A long time ago, I was working for an important textile company near Bergamo (Northern Italy).
The Purchasing Manager called me saying he wanted to lift the swatches cutting out in the Hong Kong storehouse. So I declared my availability to evaluate economically every single operation.
Among the many things I needed to know for doing that, I asked him how much time it takes to cut a swatch, and he answered “a couple of minutes” without any doubt.
“It looks too little”, I said. “Would you mind if I go to the storehouse with a stopwatch, in order to give a test run? In this way, I will avoid to make you an offer that will result unaffordable later, or an overpriced proposal”.
Obviously, he wouldn’t.
When I went down to the storehouse, we arranged the cutting test. In order, to do it you have to: go and get the fabric on the shelf, prepare the cut-machine, measure, check the swatch is really perfect, revise the fabric length in your database, produce a new label, clear the machine, package the fabric and put it back, bend and package the swatch, write the address and set the expedition.
Are you breathless, aren’t you? All of this takes nine minutes, if you don’t lose time.
If I had presented a blind offer, even pretending to double the time he gave me and setting a 100% margin, I would have taken a loss.
By this point of view, I suggest now to consider the time a single FBW needs: since the client send us the first message, since the first email with which he says to us he wants to ship, to the moment we send the document to the airline company.
Take your stopwatch and write down the time, the materials and the employees every single action needs… Everything, and let’s see the amount.
So, we get a real cost parameter, set on our company, related to this specific operation.
Then, let’s see what it means to introduce data and, even, this process digitization in order to have all these described actions as pertinent to what we are already doing as it is possibile – because I’m sure that, after all these years, everything is already really optimized.
Now we have all the rational data to decide how to go further, and everyone will take a decision according to his entrepreneurial sensitiveness.
So we sketched a method, a rough and artisanal method, but perfectionism can be counter-productive.