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Are you making the most of your time?

People waste about a third of their time working inefficiently...

... but delays built into a whole business PROCESS waste much more time.

After your customers place an order, they wait for delivery. Ninety percent of that wait-time adds no benefit to the customer or to you.

"Time is your most lethal weapon," says Philip Thomas, author of "Competitiveness through Total Cycle Time."

Michael E. McGrath, author of "Next Generation Product Development: How to Increase Productivity, Cut Costs, and Reduce Cycle Times," says, "In the 1990s, time-based strategies changed the competitive balance in many industries as some competitors radically improved time to market through new management practices… we are now entering another generation of product development management. This time, the focus is on productivity…"

Stop those time-wasters and take market share from your competitors by improving response to your customer.

Last week, I discussed the fact that most companies burden their product development departments with inevitable schedule delays and long iteration cycles that increase time-to-market. To review, click here.

You can use shorter iteration cycles to leverage new learning (feedback). This will help you prevent problems and shorten development time, whether your product is an automobile, a software product, a custom restaurant meal … or a cell phone.

For example, years ago, Motorola reduced their cycle time for manufacturing cellular phones from three weeks ... to two weeks ... then, to six per day! They cut the waste and made cell phones 60 TIMES FASTER! (Imagine how fast they must make them today!)

And, their QUALITY improved dramatically because they built a feedback loop into each cycle. With shorter cycle times, they could IMPROVE QUALITY MORE OFTEN!

How can you reduce your manufacturing and delivery cycle time?

When your cycle time is much shorter than your competitor's, you can introduce products earlier and capture the market for yourself! Here are some ideas and suggestions:

  • Create your company as a set of streamlined functions that serve your customers.
  • Find the functions and processes that add no value - and drop them.
  • Stop routing memos and email to more people than necessary - this wastes their time with needless reading.
  • Make an effort to chop staff meetings in half and get the same (or better) results.
  • Eliminate "status" meetings — instead, obtain status in writing.

Pursue often the answers to questions like these:

  • Can a given process accelerate results, lower costs, or improve quality?
  • How can you change it to improve response?
  • How can you free up resources?
  • How can you use fewer people?
  • How can you reduce inventory?

Customers want FAST service. That's why 48.6% of Internet households have already switched to broadband. Give customers what they want–faster!

Discover how to use your faster response time to differentiate your company from your competitor(s). Imagine what will happen when you reduce your cycle from months, weeks or days to 1-week, 1-hour, 1-day, or a few minutes.

Deliver sooner, get paid sooner, and keep your customers!

The Math of Corporate Disorganization:

According to the Wall Street Journal (March 1997), the average U.S. executive one hour/day (6 weeks/year) searching for misplaced information from messy desks and files. This equals. (At $120,000/year in salary and benefits, this wasted time amounts to nearly $16,000/year/executive.)

Look at it this way. Suppose a 10-executive company sells a product that makes a 10% profit. To make up for this loss of $160,000 (10 x 16,000), they must sell $1,600,000 MORE of their product!

But wait! Wasted time due to misplaced information does not apply just to execs. It applies to most employees, right? The awesome cost of disorganization is passed along to customers in higher prices. It just makes sense (and money) for you to discover and correct those activities that slow you down.

  • According to The American Demographic Society, Americans waste more than 9 million hours each day looking for lost and misplaced articles

The "Best Performer Syndrome.

At some companies, the "Best-Performer" incentive system works against progress. Why? Because, when someone learns to do something better, they keep it a secret–to remain the Best Performer! Therefore, no one improves except Number One.

How can you change your incentive system so that when the company does well, everyone does well?

What did you learn today that you found most beneficial?

How will you apply what you have learned at work?

I welcome your comments!

Best Regards,

Mike Hayden, Principal/Consultant
Your partner in streamlining business.

PS. If you'd like to receive Profitable Venture Tactics, click here to sign up (FREE).

Senior Management Services
9457 S. University Blvd. Suite 235 Highlands Ranch, CO 80126

(303) 585-1945
Fax: (952) 674-1767
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(c) 2005 Mike Hayden
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