Itâs no secret that in our increasingly competitive, complex industry, weâre either getting better or weâre falling behind. We have to know where we are strong, why, and how to build on those strengths. And we have to know where we are weak, why, and how to aggressively correct those weaknesses. Creating a âprogress scorecardâ will help. Hereâs how it works:
â˘ List essential functions such as client recruitment, retention, and development; communicating company strategy to staff (getting everyone on the same page); executing strategy; and recruiting and retaining essential skills.
â˘ Score progress in each area on a five-point scale, where five is âexcellent,â three is âso-so,â and one is âpoor.â
â˘ Review scores and answer these questions: Where are we making the most progress? Why? How do we keep the momentum going? Where has our progress been so-so at best? How are we going to do better?
Update the scorecard quarterly, if possible, but absolutely no less than annually. Remember, conditions change quickly in our industry these days. The sooner we identify a changeâpositive or negativeâthe sooner we can do something about it.
By the way, participants in AMSP/NAPL/NAQP State of the Industry research recently completed their progress scorecard. Among the key results: Far more are happy with their progress in retaining clients (87.7%) than in capturing a bigger share of the clientâs business (41.0%) or recruiting new clients (35.2%). And just 32.5% are happy with progress in recruiting and retaining sales personnel with the skills our industry now requiresâthe lowest of any of the 11 functions rated. See Printing Business Conditions, volume 15, number 3, which we will be publishing later this month, for complete results.