Financial systems have long been telling managers how much money their plants made in the last quarter, but they're changing to a more current focus. For example, a new software offering from Maxager Technology Inc., San Rafael, Calif., provides continuously updated reports that reveal how much more profit a plant can achieve and the specific changes needed to capture previously lost profit opportunities. The system consists of two reporting modules: Margin Maxager (profit analysis) and Thruput Maxager (production analysis), plus Maxager Data Stations located at strategic control points in the factory. Michael Rothschild, president and CEO, says the system is to profit what Six Sigma is to quality -- a quantitative benchmark for "perfect" performance that can be used to focus the entire organization on the steps required for continuous improvement. On a strategic level, he says Maxager identifies winners and losers in any product mix by calculating the profit velocity (the profit per minute each stock keeping unit generates). On a tactical level, Maxager identifies and prioritizes production problems according to their impact on profit.