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Chief operating officers (COOs) have a demanding task to make sure all operational activities within a company are performed in the best possible manner, but their career development can vary based on industry and previous experience. Now in this post, we won't delve into details about the career prospects of this C-level position but we will present COO dashboards and reports, these are critical tools for helping chief operating officers across the world to effectively manage their time, company, operational processes, and results. To succeed in such an environment, an executive dashboard or report can make a striking difference.
Increasing the strategic, as well as the operating value of managing business operations, are critical elements of COOs' positions who, oftentimes, need to wear many hats in order to successfully fulfill the role of "second in command," right after the CEO.
Moreover, companies are becoming more data-driven, complex, and require stable performance in order to succeed in our cutthroat digital age. That's why using a modern dashboard tool is vital for monitoring and analyzing multiple touchpoints and presenting data in real-time, visually, and with strong interactivity levels so any operational activity can't be left unnoticed.
That said, in this post, we will answer what is a COO dashboard and COO report, will give some industry examples, and a few valuable tips on how to create your own COO dashboards.
In the end, you will be able to improve your COO reporting processes and automate many tasks that you were probably doing manually. Similar to C-level financial officers that use a CFO dashboard to monitor financial information, COOs need a solution for operational touchpoints that make a business tick. But let's start from the beginning and explain basic definitions.
What Is A COO Dashboard?
A COO (chief operating officer) dashboard is a visual management tool used by COOs to connect multiple data sources, track, evaluate, and help to optimize operational processes within a company by using interactive metrics and advanced analytical capabilities.
These visual representations of data deliver information in real-time and create a time-saving business environment where COOs can focus on other critical tasks rather than investing countless hours into exporting and manipulating static spreadsheets. Just like modern CTOs use a professional CTO dashboard to visualize and interact with presented information in real-time, COOs need a similar tool to improve their productivity and increase business performance. Such a real-time dashboard ensures productivity increment and centralized data collection that enables executives to overcome numerous operational challenges within their line of work. When you complete data management processes with an (automated) COO report and intelligent alarms, any business anomaly will not go unnoticed.
What Is A COO Report?
A COO report is designed to provide insights into critical operational KPIs and share them through dashboards, public URLs, automated e-mails, or embedded options by using modern dashboard software in order to evaluate relevant operational performance.
A COO report template is easily created with a few clicks and can be re-used for recurring reporting processes, completely automated, and generated with professional solutions such as self-service data analytics tools.
But to know how to create such a dashboard or report, it's critical to consider our tips and tricks, which we're focusing on next.
How To Create COO Dashboards & Reports?
To create and organize a comprehensive chief operations officer dashboard there are a few points to consider, like your audience, incorporate particular operational metrics and other important elements that we list here:
1. Utilize professional COO dashboard software and tools
With so many complexities within the management of operational activities, professional and modern COO reporting tools and software are a must-have. Whether it's tracking warehouse operations or optimizing the transportation process of a logistics company, for example, software that enables users to create an interactive logistics dashboard is critical for ongoing operational success.
With the help of intelligent (AI) alarms and features, automated monitoring is simplified, ensuring users receive an immediate notification when an anomaly occurs. This is critical in any operational environment since, without it, manual work would cause more confusion than resolutions as well as increase the time to improve problem-solving processes which can cause additional business bottlenecks.
2. Choose the most valuable metrics for your industry
Having a complete overview of the most important metrics is critical in companies that need strong operational processes but also for those that want to improve current mechanisms. Depending on the type of company, metrics can, of course, vary. The point is to think about each metric in detail and the story you want to convey. For example, the perfect order rate KPI in warehouse operations will make sense to monitor to be able to establish better supply chain efficiency. Browse our list of KPI examples for all industries and find the one that best matches your operations!
3. Establish rapport with your audience
Knowing who you are addressing is already a lot of work done. If you're reporting directly to the CEO or board of directors, you need to have clean, straightforward, and interactive data. That way, you can answer immediate questions and dig deeper into various potential scenarios. At C-level meetings, usually, high-level metrics are presented and discussed so try and focus your chief operating officer report on the audience you're presenting to and focus on the topic of the meeting. It wouldn't make sense to burden the audience with details about daily operational tasks and delegation within the internal team, but the results of your efforts and analysis of longer operational periods, in this case, during a C-level meeting, might make sense.
To learn more about various executive-level reports, we recommend you read our article on CEO dashboards.
4. Automate as much as possible
We have already mentioned the importance of automation, but we need to emphasize it once again since automation cuts enormous amounts of hours otherwise invested in static spreadsheets and presentations. Automating through a specific schedule by using the power of business reporting software will help any COO in managing their time more effectively. Scheduling certain reports and sending them to specified recipients without the need to manually create each part of it on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, enables COOs to incorporate modern automation processes and bring their companies into the future. And stay there.
Now that you have a clear idea of the steps you should follow in order to create professional COO dashboards and reports, let's see some industry examples to help you visualize the power of these interactive tools in action!
Top COO Dashboard & KPIs For Powerful Reports
As we already mentioned, COO’s have to cover several tasks in different areas of a business. For this reason, having specific dashboards armed with professional COO KPIs is fundamental to ensure all areas are being managed correctly. To put this into perspective, here we will present you with 4 dashboard examples and their most relevant COO metrics for 3 core areas on a chief operating officer’s job: logistics, finances, and employees.
1. Logistics transportation dashboard
Transportation management is crucial for succeeding in operations that are focused on delivering goods and products, especially in our cutthroat economy where customers want deliveries - yesterday. Here, an interactive dashboard will enable chief operating officers to effectively manage transportation data.
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In the example above, we can see KPIs in logistics that are crucial in sustainable transportation management and will help C-level management to know how well the deliveries and overall transportation works.
That said, metrics such as the fleet efficiency will immediately show the people and transportation capacity levels while the average loading time and weight will enable you to evaluate the loading time per one ton, for example. Monitoring these points over a timeframe will help you set a realistic time process and identify patterns within your transportation organization. For example, you could aim to load more and transport more but keep in mind that this could cause accidents, therefore, keeping realistic goals is very important for operating and managing your processes.
Finally, delivery status and deliveries by destination will show you how well your deliveries work if they're on time, and what might cause delays. There are scenarios where roads could be blocked or other external factors that can cause lags, especially in long-distance travel. Monitoring these processes regularly can ease operational bottlenecks in the future.
- Delivery Time
The delivery time is one of the important COO KPIs to track in the transportation area of logistics as it allows you to understand if your deliveries are being handled correctly. This metric takes the average delivery time of all orders and it is calculated from the moment the order is ready to be shipped to the time it is actually delivered. COOs can benefit from this KPI as it enables them to create narrow shipping strategies that will result in a better service for clients.
- Transportation Costs
This next COO KPI aims to monitor all the costs related to transportation in a logistics warehouse. The goal for a chief operating officer here would be to keep costs at a minimum while maintaining a high-quality service. For this purpose, this metric divides the expenses into different categories, this way you can understand if a specific stage is costing more than it should and find ways to optimize it.
2. Financial COO dashboard
The finances of a business are also an important area in which COO’s need to focus. Here the operating officer works hand in hand with the CEO and CFO to ensure that the company’s financial health is at its best. For this purpose, the COO dashboard below is the perfect tool as it gives a clear picture of all the relevant KPIs needed to ensure stable and proactive operational management in aspects such as liquidity, invoicing, and budgeting.
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Going a bit more in detail into this COO financial dashboard, we first get an overview of the current working capital which is basically displaying the total amount of dollars you get after subtracting your current assets from your current liabilities. Next, we get the cash conversion cycle (CCC) for the last 3 years, this graph aims to monitor how efficient the company has been in converting its investments, inventory, and other resources into cash. In this case, we can see that the CCC has been constantly decreasing since 2016, that means that this company is managing their finances in an efficient way.
Right below the CCC, the dashboard offers a detailed overview of the vendor payment error rate for the last 12 months based on a benchmark rate of 1,3%. This KPI can tell the COO how efficiently is the accounts payable department handling payments. Common errors in this area can be duplicate payments, wrong addresses, or even incorrect amounts. If there is a month in which the error rate is really high it is necessary to look deeper to find the reasons and solve the issues.
As you can see, this COO dashboard covers fundamental areas that, if managed correctly, will ensure that all financial operations are running smoothly. Now let's see some of these COO KPIs more in detail.
- Working Capital
Working capital is one of the top chief operating officer metrics in the financial area. This KPI measures the number of dollars remaining after you subtract your current assets (which can be cash, accounts receivable, pre-paid expenses, etc.) with your current liabilities (which can be your accounts payable, credit card debt, taxes, or any other debt due to pay in the next 12 months). The results of the working capital will allow a COO to assess the short-term financial health of the company as well as its operational efficiency.
- Current Ratio
The current ratio is a COO KPI directly related to the working capital as it concentrates mainly on the financial liquidity of a business. In short words, the current ratio measures your ability to pay your obligations in a timely manner and it is calculated by dividing your current assets and your current liabilities. Your goal here should be to always keep the ratio higher than 1, if it’s lower, it would mean that you are not able to pay your obligations in due time. This KPI is useful for COOs as it allows them to make sure that the company is always enjoying a healthy ratio.
- Cash Conversion Cycle
The next COO KPI template is key for effective financial analytics. As mentioned above, the cash conversion cycle aims to evaluate how long it takes for a company to convert all its resources into cash. And it’s calculated with the following formula: CCC = DIO (days of inventory outstanding) + DSO (days sales outstanding) – DPO (days payable outstanding). The goal for a COO here is to keep the company’s cash conversion cycle constantly decreasing as this will mean that the operations and management process are efficient.
3. Employee performance dashboard
Although finances and logistics are two core areas for a COO to attend, what will actually drive business success is its workforce. For this reason, operation officers need to make sure that employees are performing at their best and that the company is providing them with the tools to grow and improve. For this purpose, the employee performance dashboard is key. Let’s see why!
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Armed with fundamental HR metrics, this COO dashboard will ensure that employees are satisfied with their work and consequently perform at their best. The top portion of this dashboard informs us of absenteeism KPIs, the average yearly absenteeism in days, the average rate with a target of less than 3,8%, and finally the evolution of both metrics over the last five years. This is an important metric for a COO to track since it will show how engaged and motivated employees are with their work. A low absenteeism rate can mean that the company is able to provide a healthy work environment for its workforce.
Moving on to the bottom part, the COO dashboard offers a detailed view of the overall labor effectiveness (OLE) which is directly related to the employee’s productivity. In order to track the OLE, each business needs to set its own evaluation criteria based on what they expect from their employees. Here we see that this metric is tracked for a five-year period as well as divided by department. Tracking this metric is useful as it will tell operating officers which of their employees or departments are underperforming and provide training opportunities or other solutions to improve performance.
- Overall Labor Effectiveness
The OLE, also known as employee productivity, is a COO KPI that provides a bigger picture of your workforce performance. Although a straightforward way to calculate this metric would be to divide the total sales by the number of employees, this might not be the smartest choice. As we mentioned before, not all employee’s jobs directly involve sales. For this reason, you should make sure you define appropriate outputs to measure the performance of each department according to their core responsibilities. In the example above we see that the OLE is tracked for a 5 year period alongside a gauge chart that displays a target of 71%. In order to extract deeper insights from the overall labor effectiveness, COO’s can compare it to other metrics that can affect productivity and find deeper conclusions. These could be the availability, the amount of time where employees are actually working, the amount of product delivered or sold, among others.
- Training Costs
As we mentioned before, keeping employees productive as well as satisfied is one of the important responsibilities for a COO. Providing training opportunities for potential talents or employees that are underperforming is a great way to ensure productivity and a healthy return on investment from each employee. Additionally, workers will feel like they can grow in the company and will increase their satisfaction levels. To do just that, this COO KPI aims to track the costs of training the workforce comparing the net costs vs. returns. By looking at this metric COO’s can easily verify if training investments are worth it.
- Turnover Rate (bonus KPI)
Although it is not directly included in our dashboard, this is an important COO KPI to track for effective workforce analytics. The employee turnover rate aims to monitor the percentage of employees that leave the company in a given period. By tracking this metric, operating officers can understand if the company’s retention efforts are successful and if employees are satisfied. If you see a high turnover rate you should look deeper into the root causes and find any potentially problematic areas that might be causing your employees to leave the company.
4. Supply chain COO dashboard
The supply chain is becoming a more and more data-driven area of logistics where companies and COOs need to think about optimizing the chain and inventory management processes. One of our examples of COO reports is created with the most critical supply chain KPIs in mind in order to help you achieve your goals.
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The dashboard starts with the inventory to sales ratio and evaluates the overstock. It's an important indicator to monitor since it will show you how well you deal with unexpected events. In essence, it measures the available inventory for sales in comparison to the actual quantity sold.
The turnover on the right part of the dashboard is shown in a 5-year timeframe to see the development over a longer period. It measures the number of times the inventory was sold (in this case, during a year) and it is advisable to compare these numbers with the industry average and try to achieve a higher rate.
Additional metrics will tell you details about the inventory management, costs of storing, and out-of-stock items. All these touchpoints will help modern COOs in optimizing operations and delivering additional business value to the company.
- Inventory Accuracy
Inventory accuracy is one of the COO KPIs that, if not managed correctly, can permanently harm your business as it will directly affect your customer satisfaction levels. This metric aims to monitor how accurate is your database inventory with your actual physical inventory. If these two don’t match, it can lead to unexpected backorders, unsatisfied customers, and higher overall costs. Although it is quite hard to keep a 100% accuracy, a healthy ratio for this metric would be to keep it over 92% as much as possible. By looking into the inventory accuracy more in detail, COO’s can also recognize potential issues related to receiving, shipping, or accounting.
- Inventory Turnover
Next in our COO KPI examples for logistics is the inventory turnover. This metric aims to measure the time your entire inventory has been sold in a given period of time. It is difficult to define a general benchmark for your inventory turnover as it will depend on the industry of the business. For this reason, you should take your average industry rate and use it as a target to exceed. COO’s can benefit from monitoring the turnover as it can tell them how efficient is production planning as well as marketing and sales management. The final goal here should be to always keep this rate as high as possible.
- Inventory to Sales Ratio
Last but not least in our COO metrics is the inventory to sales ratio. This performance indicator measures the ratio between the available inventory for sale and the amount that is actually sold. Just like with the inventory turnover, the average ratio for your inventory-to-sales will depend on the industry of your business, since it’s easier to sell jeans than cars. For this reason, COO’s should analyze the average inventory-to-sales ratio of the market and set realistic targets based on that. This KPI can also be compared with the inventory turnover or the carrying cost of inventory to get a bigger picture of the financial stability of the business and plan accordingly.
Chief operating officers need the right information at the right time. We have shown the importance of modern software and tools through our dashboard and KPI examples that any COO can use to create their own operational success.
With datapine, this can take a few minutes. Thanks to our modern solutions, you can build your own dashboards and reports that will take your operating tasks to the next level. The best part is - we offer a 14-day trial, completely free, so start today, and reap great rewards tomorrow!