Fire engines are really important. When someone’s house or business is burning down or there is a major problem it will often be a fire engine that “saves the day”. That is why they have real value.
But, when things are quiet, fire engines just sit there doing nothing. What is worse is that they are a large cost item sitting idle. They are really inefficient.
Why would we tolerate such a large cost item sitting idle? Surely, if a fire department is to be successful we should be keeping large cost items busy or efficient? That does not appear to be the case.
The reason is that for a fire department to be successful it must have protective capacity. It must be able to respond to problems quickly and accurately. The only time it needs to be efficient is when it is travelling to the burning house. Red lights start flashing and roads get cleared.
If we kept the fire engine running and busy 100% of the time it would wear out, be more likely to breakdown, require more servicing and be less likely to save the day.
Let’s try this out with your business.
Your business is really important. When a customer needs something it will be your business that saves the day. Your business has real value.
But, when things are quite your people sit there doing nothing or worse pretend to be doing something while doing nothing. Your people are inefficient.
Why should you tolerate such a large cost item sitting idle? Surely, if your business is to be successful you should be demanding that people are busy and efficient all the time. Perhaps not.
Consider that for your business to be successful it must have the protective capacity. Your people must be able to respond to customers quickly and accurately. Consider that the only time your people really need to be efficient is when the next customer needs something. Red lights should then start flashing and roads should be cleared.
If you demanded that your people were running and busy 100% of the time they would soon wear out, be more likely to break down, require more servicing and be less likely to satisfy your customers.
How efficient are your people?