Sign Builder December 2019

Page 31



Report Writing for Shop Managers Five steps to help earn trust with your boss!



oo many small business shop managers, general managers, and sales managers run their respective departments without effectively communicating among one another and, more importantly, with the owner. This often leads to rework (“The Real Cost of Shop Work,” April 2018), shortfalls in meeting goals, lackluster performance, and micromanaging. Reporting is often left to bits and pieces of information shared from software data. Rarely is time invested to assess progress, strategize solutions, and plan future action to achieve the desired results—in other words, reactionary leadership and emotional decision-making. A manager’s report is basically your analysis on a certain situation or particular aspect of the business, such as how a sales or production department is doing, trends within the division, as well as past performance that may be helpful in creating strategies and recommendations

for improvement. It also demonstrates you are in command of your responsibilities and builds trust with your comanagers and boss! Indeed management reporting is a crucial aspect in that it helps and assists owners and leaders in various decision-making positions. And with the huge significance and role of your report, it is important to have it be clear, precise, and concise. Here are five pointers that can help you better develop these reports: 1. Determine scope and frequency. Typical reporting periods are either monthly or quarterly (or both). They should not be too vague or general, and they should only include specific points and information that may be helpful to the current situation as well as its future strategies. Formulate questions and goals in order to set the purpose and content of your report. Doing so will help you

know which and what kind of information should be included (in the report) that will convey the health and viability of your department. Sample questions include asking what period of time you should focus on, what data or metrics to include, what trends or anomalies to highlight, what successes you have achieved and why you achieved them, and what obstacles or threats you are currently facing. Meanwhile examples of sample goals include reducing rework by 50 percent, meeting 95 percent delivery promise date, and realizing 50 percent gross profit margin. 2. Create a clear structure. Using a structure helps achieve continuity between the different parts of the report—from the purpose to the main part that includes discussion of business trends and past and present business information to proposed solutions and recommendations.

December 2019

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