers. An objective you care about is customer satisfaction. The origins of measuring this were once straightforward. You would look at definitive signals like survey feedback while also tracking loyalty.

There are now hundreds of ways to measure customer satisfaction, making it overly complex. The explosion of these metrics parallels the rise of data available through touchpoints. 

Companies expanded what they measure to understand customer satisfaction, hoping for further clarity. However, measurements from so many angles, such as NPS (Net Promoter Score), first-response time, first-contact resolution, average ticket time, customer retention rate, and customer lifetime value, can create confusion.

All these metrics essentially measure the same thing, but you’re now in the weeds, losing sight of the basics. Your dashboards become cluttered and unhelpful.

It’s time for a simplicity intervention. How do you do this without losing insights? You’ll need to understand the dynamics of metrics and launch a plan to measure what matters.

The Dynamics of Complex Metrics and Common Obstacles

Metrics are inherently imperfect. As a result, businesses try to add more context and data points to achieve perfection. It’s just not possible for any company to achieve this. You have to accept that metrics are never 100% definitive.

Challenges also arise when metrics evolve into measurements that don’t provide indicators of the success of your objectives. You may gather and analyze lots of data but have problems connecting the dots.

Just because you can measure it doesn't mean you should. In last-mile courier delivery, you have access to lots of data. Yet, this doesn't guarantee that what you track matters. For example, many delivery companies look at the total hours of each courier, assuming it demonstrates productivity or efficiency. In reality, it may tell you little about this because it's too broad. Instead, handling time and total jobs delivered tell you more about how productive an employee is.

Another problem in the metrics category for the last-mile industry is capturing data that gives insights into the courier experience. Many of these workers are young and students, so this could be their first job. They aren’t familiar with the concept of metrics or the actions and behaviors required. You can resolve this by clearly and consistently communicating what you want to measure.

Redundancy can also add complexity to the picture. You may be measuring relatively the same thing with different platforms, which could cause greater confusion if these numbers don’t align.

Understanding the couriers’ perspective and measuring their performance in a simple manner brings intelligence to you and makes workers feel more involved in the company’s success.

Back to the Basics of Metrics

The first part of knocking down the web of metric intricacies is to redefine what you measure. Focus on three to four key metrics to start. The metrics can and should change over time to align with new goals.

Then, you want to break down these areas to measure them by understanding the actions and behaviors of people that influence them. You’ll be defining the metric as a behavioral outcome. The way you get the most accurate information is to measure the actual activities versus a generic metric. In setting up these parameters, you also need to communicate to your workers why measuring their actions is valuable.

Some examples of this approach include:

•          Submitting a weekly schedule to resolve availability challenges

•          Looking at the orders per hour of a courier rather than a broad or intangible

measurement of efficiency

The case study with our customer Just Eat Takeaway provides a real-life story. They implemented our courier engagement platform to support their goals of reducing churn, minimizing unjustified shift cancellations, and improving efficiency. These are very high-level objectives, but our approach to achieving them focuses on a behavioral outcome by measuring things like:

•          Days without shift cancellation

•          Jobs delivered

•          On-time shift starts

These are fundamental metrics that demonstrate their progression toward the goals established. It’s also easy for couriers to use our platform to track these numbers. With the Thrive feature in Tradler, the couriers using Tradler showed improvement in the key metrics listed above.

Tradler Thrive can encourage growth
Thrive feature from Tradler

Last mile delivery efficiency goals improved with Tradler
Efficiency goals improved with Tradler

The Tradler Solution to Simplify Metrics and Improve Their Value

Our SaaS platform makes it easy to measure the metrics that matter regarding employee engagement and performance. Couriers interact with the system to deliver measurements related to:

•          Efficiency: Days without shift cancellation, on-time shift starts, and jobs delivered

•          Engagement and retention: Connection and churn

All the elements of each metric — including description, units, and titles — are available. As you see drops in some of these, you can also coach and redirect couriers to elearnings within the Thrive feature mentioned above.

Actionable Steps to Clear and Simple Measurements

  1. Examine what you’re measuring today and why.

  2. Identify overlap and eliminate overly complex metrics that tell you little about performance.

  3. Use our platform to measure the metrics around three to four goals related to courier efficiency and engagement.

  4. Start measuring and drawing insights.

  5. Revisit your goals regularly to update them.

Metrics can be easier. For this data to be relevant and fair for couriers, focus on the things they have control over. We help you define this during pilot setups.

With a powerful platform like ours, you can keep workers engaged while improving operations. Couriers benefit from measuring themselves too, which means you’re more likely to retain them. 

Start your journey to clearer metrics by contacting us today.

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