Have you ever heard the corporate phrase "eating our own dog food"? It doesn't sound very appetizing, but it's a concept that should sit well with anyone. Believed to have originated at Microsoft in the 1980s in reference to 1970s Alpo dog food commercials, the premise is that companies should use the same products it sells to their customers, especially the ones they develop themselves. Could you imagine an Alpo sales rep who feeds Purina to his own dog, or buying a Windows-based computer from a rep who processes the sale on a Macbook?
Here at Single Source, we make our dog food and eat it, too. Many of the software solutions we sell involve data analytics. We even created Productivity Tools, which increases the value of Service Management, providing efficiency-enhancing solutions to match your company's unique needs. For Infor Service Management 4.20 and higher, Productivity Tools includes several enhancements designed to improve the user experience and the system administrator's efficiency.
Of course, simply looking at numbers isn't the same as driving action based on the insights those numbers reveal. For almost a decade, our company has structured its operations around measuring and tracking performance based on critical numbers or KPIs. Each department has its own set of operationally focused critical numbers that it monitors on a daily basis and aims to improve. Furthermore, there's a set of critical numbers that our management team talks through in their weekly meetings. We use Productivity Tools ourselves within ISM to track these numbers.
But wait, there's more! Just a few months ago, we developed a Critical Numbers dashboard for Productivity Tools that makes it even easier to track your KPIs and their change over time. Before, you could view point-in-time snapshots of numbers, or perhaps spend a few hours exporting the data to make a chart in Excel. But now, the Critical Numbers dashboard is an organized view of the KPIs you want to track all in one place, and it's effortless to see the changes over time. There are many standard KPIs that come with ISM, like revenue or sales opportunity stages, but you can also use data sources to create your own customized KPIs.
Now that it's easier to view your critical numbers thanks to the Critical Numbers dashboard, you'll have more time to focus on driving action rather than gathering data. The new dashboard is live for all Productivity Tools users.
That's not the only update to Productivity Tools. We just added new functionality to help manage customer deposits. Now you can invoice the initial deposit to the customer and manage the receipt of payments and application of the deposit without some of the current necessary workarounds. We are also in the process of reviewing new functionality to add to the Productivity Tools in Q4 of 2017 and Q1 of 2018. And when those changes come about, you can be sure we'll use them here in-house, too.