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The transformative effect of their dashboards “took [labor] utilization up from 68% to 72%, just by creating visibility and awareness.” - Christopher Buschmann, VP of IT, Smart Care Equipment Solutions

Per their website, Smart Care Equipment Solutions is North America’s premier service organization serving more than 45,000 commercial foodservice operations. With a decade of tech experience, Smart Care blends excellent customer service with advanced technology to provide commercial kitchen equipment and appliance service, repair, and maintenance. 

Limited Visibility into Customers and Labor Utilization 

Christopher Buschmann, VP of IT at Smart Care Equipment Solutions, leveraged data in previous roles and initially engaged Blue Margin to develop reporting to surface insights on which customers could have the greatest impact on company growth. Smart Care employees were spending 4 hours per week on this one topic, parsing and pivoting data that only provided limited value, as it lacked visual trends, KPIs, and actionable insights. 

Additionally, impacts from a company reorganization and the COVID-19 pandemic surfaced the need for better insight into labor utilization to maintain (and improve) margins. 

On-Time Insight Through Power BI Dashboards 

To improve organizational alignment and accountability, the Blue Margin team developed Power BI dashboards to provide on-time insight into service calls, segmenting demand by geography and service type, which enabled the company to focus resources on trending customer needs and to better coordinate departments around market trends. Other reporting areas included: First-Time Fix Metrics, Supply Chain Efficiency, Open Call Aging, Technician Backlog, and Client-Facing Service Metrics. 

Prior to this reporting effort, 47 separate Smart Care employees worked periodically to export data from their ERP and develop pivot tables and Excel reports. Now, dashboards are automated and easily available online for all stakeholders.  

An additional benefit for Smart Care was reducing the ramp-up time for new employees. The limitations of their previous reporting made it difficult to train new hires in their roles and the metrics they were accountable for delivering. What had previously taken 1-2 years of experience to fully understand could now be covered in a few months.   

Increased Profits and Labor Utilization 

The impact of data intelligence was far-reaching during a year marked by COVID-19 challenges. According to Buschmann, “Smart Care was able to adjust the labor and cost structure of the organization to fit changing market dynamics leading to increased profitability from March through August 2020, even with revenue down 30-40%.” The transformative effect of their dashboards “took [labor] utilization up from 68% to 72%, just by creating visibility and awareness.

The impact of dashboards on the organization, from executives to technicians, is better alignment on priorities and a stronger sense of shared accountability throughout. As Buschmann puts it, these dashboards are helping Smart Care “establish their service identity as an organization.” 

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About Blue Margin

We help private equity and mid-market companies quickly organize their data into dashboards, the most efficient way to turn strategy into action, and create a culture of accountability focused on growth and profitability. We call it The Dashboard Effect, the title of our book and podcast. Our mission is to meet your needs and budget and deliver breakthroughs to our clients early and often.

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Jon Thompson

Written by Jon Thompson

Jon Thompson is co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Blue Margin Inc. An author and speaker, Jon sheds light on how businesses can take advantage of a revolution in business intelligence to become data-driven and accelerate their success.