Data for Data's Sake: The Danger of Scorecarding

Earlier in the month, I had a chance to listen to a presentation from Colin Walker, Director of Quality at GKN Rockford. For those of you who don't know Colin, he's one of the true practitioner thought leaders in the performance management and supplier quality areas. I'll comment on the main elements of his presentation next week, but I wanted to leave you with a parting thought before the weekend from his first slide. At the beginning of his presentation, Colin flashed a scorecard on the screen showing the following information:

PPM: 22731

On time delivery: 80%

PPV: +1%

Then, he asked the question: what would you do with this supplier? Looking at that information, it would be easy to jump to the conclusion to either parachute in a supplier development team, or more likely, rationalize that supplier out of your portfolio, shifting the spend to a higher quality and more responsive provider. But as Colin put it, "Data as a dual edged sword ... it can be perilous if you follow it blindly." What if, for example, the PPM is rolling versus calendar data (and represents a single poor shipment). And maybe the PPV information does not reflect a 10% rise in steel prices (perhaps the supplier is only choosing to pass along a 1% increase, versus the entire 9%). And what if the delivery data is based on customer expectations that the supplier does not even know exist? In other words, data can sometimes be just as dangerous as a lack of data. Stay tuned for suggestions from Colin on getting the most out of it, while avoiding the wrong paths it can lead an organization down.

Jason Busch

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