Modify your MI system – get a Blue Book



In a previous part of life, I was a partner in an accounting firm.


I had a client, way back maybe 10-15 years ago and he taught me all I ever needed to know about KPIs. He had a haulage business and was very successful but the accounting perhaps lagged behind the business’ growth. The firm I was with would periodically turn up to prepare the accounts and after proper enquiry, due process, technical excellence and proper graft, we would present the company’s accounts. Ok, three months after the year end, but not completely useless as a tool for understanding the performance of the business.


So, picture the scene. I walk into, let’s call him Dave’s office and hand him the accounts. He opens them,peruses them briefly…….. and then reaches across his desk and picks up a well-worn, well-used blue, lined exercise book. He flicks it open; pages and pages filled with columns of hand entered numbers. He turns back a few pages, has a quick scan and says “ yes John, your numbers are about right”.


Dave knew his business from the ground up and every day, he strolled through his organisation asking questions and picking up bits of data that he noted down in his Blue Book. Aggregated mileage on all wagons, tonnage shifted, drivers’ hours, trucks off the road. Dave knew his business well enough that on the basis of the data and a few chats on his rounds, he would note down what he reckoned was his profit for the day. And he was spot on; same number for profit that we had produced.  And Dave kept his business ahead of the curve when it came to implementing new ways of doing traditional business.


What does that say about numbers, accounting, entrepreneurs….. being innovative and disruptive?


I think the moral of the tale is that, if you are going to disrupt, know your business from the basement to the roof and keep it simple.  Keep it very current so that you can see change right in front of you; stay nimble. When you are innovating and disrupting, you will often end up with a result different to that which you thought you were driving


But that’s innovation and that’s disruption.


Desap specialises in helping businesses to capture markets through innovation in smart device technology; disrupting consumer engagement; B2C, B2B, C2B. Get in touch if you would like to talk