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By Michael Angier

Faster than the Speed of Thought

One of the ways you can differentiate yourself in the marketplace is to deliver your products and services faster than your competition.

I just signed off on the proofs for a 300-page book with a full-color cover. The turnaround for this digital printer is less than eight days—and most of that is spent sending and receiving proofs. Compare that to a four- to six-week process for most offset book printers. There are even printers who now produce books one at a time—as they're needed. It’s called Print on Demand.

More and more customers want quick—or even immediate—delivery.

Fred Smith launched an entire industry with his idea for FedEx and overnight delivery. Now it’s commonplace. Domino’s Pizza may not be the BEST pizza, but it’s known for delivering good hot pizza within 30 minutes.

The old adage, "Good things take time", isn’t entirely true anymore. And when we find ways to provide services faster, we're able to stand above the crowd.

No matter what you do, there's almost always a way to deliver your product faster and save time and money—all while increasing customer attraction and loyalty.

Hardly a day goes by without someone telling us how much they appreciate how quickly we respond to their requests. They're surprised when we reply within a few hours—oftentimes minutes.

I can only assume they're surprised because they're not used to this kind of service. And yet, it should be the norm rather than the exception.

Time is the gold of the 21st century. And more and more, people want and expect quick service and delivery.

Just because it’s always been done a certain way doesn’t mean it can’t be done differently. Perhaps there’s an approval process that can be streamlined—or even eliminated. Maybe you can have processes happen simultaneously instead of consecutively.

Where does the "wait" happen? What can be done ahead of time? How can you anticipate the choices your customer will likely make?

These are all questions that will lead to breakthroughs and cause innovation to occur.

It's fun. And in an organization, it's also infectious. People are inspired by improvements and will create their own.

You find what you're looking for. And if you're looking to be known for speed—if you're looking for ways to save time and money—it will happen.

You can be known for quality AND speed. 

 

 

"Once in a while you have to take a break and visit yourself."
      —Audrey Giorgi

 

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Last Updated 01/30/2004