Performance Measures - Operation Strategy
It is common to find that measures are made of operational factors which do not contribute to the winning of orders, whilst key factors remain unmeasured. Schmenner (1994) labels the former as 'false alarms', and the latter as 'gaps'. In a study of the relationships between business goals and performance measures he questioned senior executives of manufacturing firms from around the world.
He found that machine efficiency, labour efficiency and direct cost reduction were heavily used but, typically, they were false alarms. Conversely, the more difficult to obtain measures of such factors as new product introduction and customer satisfaction were gaps, which ... are widely recognised as important, and at least in our survey sample, it is apparent that companies could become better at managing them and that they do not measure them effectively. The fact that any measures used may well have to be non-financial and approximate should not deter us from using them. It is far better to measure the right thing inexactly and in timely fashion than the wrong thing with great precision and well after the fact.