Why Speed Is a Key Factor in Profits


Why Speed Is a Key Factor in Profits

I was sitting at a busy medical centre recently waiting my turn and watching the goings-on, and it struck me how some of the doctors walked briskly to the desk to call the next patient whilst others stroll along nonchalantly as though they had all the time in the world.

And it got me thinking about how much money the doctors would have made that day. During the time I was waiting, one of the doctors saw three patients whilst the other saw two. Now I know nothing about what each patient was there for so this is not a comment on how fast a doctor can diagnose a patient and see the next one.

I was thinking more about how when a person walks slowly, they tend to think slowly, and they tend to do their job slowly. Whilst a person who walks quickly may think faster and be more efficient in the way they perform their job. It reminded me of my past employees and what I’ve observed and discussed with clients over the years.

Where your business revolves around what people do, making sure they have the tools and information to be as efficient as possible is a key to being profitable in business.

1. Documented procedures allow for easier training of new team members but also creates and maintains consistency in the business as everyone is using the same process.

Being able to provide new staff with the ‘how to’ book of what we do reduces the time involvement of other staff in training the new staff and enables them to come up to speed more quickly. I’ve also found it helpful for projects that I do once a month as a reminder to make sure I don’t miss an important step in the process.

2. When quoting for services, either you will base the quote on the expected time it will take to perform the services, or you quote using value-based pricing.

Either way, it is important to provide the team members doing the work with a time budget to work to. I found that when I didn’t provide time budgets to my team, they took significantly longer to do the job than when I gave them a timeframe to complete the tasks.

3. Consider what speed you work at and then hire people accordingly.

There’s nothing more frustrating than being a fast thinker and having to work with slow thinkers or people who seem to take twice as long to do a task than other people. And similarly, if you’re a slower thinker, you may be bamboozled by fast thinkers and possibly feel threatened by their capabilities.

Having said that, it’s important to have a good mix, and fast doesn’t always mean accurate or a quality result. Putting it all into the mix is important. Being aware of how you work will help you deal with others who don’t work at the same pace and remind you to be patient where required.

The impact on profit is directly related to the time and thus the cost involved in delivering the service.

A highly paid team member who is efficient will provide greater profits than a highly paid team member who is slow or inefficient. But a lower paid team member who is slow may still provide similar profits if the remuneration is appropriate to their efficiency capabilities.

When all is said and done, don’t sacrifice quality of work for speed, but equally make sure that the team are working as efficiently as they can by providing documented procedures, technology and other systems to allow them to do their job effectively.

Part of the process needs to be reviewing time on the job against budgeted or quoted time and drilling into the detail to determine why a job took longer than expected. It may be that the quoting needs to be improved or it may be the team member needs more training or needs to follow the procedure better, or the procedure needs to be updated or improved.

Just remember that speed will impact profit so it’s key to aim for the highest efficiency and productivity that you can.

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