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My key KPI: Utilisation

29th Mar 2018
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Welcome to ‘My key KPI’, a weekly content series where we ask CFOs and FDs what metrics and measures they use to drive their businesses forward.

The aim is to understand how different finance professionals, across a broad array of industries and sectors, use data to inform their decision making.

This week, we speak to Barry Hynd, FD at Lewis and agency veteran. 

My key KPI: Utilisation

“We’re a digital agency so staff utilisation underpins our business,” said Barry Hynd, the FD of Lewis, a thirty person Edinburgh based digital agency. “Most people in our business work on billable hours, so we have a lot of metrics behind how well staff are being utilised.

“We check every week and we’re putting that information back into the business to drive improvements.”

To track staff utilisation, Lewis uses a system called WorkflowMax. From there the data is exported into Excel. “On it’s own, a lot of the indicators we have are trailing. We want to make them come alive and turn them into leading indicators.

“We take utilisation in isolation but then we apply financial metrics to it. We’re also tracking gross margin and net profit margin as part of that analysis.

“What’s underpinning that is we have budgets and forecasts in place that we can compare what the utilisation thinks we’ll do in revenue and compare that our budget every week. We can then influence the number and drive performance on the business quite dynamically. Literally on a weekly basis.”

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