According to most approaches to management, time is just one of the resources, along with stable funding, strong team, necessary equipment, and so on. Of course, all resources are important. The fundamental question is what is the most important resource. In the long run, all resources can be replenished. All except time. For example, ten years is sufficient to assemble a team, attract investment, develop your own technology, and perhaps even do it more than once.
If we make a short-term analysis (up to a week), then almost any resource will become indispensable. It is very difficult to immediately find a qualified employee, necessary information, financial investment etc. Note, it is difficult to do it quickly – that is, we are short on time, the rest is just consequences.
Does this sound too abstract? Let us turn to specific examples.
Case 1. Sales Management Automation
Customer: Large independent processing company.
Goal: Improve internal transparency and efficiency while reducing risk.
Task: Accelerate the time it takes to connect customers to the service network of POS-terminals, as well as improve the quality, accountability and data security at all stages of the process.
Solution: The analysis of the process of acquiring of new customers, as well as input systems, storage and processing of data. After the analysis development of a solution based on business processes automization.
Result: Created a single point of entry of customer data, build a unified interface for handling orders, enhanced security features and control process but, most importantly, increased the registration time of new customers by 5 times!
Therefore, we sold time. Our customer had more time, as he no longer had to manually enter data, effectively communicated and their information was protected. The quality of customer service for the end user was substantially increased. In this case, time does not directly correlate with money. You cannot simply buy “five-time process acceleration.” To achieve this, you first need to find a basic solution and after multiple trials and errors and extensive analysis, turn this into a specific business process.
As you can see the law of conservation works perfectly. The initial investment of time, which we have has triumphed. Behind the scenes, there is a complete set of all other types of resources, however, the main result for the client was the effective time decrease in customer service.
Time – the most versatile and the only irreplaceable resource.
Perhaps this was not an ideal example? A business process had to be accelerated, and it is clear that time plays a special role here. Then let’s look at another project from another area.
Case 2. Automation of internal collaboration
Customer: Systems integrator
Goal: Achieve productivity gains, better the use of existing capacities for the development of the company.
Objectives: Increase the efficiency of interaction between employees and within departments, minimize management risks.
Solution: Analyzed the customer’s current business logic, identified problem areas and determined the point of control for data transmission. Afterwards, using Comindware Tracker established instant notification of executives if any irregularities occurred.
Result: The interaction has become much more transparent, internal contacts have been synchronized as they can be managed centrally, and the majority of the problems are eliminated prior to becoming critical.
So, what did the customer get? Improved efficiency, productivity growth – of course. But in short – speed. The main effect of establishing effective internal communications is that they significantly speed up. Employees spend much less time searching for information, finding common ground, reporting, etc. All the useful gain is based on time savings. The management can see the problem early and intervene and respond quicker. The team is well aware of this, so they try to act more speedily, solving problems as they arise, without delaying “for later”.
This way, the vast majority, if not all projects can be reduced to time saving. Why do it? Obviously, all the “normal” types of planning and resource allocation are not going anywhere. You can count money in time equivalent, but the financial plans will still been drawn up in monetary terms. Some might argue that that the qualification of employees depends on the time spent on their selection and training. Nevertheless, the HR department will work as usual, so will training centers.
All above is true. However, if you focus on saving time, it is much easier to make the right decision. The “time factor” creates a fourth dimension, which is more than real and determines much more than we usually are willing to admit. If we look at the word through the prism of a watch it becomes clear that:
1) It makes sense to invest only in the solutions that will save time. Furthermore, the profitability of these investments is determined by the time, which is then easily converted into cash.
2) The ultimate value of solution is how much time it will save the company and how it will help them to quickly serve their own customers.
3) When analyzing business processes and communications, we must come from the idea that speed is the key indicator and as a rule, the best indicator even in the most difficult and complicated situations.
We should not bring the battle for speed to the point of absurdity. There is no point in the primitive time management, trying to cut corners making the process hectic and absurd. “Time” has always been around, it is just the question of how we use it.