Wolfe’s Woofer: Efficiency

Sunday, January 26th, 2020

“Ah, Dennis Wolfe. I figured you’d be out here drinking coffee.”
“Hey, Archie,” I said. “How is business?”
Archie is the managing partner of a builder’s supply store in Dangriga. I was having my morning coffee on the deck of the Holiday Hotel when he joined me.
“Our store plods along but we spend too much time and money doing things slowly and wastefully instead of efficiently,” he said.
“Why don’t you do some efficiency studies? I asked. “At business classes we were taught the Three-step method of efficiency studies.”
“What is that?”
“Step One – observe the problem. Step Two – determine steps to correct it. Step Three – have the worker suggest a solution. This works because if you give them a chance to tell you the solution, they’ll think it’s their own idea.”
“I’ll do one using my wife as a test,” he said. “I’ve been thinking about talking to her about how long she takes to cook my breakfast.”
Archie was back in San Pedro last week and he tracked me down again. After we settled in with our coffee, I asked, “Did your efficiency study with Jenny work?”
“It certainly did. I observed her for a while and showed her what was slowing her down. Then I let her suggest how to speed it up.”
“Did you learn anything from the study?”
“I certainly did. I learned that instead of her taking twenty minutes to cook my breakfast it now takes me only fourteen minutes to cook it.”

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