Companies use flash reports to communicate key performance indicators (“KPIs”) on a recurring basis to upper management. The flash report is often given on a weekly basis, as the data and information is intended to fill the gaps between the more detailed monthly or quarterly business reports compiled by a company. Flash reports are only a subset of a status report, and as such their template will be heavily influenced by the content requested by management. This means you can build your flash report template directly from the daily and weekly reporting structure used to collect recurring employee status reports.
Flash Report Template Basics
Flash reports are intended to provide management with a snapshot of company performance and health. This snapshot can be derived within StatusPath from the first status Field, which explicitly asks employees to report on what they have accomplished during the previous day or week. It’s in this status Field that employees will publish the most important KPIs related to their job functions. For example, a sales lead might report on revenue forecasted against quota, number of demos set up, total revenue, etc. An accounting professional might report KPI’s such as cash balance, total accounts receivable, days to bill, and days payable. By pinning the desired data from each status report to your home page view, your flash report template will be begin to form.
Another option you have is to customize a status Board by making a Field line up with the flash report concept, and removing all other Fields from the Board. This will provide upper management with the snapshot approach, but it’s limiting in that it loses the related perspective and upcoming plans that accompany a comprehensive employee status report.
It is common to see the following focus areas impact the presentation of the flash report and the construction of its template: Sales, Accounting, Product Development, Marketing, and Human Resources.
Flash Report Content
An effective flash report offers a concise, easily-interpreted view of a company’s position, both financially and in the marketplace. To gain such a view, it’s important to look at key indicators across multiple departments. As mentioned above, you can easily pin KPI graphs and related data to your homepage, thus creating your own flash report template and view. Here are some commonly utilized KPIs, and their related functional areas, that you should be focusing on to create your flash report:
# of calls made
# of demos given
Gross profit margin
Operating profit margin
- Human Resources
% days lost to sickness
Average staff retention
Applications to vacancies
Hours training per employee
In the StatusPath application, you will find a exhaustive set of KPIs for your consideration, along with the ability to add your own KPIs to the system. Since every business measures it’s well-being through a different lens, it’s important you collect and track the metrics most important to your business.
Flash Report Frequency
Remember, flash reports are intended to represent snapshots in time that allow CEO’s, GM’s and business leaders to quickly gauge their company’s current condition. We recommend that flash reports be compiled as often as the company looks for employees to submit status reports. Why? Because as we mentioned above, every status report contains flash report content, and there’s no reason a company should burden the staff with duplicate effort. Hence, if your team communicates status on a weekly basis, just pull your flash report directly from the submitted data.
Flash Report Audience
Knowing your audience is critical for any report, particularly your flash reports. When you build your template and collect your content, keep in mind your audience and their particular needs. If you’re creating flash reports for the VP of Sales, make sure you collect all of the sales, account services, and marketing KPIs that most directly impact her business of acquiring new customers. When you’re developing a flash report for a GM, CEO, or other executive who oversees multiple departments, it’s critical to address key metrics from every department in the company.
StatusPath helps companies set, track, and achieve goals and objectives through an integrated status reporting experience. Start collecting status, meeting objectives, and viewing your business like never before – it only takes a minute to set up. Try it now!