shipped of $24,000. From this, the WPR projects year-end revenue based
on that average.
The WPR also tracks results as operations improve. So if the shop increases the weekly-dollars-shipped average to $25,000, the WPR projects
the increase in year-end revenue. For instance, as shown in Figure 3, revenue would increase from $1,248,000 to $1,300,000.
To construct your WPR, first assemble your key people and talk through
what would be important to measure and why. The basic idea is to select
those measures that best represent the health of your business. Involving
people has a side benefit: You educate them more fully about what is
important in the business (see Figure 4). Metrics are not necessarily fixed.
Once you have selected the metrics and programmed the spreadsheet,
you can implement the WPR as a routine in your organization. It’s less
complicated than it looks.
Using the WPR boils down to a five-step weekly cycle:
1. Input data. One person is given the task of publishing the WPR. That
person typically collects and inputs data on Monday morning. The information comes from agents in the various departments who are closest to
the data, as well as from the company’s computer system.
2. Publish and distribute. The publisher inputs the data and updates
the report, which is then distributed to key people.
3. Discuss results. That afternoon, key people meet to review the report’s data and trends. Based on this information, they determine whether any actions need to be taken to drive improvement or solve problems.
4. Assign action items. The assignments are logged and past entries
are reviewed for progress in the action log.
5. Take action. Results are monitored and tracked in the WPR.
The WPR shouldn’t be difficult to integrate into your organization. For
instance, agents from sales, engineering, preproduction, shipping, and
other departments could report weekly numbers on Monday morning,
and the report would be released and distributed by lunchtime. Managers
meet that afternoon, review the data, and determine a plan of action. Results are reported the following Monday, and the cycle continues.
The discipline of the WPR keeps management focused on the overall business process (see Figure 5). It enables problem-solving before
things get out of hand. And it makes performance visible, which has a
certain motivational effect on those being measured.
Old Idea, New Application
The WPR is not a new idea. It is a well-established tool in both job shops and
production shops, although production operations use different metrics.
When you make the WPR a routine in your shop, you will manage the process more effectively and ultimately drive significant improvement.
Vincent Bozzone is president of Delta Dynamics Inc., 248-961-1380, firstname.lastname@example.org,
» Figure 5
Implemented correctly, the WPR becomes a management routine and feedback cycle.
The Machine Uptime Misnomer
The weekly performance report (WPR) is effective only if it includes metrics that
measure overall business success. For instance, in a job shop, dollars shipped over
a specific time (per hour, per day, etc.) really matters; machine uptime usually does
not. Not all machines in a job shop are production machines but are critical to have
when they are needed—like, say, a broach or a saw.
Sure, stellar machine uptime can be a sign that you are indeed shipping more
parts (dollars) out the door. But what if average machine uptime goes down and
average dollars shipped stays steady or even goes up? That might mean you’ve
just increased your available capacity, which means you’ve given your shop more
to sell. Or it might mean that the orders shipped over a certain period simply had
a higher price or higher volumes, or perhaps the orders had unusual routings
that sent orders to some machines but not others.
The point is that machine uptime really doesn’t indicate overall business success in a job shop. Of course, poor machine uptime can cause a key metric, like
dollars shipped per hour, to go down. If that occurs, the WPR reveals the problem and managers meet to discuss corrective actions, one of which might be
streamlining changeover on a machine to keep orders flowing. The machine uptime percentage happens to rise, but the rising dollars shipped per hour is the
true measure of success.
» Figure 4
A WPR for a precision job shop might track these metrics. Note that the metrics you
track weekly aren’t set in stone. You can eliminate some and add new ones as needed.
Total Hours Paid:
Total Payroll Dollars
Number of Customers Contacted
Number of RFQs Received
RFQs Not Quoted
Time and Materials (T&M) Orders Shipped
Quoted Orders Shipped
Total Orders Shipped
T&M to Total Sales
Order Backlog Dollars
Dollars Shipped/Hour Paid
Dollars Lost Actual Cost Over Price
Jobs Shipped Late
Lead Time Days