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Eliminate Mistakes and Delays and See What Else You Can Eliminate

Feb 10, 2008
Unfortunately, the world is still beset with too many stalls based on complacency, tradition, disbelief, misconceptions, unattractiveness, miscommunications, bureaucracy, and procrastination. While those stalls persist, unnecessary delays and mistakes will continue to plague us all.

But a small organization could make the effort to learn how to bust all of these stalls using the breakthrough solution process. When that occurs, the organization will have a large opportunity to eliminate many other practices that were in place solely to deal with mistakes and delays.

For instance, the first thing that a desk clerk who works the registration desk in a hotel or motel is usually taught is how to calm down an enraged customer. When there are no enraged customers, that bit of training can be dropped.

There are other costs that will go away with failing to enrage customers. Here's an example: I went to a hotel for a week's stay. Before arriving, I had spoken to the hotel staff three times to ensure that the type of room we wanted (a large nonsmoking room with a kitchenette and two double beds) was reserved for us in our price range.

I was told there was no problem, and that all would be well. When we arrived after a 12-hour plane flight, we found that the hotel had no unoccupied nonsmoking rooms as we had reserved.

No problem. We were flexible. We would just check out smoking rooms until we found one that didn't smell like we had a smoking roommate. Almost 2 hours later, we finally located such a room after trying what seemed like half the hotel.

This chewed up our time and the time of three people on the hotel staff. The hotel probably could employ two fewer people on the front desk at that time of day if the rooms that guests had reserved were readily available.

Will we ever go back to that hotel? I'm sure you know the answer. So there was a missed revenue opportunity involved entailing thousands of dollars as well. With more loyal customers, the hotel wouldn't need to advertise so much. Travel agency fees would be reduced as well.

Now wouldn't it have been cheaper for them to have saved a room they promised for us? I think so.

Mistakes cost a lot of money. So do delays. Organizations with low error rates and few delays have smaller, simpler staffs that focus on what's important in serving customers, consumers, and users.

When you visit a Dell computer factory, for instance, you don't see that many people who aren't actually assembling a computer or taking the completed product to a truck. With low error and delay rates, Dell can pay attention to assembling and shipping from those facilities.

Because they do a good job of ordering and using inventory, you don't see many parts stockpiled outside the work stations. That means that the company doesn't have to spend a lot of time and effort accounting for and tracking down the inventory. It's a much better way to go.

What costs can you eliminate by getting rid of time-consuming mistakes and delays?
About the Author
Donald Mitchell is an author of seven books including Adventures of an Optimist, The 2,000 Percent Squared Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution, The 2,000 Percent Solution Workbook, The Irresistible Growth Enterprise, and The Ultimate Competitive Advantage. Read about creating breakthroughs through 2,000 percent solutions and receive tips by e-mail by registering for free at

http://www.2000percentsolution.com .
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