The Math Juggle

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If your team’s efficiency increased by 25%, what would that mean to you, financially?  We may imagine that 25% greater efficiency would allow 25% more projects to be completed for a total increase in profits of 25%, but it’s often more complicated then that.   There are also factors that are difficult to measure that may impact business, such as improved morale and staff retention, which decreases the costs associated with finding and training new staff, thus increasing overall profit.  The direct increase in profits may be significantly less or more than 25% as a result. 

For example, if there isn’t any more work to do and picking up 25% more clients is unlikely, then the increase in productivity will give you more time and allow you to provide clients with a streamlined project timeline, but it might not drastically impact the bottom line.   The long term results would include happier staff and a more comfortable work environment, which will reflect in the quality of the work.  Clients would be happier as well, and there would be a gradual uptick in business as your reputation grows.   If any contractual work was being done, more could be handled in-house to save the expense.   A small company may not be able to afford a big upgrade to this end, but they would still benefit from the increased productivity, and if some smaller changes can be implemented to accomplish the goal, it would be worth the investment.   For larger companies, the investment is far easier to justify as the smaller differences, such as decreased turnover, add up quickly, even if there is no obvious increase in revenue.

For a company of any size who might be able to increase the number of projects they accomplish in a year with the increased efficiency, it is always worthwhile to make the investment, sooner rather than later.  Even if the expense would require financing, the interest charged would be less than the increase in profits, which begin the moment the upgrade is in place.  The increase in productivity is often greater than the measurable increase in efficiency because the creative flow is not interrupted by errors or unnecessary delays, thus further improving the quality and decreasing the necessary timeline for projects.  If designers have to pause between steps to accommodate slow equipment, they lose more than the actual minutes they spent staring at the progress bar.  Every tool you can give your team allows them to be their best, and as individuals spark off of one another in a team environment, the total is greater than the sum of its parts.  

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