When the management team at Kendale Inc., Jacksonville, Fla., wants to know exactly what's happening in the company, they take a look at the company's comprehensive Flash Report. This one-page report summarizes future, current, and past activity in a quick, easy-to-read format.

Every other Thursday, president Dale Crisp, CFO Eric Bradford, and five other managers spend 30 to 45 minutes over lunch focusing on the information provided in the fact sheet. "We're able to spot potential issues before they become immediate problems," Bradford says. "It gives us a snapshot of where we are today and all the details we need to take action on for the future."

Each area of the business works toward specific goals, so this report also provides an indication of how well the company is meeting them.

Here's a partial listing of what the Kendale Flash Report includes:

* Number of leads in the current month. "These leads will turn into sales six to eight weeks into the future," Bradford says, "so it's critical that this number meet projections if we're to meet our sales goals."

* Number of proposals produced

* Revenue sold, by division

* Revenue and gross profit produced, by division. "We began looking at information by division and were somewhat surprised to find that one division was doing significantly better than goal," Bradford says.

* Backlog in design

* Backlog in production

* Gross profit in backlog, for both jobs in progress and those not started

* Amount of future production capacity booked. "One month, we had four jobs end at the same time. The project managers were only off of a job for one week, but that week meant we lost available capacity," Bradford says. "If we look forward and see that we're heading into this situation, we work with sales to move other jobs into place quickly." One critical element in making money is to use as much of a company's capacity as possible.

* Client satisfaction. According to Bradford, this is the most critical measure of all. "We ask our clients for input at several different stages of the job and measure them all," he says. "After all, we can sell millions and produce it on the money, but if we're not keeping our clients happy, it's all for nothing."

Mark Robert Halper

--Victoria Downing is president of Remodelers Advantage, Fulton, Md. (301) 490-5620, victoria@remodelersadvantage.com.