The Whole Scorecard

by Brenda Stokes


Posted on January 5, 2018 at 12:00 PM



Whole foods introduced a new inventory management system, OTS (order to shelf) last year to provide fresh products and services to its customers. The idea was to make stores more efficient and reduce food waste., a concept which seems reasonable but perhaps employees were not ready to embrace nor adopt the new program and the scorecard.

As OTS managers verify and check for out of place and missing items from shelves, now departments know if they have met their key performance indicators (KPI’s) on their scorecards. While the scorecard systems may cause grief for anyone being measured, they also ensure optimization and create competition among employees, departments and regional stores. Whole Foods now has quantifiable measures to evaluate accountability, reduce cost and waste, and overall enhance performance of the company.

Scorecards have been a part of quantifying and measuring business and employee performance for decades. The technology world has evolved and Amazon has changed the world from online markets to the local grocery store and as a technology giant, it is not surprising they would leverage technology and adopt scorecards which have always been a part of measuring success in the Amazon business model.

Robert Kaplan and David Norton, brought rise to the scorecard back in the early 1990’s as published in Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/1992/01/the-balanced-scorecard-measures-that-drive-performance-2"Services
Like Whole Foods, many companies rely on scorecards that evaluate everything aligned to core business goals, productivity, profitability, customer care, and loss prevention. CEO Kent Thirty of Denver Based DaVita has adopted scorecards for his organization since he became CEO in 1999. However, from a clip in 2009, Thirty says he would “run his clinics like he would run a Taco Bell Franchise,” and fell under scrutiny when HBO’s John Oliver went after DaVita’s Dialysis segment video by Thirty resulting in legal complaints. These collective actions being pressed on behalf of past and present DaVita employees claims, that clinics are severely understaffed and that the rapid pace of care that’s maintained to maximize profits exploits workers and endangers patients’ lives. These charged lawsuits now follow DaVita, and Oliver’s disparaging characterizes DaVita as, “for profit dialysis business”.

Leaders and management implementing scorecards must identify and continuously address adoption inhibitors and real challenges in a timely and effective manner to obtain organizational “buy in.” In addition, all employees must see the value in the scorecard strategy to drive the overall effectiveness of a well thought Business Intelligence and or Scorecard strategy. As seen with Whole Foods and DaVita, their employees have challenged their scorecards which may be characteristic of a weak Organizational Change Management Strategy and poor adoption.

At HPC Solutions we focus on engaging our customers user stories throughout the process of change and consider psychologist, Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs when rolling out an enterprise scorecard strategy for an organization. We then formulate an effective adoption strategy for Business Intelligence, KPI’s (key performance indicators) and Scorecard related initiatives.

While computers, software and technology advances are practical and overall good for a company, agency and/or organization, finding a balance between the people, process and technology is also equally important.

Data Insights, Business Intelligence, and Performance Visualization are powerful tools and will continue to manage overall effectiveness across businesses around the Globe. Tools and technology will continue to evolve at a rapid pace. Rapid deployment now happens in days or hours and has become a growing multi- billion-dollar industry. The Gartner Magic Quadrant for Business Intelligence has expanded and includes dozens of companies dominating the market to include big players such as:

  • Microsoft
  • IBM
  • MicroStrategy
  • Pentaho
  • SAP
  • SAS
  • Tableau
  • TIBCO Software
  • Salesforce

    The key challenge for many organizations like in the case of DaVita and Whole Foods, is lack of training and poor adoption. While, all employees must see the value in the strategy to drive the overall effectiveness of a well thought Business Intelligence and or Scorecard strategy. Scorecard driven economies and sustained business use is a new reality, and poor adoption plans will remain a threat.

    Organizational change efforts can reduce a negative image and lawsuits when focused on engaging employees end users before, during and after implementation. This is necessary to ensure sustained adoption balancing employee’s needs, morale, what is good for the customer, and what’s in the best interest of the company.

    It remains to be seen whether the OTS business model will work for Whole Foods. It is likely management and employees will be able to work out the kinks with the adoption of Amazon’s new business model and strategy for Whole Foods.

    Brenda Stokes is a Principal Enterprise Architect for HPC Solutions in Denver.

    An Information Technology and Business Management Professional Services Orgainization

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