Friday 18 October 2013

More about KPIs

Key Performance Indicators or KPIs, are the primary means of measuring the performance and timeliness of your shipments in TrakIT. This article covers how KPIs are defined, how they are calculated and what they mean.

In TrakIT, a KPI basically measures the time difference between two specific events in a work order. This difference can be compared against a target value and can provide alerts to users if the target is not met or matched. The KPI can be measured in running hours/days or business hours/days.

Creating KPIs

TrakIT contains a table of Base KPIs that are defined by System Administrators. The Base KPI is simply a name of a KPI and does not contain any specific information about events or targets to measure. The reason for having base KPIs is to have the same KPIs available globally. This enables and promotes standardization and comparison of KPIs among different corridors or regions. Shown below is a sample of the base KPIs table defined. To see this list for your TrakIT, go to Admin > Master Tables > KPI Definitions.

A KPI must be defined in a Corridor so that it can be used in the Work Orders belonging to that corridor. To add new KPI Defintions for a corridor, administrators can go to Admin > Corridor Definitions, select the corridor, switch to the KPI Definitions section and click on the 'Create New' button. A new dialog box appears as shown below:

Each field for the above window is described below:

Base KPI - This is where the KPI name is selected from the list of pre-defined base KPIs.

From/To Event(s) - The KPI measures the time difference between the "From" and "To" events that are specified here. The event codes are entered into the boxes and more than one event can be specified as long as they are separated by commas. When more than one event is specified, TrakIT will only use one of these events based on the option selected: First Found means that TrakIT will search the work order events in the order specified and use the first event that is found with a date. For the Earliest and Latest options, TrakIT will select the appropriate date after checking all the events specified. If the "Use current date if unavailable" option is selected, then TrakIT will substitute the current time for the From or To event when the event itself contains no date.

Business Hours - This option is specified when the KPI is to be calculated in Business Hours instead of running hours. When this option is selected, a country and time-zone must also be specified. TrakIT then uses the holidays and weekends defined for the country to calculate the correct business hours between the From and To events. Holidays for a country can be defined through System > Holidays.

Active - By default, a KPI is active. De-activating a KPI will prevent it from appearing in new work orders that are created after the KPI is de-activated. It does not have any effect on existing KPIs already present in work orders.

Exclude from Reports - This option can be selected if the KPI should not be included in certain interactive reports or if the KPI is not a reflection of the actual performance.

Alert Requirements

Users can set alert requirements for the KPI when it exceeds or is less than a certain number of hours. This number can be negative as well and is called the Target of the KPI.

Once a KPI is final (i.e both From & To events have been populated), it stops providing an alert warning unless the "Alert Despite Completion" option is selected.

Users can also set the KPI alert to appear only when certain other Events or Data items in the Work Order are Completed or specifically Not Completed as per event codes entered in the available boxes.

Additional Actions

Once the definition for a KPI has been set, you can choose to apply the new (or modified) definition to all existing active work orders. When the Target value is changed, the option can be selected to update the target on all active work orders.

Once a KPI has been defined in a corridor, it can also be linked to specific services for the corridor - just like Events and Data for the corridor.

KPIs in Action

When a work order is created, all active KPIs defined for the corridor are created as well for the work order (with the exception of any KPIs that did not belong to the selected services). An example of the work order KPI tab is displayed below:

Lets take a look at each column and what it signifies:

KPI - The name of the KPI appears here along with a status icon indicating the alert level. A icon indicates no alert, a icon indicates an active alert and a icon indicates a snoozed alert.

Start - The date of the "From" event is displayed here if available. If the event date is set to use the current date, it is indicated as Current.

End - The date of the "End" event is displayed here if available. If the event date is set to use the current date, it is indicated as Current.

Target - The Target set for the KPI as per the Corridor Definition is displayed here in days and hours.

Actual - The actual calculated value of the KPI is displayed here. This value can be calculated only when both the "From" and "End" events can be determined. If the actual value exceeds or is less than the Target value (as defined in the KPI definition), it appears red. A red value may or may not cause the KPI to go into alert status depending on other conditions selected in the KPI definition.

Closed - A 'Yes' in this column indicates that both the Start and End event dates for the KPI are available and the KPI value is constant (as opposed to a KPI value that changes with time).

Snooze Till - If a KPI in an alert status has been acknowledged by the user, it can be put into a "snoozed" state until a certain date has passed. Just specify the date in this column and click on the 'Save' button. Such KPIs appear with a icon. Once the date passes, the KPI state changes back to an alert state.

Apply to T/D - This can be selected if you wish to snooze a KPI in all work orders of the shipment.

Snoozed By - Indicates the user ID of the person who put the KPI into the snoozed state.

A KPI that is measured in business hours is indicated in italics. Both the Target and Actual values are in business hours (1 business day = 8 business hours).

KPIs are calculated each time a work order is saved and also every half-an-hour for KPIs that change over time (i.e. Start or End event date is "current" )

Subscribing to KPI Alerts

Users can subscribe to receive email notifications when a KPI goes into an "Alert" state. To do this, go to System > Email Notifications. Select the corridor for which you want to see KPIs, select the appropriate KPIs and click on the 'Update' button.

Viewing  KPIs in the Dashboard

Users can add KPIs to their Dashboard to view the performance of the KPI in a graphical trend chart. Such a chart is a very clear indicator of performance trends.

For more information on how to setup your personal Dashboard, take a look at the Dashboard article posted a short while ago.


KPIs can form a valuable tool to monitor the performance and timeliness of events in shipments. KPI names are global but each corridor can have it's own set of specific KPIs that can be configured as per the corridor's requirements.

KPIs appear in work orders and can signal alerts and email notifications for users. A KPI can also be put into a snoozed state for a few days.

KPIs can be added to user's dashboard to see a graphical overview of the KPI's performance.

If you have any questions or concerns about KPIs in TrakIT, please contact TrakIT Support.