KPIs for SMEs

by Ross Maynard
access120 days access
cpd hours4 CPD hours

This course will enable you to:

  • Establish the framework and the tools you need for performance analysis and management
  • Understand the most important KPIs for customer performance and employee performance
  • Examine what KPIs are best to measure effectiveness and efficiency
  • Be confident about KPIs to measure financial performance
  • Whittle down your KPIs to the ones that really matter

There are many performance measures available literally hundreds. We call them key performance indicators (KPIs). But they can't all be "key" and they are not all equally useful, especially not to small and medium-sized businesses.

This course is about performance measures that work for micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The emphasis is on KPIs that are easy to measure and understand, yet provide valuable information about the running of the business and its performance.

Getting started with performance analysis

  • Why do we measure performance?
  • What makes a good performance measure?
  • How can variation impact performance?
  • How should we display performance data?
  • What is the Shewhart individuals control chart?
  • How do we collect robust and consistent data?
  • How do we plot data in time order?
  • How do we calculate the natural process limits?
  • How do we analyse the behaviour of a process?
  • How do we deal with variation?

Customer and employee KPIs

  • What are the key KPIs of customer performance?
  • How can we measure customer activity?
  • How do we measure sales within a time period?
  • How might we monitor customer returns?
  • How do we measure the percentage of sales from new products?
  • Which KPIs can we use to measure delivery and quotation performance?
  • How do we measure customer support and satisfaction?
  • What are the key KPIs of employee performance?
  • What does employee turnover indicate?
  • What are the different skills matrix performance measures?
  • How do we measure employee involvement and satisfaction?

Operational and financial KPIs

  • What are the key KPIs of operational performance?
  • How can we monitor processes?
  • What are the three indicators of inventory turnover?
  • How can we measure the quality of products?
  • How can we measure suppliers' delivery performance?
  • What are the key KPIs of financial performance?
  • How do we measure the contribution margin by value stream?
  • How might we measure productivity?
  • What is the acid test ratio?
  • Which KPIs can we use to measure debtors and cash flow?
  • What does interest cover show?

Monitoring and managing performance

  • How many KPIs should SMEs use?
  • What are the principles for monitoring and managing performance?
  • What framework should we use to manage performance?
  • What method should we use to monitor and analyse performance?
  • Which KPIs should we implement first?
  • How important are KPIs?

Ross Maynard is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants. He has worked as a consultant and trainer for over 20 years, specialising in process improvement and lean for finance teams. He has presented at lean conferences in the UK, Australia, Italy and Denmark and has written many articles and blogs on process improvement. These can be found at

Ross is author of "Successful Business Growth in a Week" published by Hodder and Stoughton in 1998.

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