Management Matters

Drive Results with Clear metrics, as What gets Measured gets Done.

I'm a big fan of measuring the things that matter. When we measure things, they get done. Funny that, aye?

An astounding number of apiary companies we deal with or inherit are still not measuring the right metrics. 

The key metrics you must measure are:
  • Running cost per hive
  • Replacement or reestablishment cost
  • Revenue per hive
  • Annual death rate
  • Average per unit production value
  • Average apiary visit cost
These are the baseline basics you need in your apiary business.

You need to know where you are now to assess the impact of any intervention or investment you make. How else will you know if you've been effective?

If you don't do this, you are flying blind, making assumptions, and relying on guesswork, which is dangerous and full of nasty surprises. Trust me, I've seen the car wrecks.

Let's look at an example: If we know the actual reestablishment cost of a hive, we can work out the amount we are willing to invest or forgo to save it. If we don’t know this number, we can be short-sighted, which can shortchange us in the long term, significantly increasing your operating costs while seriously hampering future revenues.

Let’s say it costs you $300 for a package of bees and its first year’s revenue to reestablish, effectively two years' revenue! (I know this cost and time period will vary depending on where you are based, just go with me here). How much “cheaper” is it now to sacrifice some honey to treat on time or to do an extra treatment round when mite samples are high (You do monitor, aye?).
Another example: Once you know the Average apiary visit cost or the actual cost to send a team without doing any work, other costs can be put into perspective. For example, is it actually cost-effective to remove all the honey from a hive, only to have to purchase sugar and send a team back multiple times to feed it out?
 Is that “cheap” varroa treatment actually cheaper once you factor in multiple trips to apply it or its lower efficacy?   

You mustn't be myopic with your metrics.

Working out or reviewing these baseline numbers will keep things in perspective. What is the most alarming number for you?

If you haven’t done it, stop paying lip service. Walk the talk and measure what matters.

Your bottom line will thank you for it.

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