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MNC Consulting Group Newsletter
August 2012
The Efficient Organization

 

Transport TrucksMove it or Lose it 

 

Many years ago, I remember handling a multi-copy "request for service" form that contained an area for four signatures. One of the signatures was required twice, at two different steps in the form's process. This meant that one manager had to see the form twice, at two different times. Now think about this. Here's a form that is initiating a service, but it is being transported between different offices multiple times. You can certainly see the problem with this process, but at the time, not a single manager thought this form or its process was flawed. Nor did they consider how this process was impacting their customer.

 

Even today, many people still go through their work days completing forms or other tasks, passing on the task to the next person in the process without questioning the process itself. But the movement of information, parts, and materials around an office (or facility) can be a tremendous source of waste. Excess email and email attachments take up storage space and take more time for the user to search and retrieve, multiple approvals of documents take up time, files moving between offices take time, and moving boxes from one end of the office to another to free up space is also wasteful. This unnecessary transportation is usually paired with unnecessary motion, product damage, loss of product, and more systems to track the movement.

 

One frequently overlooked fact in wasted transportation is that people often have to make round trips and this adds to delays. If you're working in an office that keeps you moving often, you may consider yourself lucky because the movement keeps you fit; but consider what this is doing to the organization's efficiency. If you're walking 100 feet to get documents or other items 20 times a day, you're walking about 170 miles (274 kilometers) a year. This is about one wasted hour per day. Fit? Yes. Efficient? No.

 

Transporting product between processes is a cost that adds no value to the product or to the customer. Determine which processes should be next to each other by mapping the product (information) flows. This makes the process easier to visualize and correct.

 

Commit to streamlining your processes with minimal movement within and between processes. You may just save yourself and your staff one hour each day. Instead of wasteful walking around the office, why not use that time more efficiently for a workout in your favourite gym?

Pursuit of Profit
Time Deadlines  
Time is Money

 

The American Time Use Survey reported that on the days that they worked, employed persons spent an average of 7.6 hours working. More hours were worked, on average, on weekdays than on weekend days - 8.0 hours compared with 5.7 hours (source: 2011 American Time Use). This is up 11 minutes from the 2010 survey. In total, the average American worker spent 56 hours per week on work and work-related activities.

 

As in 2010, 82 percent of all workers worked on the average weekday, with 35 percent working on weekends and holidays. This total significantly exceeds 100 percent, since many worked on both weekends and weekdays. In addition, the survey found that men worked significantly longer than women (an average of 8.4 versus 7.5 hours daily - compared to 8.2 and 7.4 hours in 2010), for a total of 47 minutes more per day. (This trend is similar for workers in Canada - in 2011, on average, men spent almost six hours more per week than women - 39.3 compared to 33.0 hours). However, women are more likely to work part time and take a more active role in family care and housework, so this accounts for the difference and points to women actually working longer hours than men, overall.

 

The survey does not answer why people worked longer hours in 2011 compared to previous years, but one plausible response could be that the economic slowdown has prompted those with jobs to work longer. Another reason is that work processes are becoming increasingly inefficient, so it takes longer to do the same tasks and it costs more, as a result.

 

It takes less time to implement efficient processes than it does to maintain inefficient ones. Simply put, efficient organizations have more money. If your organization is not efficient and is laboring away its money, efficiency measures need to be taken seriously. Take time now to streamline processes for the sake of all your workers and your money.

 

For more information on the American Time Use Survey, go to: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/atus.nr0.htm/. For Statistics Canada work survey results, go to: http://www4.hrsdc.gc.ca/.3ndic.1t.4r@-eng.jsp?iid=19

 
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

Today, I spent an hour on the phone with a wonderful mentor who helped me reset my thinking. It was time extremely well spent and the value I gained is immeasurable. I think that many of us too often get into a rut that sucks our time and drains our energy without purpose. Stop doing things just because you've always done them or because you've always done them in a certain way. Talk to a mentor or coach who can help you see things from a different perspective, so that you can be more efficient, more productive, and, as a result, a much happier person. IMHO.

 

"Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you."

Carl Sandburg

 
About MNC Consulting Group
Our goal is to help you to dramatically increase efficiencies that immediately boost your profit margins.

 

ISSN 1925-8941   

Extreme Profits is a monthly electronic newsletter discussing how leaders can be more efficient and areas where organizations can save more money. 

 

MNC Consulting Group Ltd. - All Rights Reserved.

mary@mncconsultinggroup.com | MNC Consulting Group | 5536A Hamsterly Road | Victoria, B.C., Canada  V8Y 1S5 | 250-658-4873

   

In This Issue
The Efficient Organization
Pursuit of Profit
In My Humble Opinion (IMHO)

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