One step forward, two steps back

Take the retail giant who squeezes every cent out of the supplier’s price. They have a policy that withholds payment of an invoice when there is a discrepancy, against the order, which is greater than the cost of a postage stamp. Yet they do not take into account the cost of the paper, the ink, the envelope, or the time it takes the claims administrator to first reject it and then reprocess it again later, once resubmitted.

Next there’s the business consultancy boss who decides it is financially “better” to deploy free open office software onto their consultants machines, contrary to their clients chosen technology stack. This reduced interoperability means clean formatting of client deliverables suffer when exported and the consultants now have to recall two sets of commands–frustrated by the habitual shortcut keys now doing something different. This dual maintenance impacts productivity by increasing effort and introducing rework, which ultimately raises the total cost of delivery to the customer.

And then consider the easy to pick on examples of our meeting cultures, where we choose to not plan or communicate an agenda, rather ‘just book an hour’ regardless of what’s necessary, and send ‘all and sundry’ invitations which obligate people away from the more important work they should be doing.

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