Many companies have extensive reporting that has historically satisfied a business need.  Reports and reporting processes should be reviewed at least annually to ensure that the content, frequency and audience continue to be appropriate.  Companies sometimes develop a special report for a limited time that somehow becomes institutionalized and never discontinued.  Such specialized reports may become obsolete and unnecessary - their measurements may no longer be valid.

The key to successful management is to establish mutually agreed upon goals and metrics, and provide periodic reporting against those goals.  Many times, daily/weekly reports only measure dollar values reported in the general ledger, while other metrics which are more critical to effective control and business growth are ignored.  

In addition to some typical financial measures, the weekly report presented concentrates on orders, quotes, and the management of two critical resources:
 - Engineering time spent 
 - Testing equipment

In this example, these elements are keys to future profitability.  Upon discussion with senior executives, we determined that virtually all quotes/orders required the scarce resources of testing equipment and engineering time.  Once we started measuring these critical resources, we were able to determine how to improve utilization and throughput, and focus these limited resources where they would produce the most profit.

In this long sale-cycle business, we also include our sales pipeline for major potential orders - describing major potential orders by their current stage.

In addition to managing the sales pipeline, this information allows us to better manage the engineering and manufacturing resources.  For example, if we envision that several large potential orders will convert to firm orders, we can ensure that we will have sufficient manufacturing and engineering resources to meet customer requirements - e.g. perhaps through outsourced engineering resources.

Each company has differing reporting requirements, since each company may be at a different place in the competitive environment.  By understanding the company strategy and tactics, reporting can be adjusted to measure the right thing, at the appropriate time, in the proper format.
CFO Insight LLC
Finance expertise for mid-market companies
Former Website: MichaelGendron.com
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Weekly Reporting Concept