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Not Everything is Productivity - Reassessing the Focus on Efficiency

In a world that seems to have surrendered to the relentless pursuit of productivity and efficiency - the quotient between the delivered product and the cost or effort to produce it - we observe that, in some cases, an excessive focus on this metric can even be detrimental.

Efficiency and productivity are essential to us. We constantly seek to optimise them and also collaborate to improve them.
For example, in a screw factory, it's important to consider metrics such as cost per kilogram of screw, hours worked per tonne, and kWh consumption per tonne. However, it's crucial to avoid excessive focus on a single metric, such as the cost per repair in maintenance, which can encourage more repairs instead of preventive maintenance. Or the cost per telephone call where there may be an incentive to shorten calls and encourage customers to call back instead of resolving the case.

Alternative examples:

  • Maintenance
  • MTBF - mean time between failures - encouraging preventive maintenance and line uptime
  • MTTR - mean time to repair
  • Telephone Customer Service
    • Average Wait Time
    • Average Case Resolution Time (possibly segmented by case types)

 In summary, the metrics selected for each operation should be chosen on a case-by-case basis to motivate the desired behaviours.