inGauge Weekly Benchmarking Update – 09/09/2016
This is your inGauge Weekly Benchmarking Update for the week of 9/05/16 – 9/11/16.
111 unique Motor Carriers (139 when you include sub-profiles)
59 Dry Van (Truckload)
37 Refrigerated (Truckload)
14 Flatbed / Open Deck (Truckload)
2 Specialized (Truckload)
Currently we have over 54 trucking companies in the onboarding process or strongly considering participation, this is the highest number of prospective participants in our history – the more companies that join inGauge the more relevant and credible the data and benchmarks become.
The value of inGauge grows in conjunction with the size and diversity of our population. If you know anyone that could benefit from utilizing inGauge, we would greatly appreciate the referral. If the referred company becomes an inGauge customer, we will waive your monthly subscription fees for two months!
The inGauge Process – In Summary
In addition to the ten inGauge tutorial videos that are located within your inGauge Knowledge Library. We have been asked to summarize the inGauge process based on current functionality, with intended results. Below is a high level overview of the steps we suggest each company follows to get the most use of inGauge, which will also form the basis for an upcoming tutorial video:
Step 1: Review Dashboard Results
Once you have completed and uploaded your first data survey, your results will be automatically calculated and displayed on each of the dashboards. Your next step is to review these results. For your first couple uploads, it is common to identify things that don’t appear to comply with your internal calculations. Based on extensive testing, these issues are normally related to: 1) Incorrect data in one of the line items submitted; 2) Misunderstanding of the formulas and components of the metric. To address these two issues, please ensure you have downloaded the most current version of the data survey template, including the data point description contained therein.
As a reminder, the External Dashboard displays the six-month rolling average for your results and those of your chosen peer group, while maintaining a 90 Day lag as per Antitrust regulations. Conversely, the Internal Dashboard displays the six month rolling average for your results as of the most recent data survey completed (As an example, if you have submitted your July or August results, the calculations will include those values). The Internal Dashboard only utilizes your data, and plots your performance versus the goals (see Step 4 below) you establish for each metric.
If you belong to a Best Practice Group, you also have access to a separate (non anonymous) BPG Dashboard. There are two ‘views’: 1) Specific Month; and 2) Trending.
Step 2: Review/Modify your Comparative Peer Group
Your results displayed on the External Dashboard are relative to the Peer group you are comparing yourself to. For these results to be credible to your operation, it is important that you make the correct adjustments to your ‘Population Filter’ to display your performance versus a peer group, which is reflective of your operating and geographic attributes.
Within the population filter area, you are able to use eight distinct filters to apply to your peer group (nine if you are a BPG member). As a reminder, these filters are cumulative and multiple criteria can be selected within each category. Once you have click ‘submit’, when you return to the External Dashboard, the results displayed will be reflective of this new peer group (and the number of companies will be displayed at the top of the dashboard).
* Please note, if the population of your chosen peer group falls below five motor carriers, the results will not be displayed (according to TCA Antitrust Safeguards). You will simply need to ‘remove’ one or more of the criteria selected.
Step 3: Add Subusers
One of the main goals of inGauge is not only to demonstrate the value of benchmarking to as many North American motor carriers, it is also to expose as many People within those companies to the value of benchmarking and strategic management. As such, we allow (as part of your subscription) you to add as many ‘subusers’ as you wish to your profile.
Based on the permissions set by the Primary user, you can rapidly add your colleagues to your inGauge profile, which distinct credentials and ‘custom views’. To add a subuser, simply go to ‘Profile Management’ and then ‘Add Subuser Profile’. Once you have entered the required user info and set the metrics to be displayed, simply click ‘submit’ and send the credentials via subuser management area.
Step 4 – Set Goals for Each Metric (EPI)
After setting up the desired number of subusers (our record is current 62) within your company, next step is to review the results collectively, and based on the feedback, the external benchmarks and the realities of the market, set numeric goals for some or all of your metrics.
To add goals, simply go to ‘Internal Dashboard’ and click on the ‘Empty’ (if you haven’t already entered a goal) field directly below each gauge. A small box will open up and allow you to enter a numeric goal that you wish to achieve. Currently, this goal is static until changed, however, in the coming months you will have the option of setting distinct numeric goals for each fiscal month. Further, the new ‘trending’ graph (line chart) will be reflective of these values within the Internal Dashboard.
Step 5 – Set Action Items to Improve
Improvement rarely occurs as a result of a passive management approach. Because of this, we provide a feature which allows you to set specific Action Items for each metric. Action Items are tasks, projects and steps you are taking to improve on a given metric.
With this feature, you’re able to add these Action Items to inGauge, set deadlines and assign accountability to specific users. Further, in the near term you will be able to:
- Create sub-tasks within each action item
- Set notifications/comments for each action item
- Upload documents and other media related to the action item
- Add ‘wildcard’ action items – Action Items that are not linked to a specific metric
- A new distinct Action Item interface to manage/edit/sort your action items
- The goal of Action Items is to apply an organized and strategic process to improve everyday.
Step 6: Review and Repeat
Every month, we are adding new metrics, and as a result, new data points. Please ensure you review the latest data survey within inGauge prior to your next upload. Although none of the datapoints are mandatory, you are unable to view the comparative benchmarks for the new metrics unless you provide data yourself.
Leading Indicators – Version 2
Over the past four months, many users have utilized the Leading Indicators Dashboard. The purpose of this dashboard is to allow susbcribers to track weekly performance (Current Week and Trending) for key indicators which are crucial to their respective businesses. Although useful in many cases, inGauge users have identified key features/improvements required for Version 2. Instead of describing the new features and improvements of Version 2 in this email, please download our Version 2 – Project Summary.
If you have any additional features to add, please email or call me (now is the time to provide your input!)
Launch of Version 1.6!
As mentioned last week, we have launched inGauge Version 1.6. We have very positive feedback so far (and have identified a couple minor bugs – which we have or are in the process of fixing). As a summary for those who were on vacation last week, here are the changes:
- Dashboard Loading Speed – As a result of server caching techniques, the loading times for each dashboard has improved by over 90%. Depending on your internet connection, all dashboards should load in under three seconds (which exceeds are original goal of four seconds).
- Action Items (stage 1) – In order to increase awareness and usage of the Action Items feature, we have added an interface directly to the dashboards, which allows primary users to add/edit action items below each linked metric. Further primary users are able assign an action item to a specific subuser, and set a deadline. In the upcoming months, we will be introducing numerous improvements/changes to Action Items to make the process more collaborative among all users. Special thanks to Reta Miller @ Freymiller and Alexis Burns @ Veriha for their feedback and suggestions.
- Goal Tracking – Similar to the new interface for Action Items, we have added a simple interface below each linked metric on the Internal Dashboard to allow primary users to add/edit numeric goals. In the next two weeks, we will be adding a line chart (similar to external dashboard) to visualize your performance (over multiple intervals) versus your goal(s). Further, you will soon have the option of setting goals for each fiscal month.
- New Navigation Toolbar – We have eliminated the bulky navigation toolbar at the top of the screen, in favor of a smaller, and more intuitive navigation toolbar. In the coming months, the menu area (blue area on left hand side) will be eliminated entirely, and replaced with a more functional toolbar, that will improve functionality on all devices.
- Value Formatting – You will now notice we have added comma separation for ‘thousandths’ on all displayed values. Further, all currency related metrics now display ‘$’ in front of them.
- BPG Bar Chart – We have changed the color for the logged-in user from red to yellow.
If you are interested in viewing a full review of all these changes, and the items we are currently working on, please email me with a suitable time and date for a online review.
inGauge: On The Road
Now that summer is coming to a close, the inGauge team is ready to get back on the road to continue to promote the value of benchmarking to the North American Trucking Industry.
- McLeod Software User Conference, San Antonio, TX – (09/18/2016 – 09/20/2016) – We were honored to be invited by our partner McLeod Software. We look forward to seeing all of our users who are using (or will be soon be utilizing) McLeod in their operations.
- South Carolina Trucking Association Board Meeting, Columbia, SC (10/10/2016)
McLeod Software Mapping Feature
Over the past three months, McLeod Software has been developing a custom mapping tool that will allow their users to capture and report the specific data points required to utilize both the inGauge Online Benchmarking Service, as well as participate in the Best Practice Groups. This feature will streamline the data collection and reporting process for all benchmarking participants who are McLeod customers. TCA is pleased to announce that this new partnership has officially entered the testing phase.
TCA is inviting Best Practice Group Members and inGauge online subscribers to participate in testing this new feature. To participate, McLeod customers must be on version 11.0 of their respective McLeod software platform (current version is ’16’). In addition, interested users must be utilizing a fiscal year which follows Calendar months, however your fiscal year does not need to correspond to the calendar year. Further, you must have the ‘statistical accounts feature’ enabled.
If you are interested in learning more, please contact Chris Henry, inGauge Program Manager via email ([email protected]) or via phone (1-888-504-6428).