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Top Manufacturing KPIs – What to Track & How

By September 1, 2021No Comments


Key performance indicators (KPIs) allow your business to measure ROI, but finding the top manufacturing KPIs requires cutting through an enormous volume of data to identify the factors that best reflect your true value return on input and output. Without software automation, this involves a lot of tedious manual work that will drain your operational hours, but not every solution will provide cost-effective methodologies to solve this pain point. To avoid being stuck using several disconnected systems to track all of this information and inevitably creating inaccuracies from the game of telephone that will follow, you need a modern platform that consolidates your manufacturing KPIs.

Acumatica is a state-of-the-art ERP built natively in the cloud to give users access to real-time data and the latest digital technology. It empowers businesses like yours to consolidate your disparate silos into much more easily digestible overviews, with drilldown capabilities through your user dashboards tied to role permissions and functions. Enable your team to capture and view the right key performance indicators with the right software fit for you, and take advantage of modern functionality designed to migrate you to the age of digital transformation.

Here are the top manufacturing KPIs to track, and a few ways to get started with Acumatica:

Breakdown of Top KPIs for Manufacturing

Digitization has created Big Data, and organizations all over the world are flooded with unprecedented levels of information, making it hard to isolate those developments that are truly actionable for specific business demands and objectives. To better identify and track your key indicators, you must divide them into the right categories. Starting with broad Historical and Predictive KPIs, you can then drilldown into the areas that best reflect your business progress.

Historical KPIs

Historical data categories are often the easiest to collect and record, but the downside with relying on these data sets is the sheer volume of information you will have to sift through. You will have to narrow down reporting to actual performance indicators that reveal the efficiency of your investments.


Your financial KPIs are one of the first places you should go to determine your ROI, while simultaneously being one of the easiest for employees to become overwhelmed with jumbles of non- or semi-pertinent data sets. To mitigate this, drilldown into your bookkeeping to trace those indicators that give a clear view of your solvency.

Top financial KPIs for manufacturers to track:

  • Sales vs Costs
  • Cash Flow
  • Plan vs Actual Comparisons
  • Profitability by Customer
  • Profitability by Item


Operational KPIs can sometimes be harder to quantify, but when coupled with your financial performance tracking, these will make it easier to capture the full picture of the value return on your processes. Extracting ROI measurements from these data sets requires taking a look at raw input as well as output to help determine the cost efficiency of existing workflows.

Top operational KPIs for manufacturers to track:

  • Inventory Turnover Ratio
  • On-Time Delivery
  • Resource Utilization
  • Resource Capacity
  • Production Scheduling

Predictive KPIs

Predictive key performance indicators enable you to make projections based on historical KPIs as well as developing trends to guide your decision-making and long-term strategies. While there is more room for error and disruption with tracking this data, you can leverage past patterns to build more accurate models as well as make plans to pivot for multiple eventualities with the right information.

Sales Forecasting

Taking your historical sales and customer acquisition cost data and combining with other predictive KPIs will help you map out more accurate forecasting to predict future growth, provided you have software that delivers consistent visibility.

Economic Trends

It goes without saying that the state of the economy will greatly impact your business, but staying on top of current developments and reviewing past trends will empower you to make more informed decisions, and pivot based on previous precedent.

Industry Trends

The digital transformation of manufacturing, the US-China trade war and the COVID-19 pandemic reflect how disruptions – both good and bad – will significantly affect your operations. The increasing pace at which the industry is changing means that it is more important than ever to keep an eye on where other manufacturers are seeing opportunities, and where they are avoiding pitfalls.


How to Use the Right Software to Track Manufacturing KPIs

By leveraging an ERP like Acumatica, you will be able to streamline how you track your key performance indicators and ensure consistent access to your data to your entire user base, delivered in real-time if need be. Here are just a few of the ways the right software makes tracking manufacturing KPIs easier:

Use Consolidated Dashboards to View Data

If spreadsheets and graphs could give the human brain all the information it needed by themselves, there would be no need to use anything but Microsoft Excel. Unfortunately, to ensure data retention you must give your employees the ability to digest these data sets. Dashboards with consolidated reporting and visual cues greatly aids users in tracking KPIs associated with their roles, and keep supervisors up to date on emerging developments.

Set Up Alerts & Notifications

Delegating users to manually track indicators can itself be a waste of time, but leveraging automation enables you to set alerts and notifications when your selected metrics reach a certain threshold. For example – if your inventory turnover rates or sales begin to fall, your system will notify the appropriate decision-makers immediately, saving time and potential further losses if the problems can be quickly identified.

Deploy in the Cloud

ERP hosted in the cloud provides many benefits over traditional solutions deployed on-premise, one of the top being the more immediate access to data. Your files are accessible from anywhere, any time and from any device, allowing users to capture, transfer and review data up to the minute with an Internet connection and a browser.

Use Mobile Devices & Apps

Device-agnostic access grants unprecedented mobility for users, meaning that any employee outside of your back office can log in and view their dashboards with the right role-based permissions. Mobile-friendly functionality ensures that no information is lost between desktops, smartphones and tablets, allowing continuous browsing of KPIs and workflows.

Acumatica Allows Manufacturers to Track Top KPIs

Acumatica grants manufacturers the consistent visibility and integration you need to keep track of your top KPIs without having to bounce between multiple screens and stacks of paperwork. The above only covers the surface of how you can leverage this modern platform to gain a greater view into your key performance indicators – download our free whitepaper to learn more.

Download the free whitepaper here to see how else you can track your top KPIs for manufacturing with Acumatica Cloud ERP.


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