10 years I’ve worked in Corporate America.
There were few things that annoyed me more than repetitive, manual tasks. Things like data entry or generating reports or manually formatting abajillion files.
I always found ways around that.
I learned the programming language C++ in college. I self-taught myself Microsoft VB. I know other industry-specific languages too.
I’ve compiled 2,000 page reports in a matter of minutes by taking the time to write programs that sorted, formatted, and entered all the data for me automatically.
I once wrote a script to do a job that took an assistant over a full 40-hour work week to do manually, in seconds.
Think of those cost savings. One assistant, $20/hr, 40 hours. That’s $800. And it was done multiple times a year.
I can’t even begin to tell you how long it would have taken to compile those 2,000 pages manually. A year? Probably a year. Eff that noise. Technology wins.
These are the huge, massive amounts of waste that occur everyday in offices around the world. And of course, there’s the time wasted on the internet out of sheer boredom of doing these tasks. You can’t reasonably expect someone to do these tasks for 8 hours a day, non-stop, and still come back day after day, and expect a great amount of productivity from them.
Performing these manual tasks are not hard. On the contrary, they’re incredibly easy and mundane, and that’s why they fly under the radar. And cost you thousands of dollars per year.
It’s not that I just have the technical programming experience, but I also have the formal education to look at your processes as a whole. Any process.
As early as my summer internships, I have been optimizing and making manufacturing processes more efficient. I was exposed to, and used, Lean Manufacturing Processes. At the ripe age of 19, I was out on the manufacturing line, working along side 60 year old women, and convincing them that I knew a better way to do the thing that they had been doing for the past 25 years. That almost takes more interpersonal skills than technical skills.
Not only did I convince them to let me try, but they were happy with the changes because I worked with them as opposed to dictating to them, and the results speak for themselves. I save 30 hours per week on their process and saved over $75,000 per year in wasted time and materials.
I was then engulfed in 6 Sigma.
6 Sigma is used to analyze design processes. What things are going into your design, what aren’t, and what part of it is waste? Do you even have a defined design process? How can you then identify waste and inefficiencies? Where are your hang-ups? What causes you pain and anguish so that you can’t move on to the next phase?
Through structured events using defined tools, we were able to define a design process used to eliminate the need for buying an outsourced part that cost $4,000 each, with a volume of roughly 200/year. That’s an annual savings of $800,000 just by taking the time of analyzing everything you do.
Nobody likes the office. That’s why I live in a van. But can you afford to keep wasting time? Can you afford the headcount to have one person doing one task for an entire week when they could be doing something else instead?