A key performance indicator (KPI) is not just any metric to measure your business performance; the role of the KPI is much greater that.

It is a metric that every business team should have and should have meaning across your organization so that you can measure, manage and achieve results.

Key steps.

The term “key performance indicator” is used, maybe overused, and often little understood.

In fact, to develop your KPIs, you need to start with the result you are trying to achieve. Then, create an actionable scorecard for each KPI by selecting a maximum of 6 measurements that are most important to achieving your goal. All measurements should be specific and measurable. You may need to prioritize your KPIs in order to ensure you select the appropriate number of KPIs.

In addition, you will need to decide who should receive reports of the results and how frequently you will report on the data. For example, success metrics for your grocery may be tracking utilization every day, asset availability every week, and kilowatt hours per square foot every month. Leverage site attributes (e.g., rack type, water system) and normalize your data, ensuring all equipment data (e.g., asset & warranty details) is in place.

Use your data and processes to drive benchmarking.

Keep your strategy on track by:

  • Determining the source for your raw data
  • Identifying any system(s) or record that must be updated
  • Gathering required data elements that are “missing”
  • Developing standard operating procedures to ensure behavior drives good data


The source for your raw data will depend on the metric you are tracking. For example, your source for kilowatt hours per square foot will be your utility bills.

Utilizing the business intelligence that you have gathered, leverage your analytics to drive change. First, you need to determine a benchmarking period and a comparison period. Use your standard operating procedures to ensure you get consistent results when normalized for other variables.

Now it is your turn. Keeping in mind “what’s important” and “what drives performance”, think about a business challenge you have. Develop 3-6 meaningful success metrics. Determine how the metrics will be measured and the criteria to gather “good” data. Decide how you will report the results and who will be impacted by the success metrics.

Example: KPIs and success metrics.

RankKPI DefinitionSuccess Metrics

1 Best-in-Class Service Providers

Service Provider Same Day Fix Rate on Emergencies

Fix Service Level Agreement Performance

Average Work Order Value (Refrigeration > Glass Door Cases)

Work Order Recall Rate

Invoice Rejection Rate

2 Optimize Spend vs. Budget

Annual Maintenance Cost Per Square Foot, By Site Type

Total Maintenance Spend vs. Budget, By Site, District, Region, Org

Average Order Value By Category, By Site Type, By Service Area (Ref > Small Store Format > Midwest)

Work Orders Generated Per Site, Per Month

Emergency Work Order Ration, By Site

3 Best-in-Class Energy Program

Energy Efficiency (kWh and dTh Per Square Foot Analysis) By Site Type (kWh/sqft)

Energy Walk Checklist Results

Energy Measurement Validation - Billed vs. Metered

4 Total Cost of Ownership

Equipment Availability of Critical Assets

Repair vs. Replace Opportunities, By Asset Type (Slicers)

Most Common Break/Fix Faults and Actions (Compressor - Capillary Tube)

Mean Time To and/or Number of Failures, By Equipment Type (Slicer - Failure in Months)

5 Best-in-Class Compliance

Percentage of Planned Preventive Maintenance Events Completed On Time

Ratio of Compliance Events Completed On Time

Ratio of Technician Certification Records

Accuracy of Asset Information

Remember that change is disruptive. Communicate changes to your stakeholders, including why these changes are important and how these changes affect them. To drive change, you need to publish your benchmarks for each metric and report on the results.

Learn more about KPI implementation within grocery management.