“What can be measured, can be managed.” This statement is certainly accurate with respect to the real value and purpose of using KPIs, or key performance indicators, as essential tools for measuring, monitoring, and managing process performance.

KPIs serve as benchmarks for identifying opportunities for optimization and innovation. They are of great use in decision-making, and are good instruments for creating accountability by setting clear expectations for execution. These indicators are mostly used to measure and evaluate performance against specific objectives or goals. For example, it is common for companies to establish KPIs as quantitative measurements of performance—to assess how well the organization is meeting its yearly objectives.

Even so, it is important to note that KPIs are not only limited to quantitative applications, as they can also be used to communicate good stories. Diligently analyzing and interpreting these indicators, far beyond comparing them to a target, enables the discovery of what they are truly communicating. By learning how to interpret KPIs, past events can be better understood and used as valuable evidence to predict trends, propose impactful business actions, and effectively communicate them across the organization.

Additionally, integrating and effectively managing KPI indicators through financial statements results, provides organizations greater visibility and improved decision-making processes that support their financial health, and enhance their ability to sustain long-term growth and profitability. For example, integrating Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) KPI metrics, such as forecast accuracy, inventory turns, customer service level, supply chain costs, and working capital ratios, among others, to the Income Statement and Balance Sheet, allows businesses to achieve greater operational efficiency and financial results, which by effect, lead to sustained competitiveness and increased market value.


The income statement is an essential financial statement that provides insights into a company’s economic position, profitability, and efficiency in generating revenues and managing expenses.

Income statement figures can reflect actions taken by demand and supply planning to make a positive impact on revenue, generate cost savings across various areas of the business, increase profitability, and optimize costs—such as selling and marketing costs.

Linking S&OP KPIs to the income statement, facilitates a direct understanding of how operational performance impacts financial results, and establishes clear correlations between them, thus leading corporations to strengthen their ability to make informed decisions that drive profitability and sustainable development.

From a revenue perspective, accurate forecasting ensures that the right products are available to meet customer demand, hence preventing lost sales opportunities. Higher customer service levels also drive repeated business, further boosting revenue. As such, improvements in forecast accuracy and customer service levels contribute to positively impacting the top line.

From the Cost of Goods Sold (COGS) viewpoint, effective inventory management reduces carrying costs associated with excess inventory, and minimizes the risk of obsolescence—resulting in lower COGS. Moreover, effective supply chain management facilitates negotiating better prices with suppliers, reducing procurement costs, and optimizing resource utilization. Overall, these cost-saving strategies directly impact the bottom line of the income statement by reducing operating expenses and consequently improving profitability.

The combined effect of higher revenue and reduced costs leads to improved gross margins. Gross margin improvement is a key indicator of the company’s operational efficiency and profitability, benefiting the income statement by impacting the company’s bottom line, while enhancing profitability and shareholder value.


The balance sheet is another essential financial statement used by organizations to provide a clear picture of the company’s financial position at a specific point in time. It presents the company’s assets, liabilities, and shareholders’ equity. While balance sheet items are not typically considered KPIs themselves, certain financial ratios and metrics derived from the balance sheet can serve as metrics to assess the company’s financial health and performance.

A typical indicator measured on the balance sheet is the efficiency of working capital management. Efficient planning techniques directly impact working capital management by optimizing the weight between current assets and liabilities. For example, improving forecast accuracy and inventory management reduces the need for excess working capital tied up in inventory. This by result liberates cash that can be used for other operational needs or investments, and at the same time, improves liquidity and financial stability, ensuring that the organization can meet its short-term obligations and/or invest in other significant growth opportunities. Another efficient planning technique is tighter accounts receivable management resulting from improved customer service levels that by effect can reduce the Days Sales Outstanding (DSO), further improving working capital efficiency.

Other S&OP KPIs such as inventory turns and inventory levels can directly influence the balance sheet as well. Higher inventory turnover ratios imply efficient inventory management practices, that lead to lower inventory levels, reduced excess inventory, and minimized carrying costs. Further, optimizing inventory levels reduces the risk of inventory write-downs and obsolescence, which can impact the company’s financial health and asset valuation. These reductions also free up cash for additional investment, and could even lead to debt reduction. Improved financial performance resulting from effective planning practices can positively impact debt management, enhancing profitability and liquidity for better debt management, reducing interest expenses and financial risk.

In summary, a strong balance sheet with healthy ratios, such as higher profitability and better liquidity ratios resulting from improved working capital management, can enhance the company’s creditworthiness, access to capital, and reduce its reliance on debt financing.


Executives are mostly interested in the company’s financial health and sustaining its long-term growth and profitability. As such, KPIs play a crucial role in driving financial performance and aligning operational activities and efforts with strategic goals and objectives, ensuring that everyone is working towards the same outcomes.
The linking and analysis of KPIs to the company’s financial results is not fully successful until information is effectively reported to the Executive Level Team (ELT), as actions and important decisions need to be made accordingly. Reporting KPIs to Executives in a frequent manner can serve as the basis for productive discussions and collaboration among Executives, as this encourages dialogue around strategic planning, performance trends, challenges and opportunities, and enables informed decision-making.

When communicating and reporting KPIs to the ELT, it is of great importance to determine clearly what each KPI measures and why it is important for the business. It is also crucial to consider setting clear communication and presentation goals where relevant and meaningful information is presented to ensure that Executives have a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s performance and strategic direction.

When presenting KPIs, it is best to present them in a visually concise, focused, appealing, and easy-to-understand format via charts, graphs, and dashboards to illustrate trends, comparisons, and key insights. Including contextual information and analysis alongside may allow Executives to better interpret the data accurately. When deemed necessary, identify key findings and insights derived from the KPIs and highlight actionable steps or strategic decisions that need to be taken based on the results. Monitoring progress against KPIs over time is fundamental to track changes in performance, evaluate the effectiveness of strategies implemented, and determine the need to adjust KPIs or initiatives as necessary.


In conclusion, in today’s dynamic marketplace, it is vital for any organization in search of fostering a holistic approach to performance management, to be able to translate operational efficiencies into financial successes. As such, aligning a company’s operational KPIs with its financial statements can be of great help in support of this goal. The benefits of linking operational KPIs to the income statement and the balance sheet can be substantial, as they can drive organizations to better understand the financial implications of their performance metrics and make better-informed decisions to drive revenue growth, improve profitability, and achieve strategic objectives.