Tag Archives: single serial system

Killing a Neighboring Function

“And operations does it absolutely perfect, every single time?” I asked.

Roberto exhaled like he was going to speak, but stopped. “Okay, you got me. I know it’s a trick question.”

“If operations does it absolutely perfect, every single time, then you have no need for Quality Control?” I smiled.

“We measure reject rates, but they have been pretty good, in fact, on a down trend,” Roberto replied.

“But your customer service call counts remain high. What’s up with that?” I wanted to know.

“That’s where we really put our energy. We get very high marks on our customer service. We put resources where we need them.”

“So, is there a correlation between low reject rate and high volume of customer service?”

“If you ask our department managers, they are very proud of their statistics. In fact, our customer service manager just asked for more budget because they are doing such a good job.” Robert’s turn to smile.

“There’s a connection,” I said. “When you look at integration inside a company, you can’t look at a high performing single function. You may find that a high performing single function is killing its neighboring function. And, you may find a problem in one function by looking at what’s happening in another function. You can get profitable by focusing on a single system, but you can’t scale until you look at all the functions together. It’s about total system throughput.”