How to Use the Service Balanced Scorecard GLACIER?
We think that all companies need effective tools for measuring and predicting their business performance. The balanced scorecard provides a great set of performance management tools applicable to any enterprise. It’s a structured dashboard that can be used to track staff activities and to measure the results from their actions, within their control. It’s up to you and your team to determine how you’re going to measure the areas you want to improve.
We think that everyone should start with things that are easy to remember and apply. The balanced scorecard system is based on the Six Sigma Business Scorecard; it’s just adapted for service firms. But before you begin drawing up your areas and metrics, ask yourself these questions:
- 1. What are you going to measure?
- 2. How are you going to measure these things?
- 3. What is your response to the information your metrics will produce?
Basically, there are seven elements that form the word ‘GLACIER’ that you need to concern yourself with when using this system. Keep in mind that it’s all right for your company to excel in only one or a few. The balanced scorecard is just that, something that should be balanced that something isn’t so bad:
1. Growth. In a service firm, growth is determined by how your clients want your services. We think that growth lets you offer new services and packages. You can measure growth by looking at the revenue earned from the new services as a percentage of total company revenue.
2. Leadership. People making good decisions for the business and at the same time motivate their staff to perform at their best for clients. Service firms need the best leaders, and it’s easy to see the effects of leadership in return on equity.
3. Acceleration. Where growth is all about new offerings, acceleration is how your company improves its performance and solves problems. To keep a balanced scorecard, it’s important that you make sure all your company units work together at the same pace on every problem and issue. Acceleration should also consider how easily you and your company adapts to changes and enact change.
4. Collaboration. One great way to measure collaboration is how Walmart does its inventory management and how it involved its suppliers. They don’t seek to control everything, but provide tools for their partners to reach their goals. They gave their suppliers a portal to monitor, input and handle shipments. It’s important for people to learn how to work with all the company units.
5. Innovation. This area in the balanced scorecard goes hand-in-hand with collaboration. You can’t innovate all by yourself. Measure your service firm’s innovation by looking at its ‘human capital’. Determine the amount of good ideas, work attitudes, capabilities, creativity and productivity you enjoy within the firm. New service offerings are also clear indicators of innovation.
6. Execution. Six Sigma and ISO 9000 are great ways for you to measure how good your services are executed with your clients. Your customers want quality services delivered efficiently, cost-effectively and courteously. Think of your service firm as a grand theatre production where everyone must play their part flawlessly to gain a perfect score.
7. Retention. Your customers have to come back. If they don’t, that means you didn’t do your job. It’s very easy to measure this for your balanced scorecard but in the end it’s the most difficult to achieve. Your staff need not only deliver the services, they have to be accommodating, courteous and pro-active. Customer satisfaction can be an indicator here, but repeat customer are the best.
How do you implement the complete balanced scorecard?
Just like any Six Sigma initiative, keeping the balanced scorecard is going to be a constant effort. You need to plan and determine the right metrics. Your metrics always have to be aligned with your company goals and what you want to excel at. Your employees should be trained and always aware that there is a balanced scorecard that they have to do well on.
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Here is an other article on balanced scorecard