Efficiency: Machines vs. Humans

If you want your business to thrive, you have got to fine tune efficiency. As the old saying goes, time is money, and efficiency is what grants you that time. By figuring out how to get more out of less, you will ensure the success of your business. As technology continues to leap forward, you will find that quite quickly and efficiently, it removes waste and unnecessary steps and optimizes for value and productivity. It is survival of the fittest out there, and you have to find a way to get the upper hand. If you want your business to survive the evolutionary arms race, you must continuously improve yourself, your team, your structure, and your business as a whole.

The best way to do that is to make the way you and your team works a ‘machine’ structure. Now this does not mean fire all your human staff and go out an buy robots. It means eliminate the need to think, make it so that your employees can act without thinking, squeeze every ounce of utility out of every resource possible, and then figure out how to squeeze some more.

Variety Is The Enemy Of Efficiency And Productivity

As humans, we crave variety, we strive on it. In our everyday lives we want things like eating different meals, having choices on what to wear, who we hang out with, etc. However, this can very easily lead to over thinking. We’ve all head the saying before, Jack of all trades, but master of none. With too many choices and too many responsibilities, people start to get uncomfortable. And when employees start to become uncomfortable and overwhelmed it can cost the company money. And a decent amount at that. Having a machine structured outlook promotes the exact opposite, it is analytical, efficient, and boosts production. This is why, in the business world, an assembly line type of system, is the best solution for businesses.

The Production/Assembly Line Business Model

On of the greatest examples we have ever seen, was from the founding father of this principle himself, Henry Ford. In fact, his assembly line boosted his employees 300% more efficient. Try and wrap your head around that. 300%. Before his break through, each vehicle was built one car at a time. This meant that each employee had to know how to completely build a car from start to finish. Which he quickly realized was taking a lot longer than it should. And rightfully so, he was expecting his employees to remember every single step. He was making them think. However, by breaking this process into smaller processes and giving each employee one particular job, he could speed up the assembly line, since employees no longer needed to think about the next step. It becomes automatic, you don’t have to think about what you’re doing, it just somehow starts happening, and you never have to stop. This automatic function is what makes you money. Taking day-to-day operations and turn what was once an unpredictable human business into a predictable money making machine.

The Restructure Consulting Business Model

That’s how you want to think with your business. Replace thinking with doing. Just as Amazon has done. Now keep in mind Amazon is an extreme example, however, it lays out perfectly the ‘do – not think’ principle. Since robots are not advance enough yet, they still require humans to work in their fulfillment centers, to ensure that each product is put in the correct box, with the correct shipping information, and then placed on the correct belt, which is where the machines take over. While the machine is not smart enough yet to do that part, it can push the person to do it to the closest efficiency of a machine.

Each employee holds a tablet, which tells them the exact location of a product, and the exact time it would take to get there, pack it, and put it on the belt. In fact, Amazon has gone so far as to add a countdown clock, so that no one falls behind. It even coordinates all employees at the same time, so if someone is in the bathroom for too long, it will change the time on everyone else’s clock to ensure that no time is lost. Time is money, and considering Amazon has to fill 10,000 orders a second, there is no time to spare. That machine has to be so well optimized. If for some reason that system went down, it would take Amazon over a year to catch up, just think at the amount of loss that is. There is no room for error.

Even the people who are getting paid the least in their jobs at the fulfillment centers are more productive than people that are paid huge amounts of money. That’s how Amazon is at their most efficient, because they’re making sure that every component in their machine is doing the work all the time, at the best level. That’s what you want to think about with your business too. If you have people debating whether they want to go for lunch today, or running to the bathroom every half an hour, you start losing productivity.

You need a structure, daily goals met, etc. Of course you can never stop your employees from going to the bathroom, or doodling, which is why you should consider incentives. If we want to be the best and survive the long-term, we need a team of people, who think and act like owners. This is where stock option can come in to play. It will ensure people work even harder because now they feel they have something to lose.