Friday, December 5, 2008

The Big Three

Have you ever heard in business that there are three basic things a business wants and needs as it produces products, but in actuality can only have two of those.

The three are: good quality, fast service, low cost.

It's common knowledge in business that you pick the two you can have because having three is impossible. You can get good quality and have it quickly, but it will cost you. If you want something quickly and cheap, you won't have good quality. And finally, if you want good quality but you don't want to pay so much, you'll have to wait for it because it will not be done quickly.

Then what happens when you're with a company is you soon learn what their emphasis is, or what their two choices are.

The company I worked for a few years ago obviously chose quality first and foremost and second they chose a good schedule or fast service no matter the cost. The founder had a story told about him that when one of his books was published and he found numerous mistakes in them that he built a big bonfire and burned them all. He then had the team start over and produce a quality book. At that time excellent quality was the one and only consideration.

I've worked for several different companies since then. Nowhere has quality been the number one priority since that first experience. That was quite a culture shock. I was continually called on the carpet because I was taking too long to make sure there were as few mistakes as possible. The transition was quite frustrating and actually somewhat painful.

I've now adjusted and I tell my work team: Let's do what we can the best we can within the time we have. We often have to let too much go by, and once a mistake is in the product it almost takes an act of Congress to get it corrected. It becomes extremely important to do excellent work from the get-go and then let it go.

How does this apply to a reality check? We are in relationship with a God who does all three. He is the epitome of quality, the very best. He always delivers on time, exactly on time. And do we even need to discuss the "cost"? Having this relationship as a foundation makes the rest of life, including the allowances that have to be made in other areas, acceptable because we know that the things that really matter are covered.

My thoughts at this time-


Cathy H said...

Interesting post and oddly timely since discussions in my office are focusing on the "digital world" making it more possible to "have all three."

As always, I love your thoughts!

Mary Burleson said...

Cathy, Thanks for your comment. I enjoy reading your blog, Random Cathy. Such a fun way to meet your family and to stay up with what's happening. Sounds like you had a great Thanksgiving!

SF said...

I was beginning to think you had taken a sabatical! Cked in several times excited to see what reality check was blogging and the colors were still there!! Glad to see you are back and enjoy them always!

Mary Burleson said...

SF, I agree. Too much time goes between postings. Thanks for continuing to check. Each time I post I'm shocked by how much time has passed since I posted. Must be my age. MB