There’s a difference between having your finger on the pulse of your business and having your hands all over it. The former gives you both the information and the time to act with confidence, while the latter creates bottlenecks that can do far more damage than any minor discrepancy you might catch could.
Managing by exception is effective. And it’s simple. Instead of reviewing and approving every single transaction or data point, you only review the information that falls outside of an expected range—good or bad.
For example, if daily sales across your retail chain are off by half a percentage point compared to the average, that’s not something you necessarily need to know about or be concerned about. After all, tomorrow you might be up by that same amount, so everything “comes out in the wash,” as they say.
However, if daily sales are off by, say, 10%, that can indicate an issue with your sales staff, marketing, operations, supply chain, e-commerce uptime, or some other critical issue you need to address.
The benefits and challenges of managing by exception
Managing by exception lets you focus on the major things that impact your business without getting distracted or caught up with small, day-to-day fluctuations.
This allows you to be far more efficient with your time while ensuring nothing major gets lost in the sea of transactions or data. In addition, it can help you uncover the underlying issues that caused the exception that may need your attention.
Managing by exception does present some challenges, however. And you need to be aware of them.
First of all, you have to have a system in place that can a) identify when you’ve passed a certain threshold and b) alert you to the fact that there’s an exception to manage. This requires real-time data, which can be difficult to collect and process from multiple systems in a timely fashion.
As well, you have to make sure your exceptions are calibrated to different people.
Using the example above, everyone from the CEO on down wants to know if daily sales are off by 10%. But a floor manager at a specific location may well want to know if their sales were off by even 1% so they can make staff adjustments, reorganize their shelves, or hire one of those sign spinners to stand outside and attract customers.
How Domo Alerts help you manage by exception
Domo makes it simple to implement management by exception in your organization through Domo Alerts, which helps users track changes to KPIs in real time so everyone from the C-suite to local managers can use the power of managing by exception to gain more visibility and get more done.
Domo Alerts sends an alert via email, text message, Domo’s mobile app, or even phone call so you can be instantly notified of key changes. In addition, alerts can be customized by users and teams so that they’re only notified when the alert is relevant.
You can also customize the alert trigger, notification frequency, message, recipient, and what actions to take when the alert is triggered.
For example, you could set an alert to trigger when a critical data point changes from either a certain value or changes by a certain percentage—and then determine if you want that alert delivered hourly, daily, weekly, or monthly.
You can also customize the alert message to tell you what the previous value was and what it is now, so you have the context you need to quickly take action.
What’s more, you can subscribe other people to the alert so that they too are aware—and specify in the alert what the next step should be.
In Domo’s Alert Center, you can manage all your alerts and subscribe, unsubscribe, edit, or delete alerts as needed. And you can view the history of an alert to see how often it gets triggered, helping you identify root causes to mitigate the issue.
You can even take alerts to the next level by having Domo take action automatically, with Domo’s Business Automation Engine.
For example, if you get an alert that inventory for a bestseller is low, Domo can trigger an order in your inventory system with no manual effort on your part.
These intelligent workflows help reduce your time-to-action while freeing up time to focus on alerts that need your direct involvement.
To learn more about how Domo can help you make management by exception the new expectation in your organization through Domo Alerts, click here.