I occasionally suffer from a bad back. Many years ago, I friend recommended a chiropractor, who I have been going to over the years. This guy is amazing. Apart from the fact that he offers quick, high quality service, he manages to squeeze in an impressive number of clients each hour. To be specific, he’s scheduling system allows for 12 five minute slots each hour, at 500 SEK a pop. You just do the quick calculation in your head, and you realize this guy has a regular money press going for him.
It wasn’t always like this. When I started going to him, he answered the door himself, answered the phone, jotted down appointments, and he did it all out of a single room. The actual treatment was still quick and accurate, only he couldn’t squeeze as many clients into his schedule. So what changed? Process is what changed. He hired a nurse to take care of all his administrative tasks, got himself a computer system and got an extra room. The extra room is genius. It means that while I get dressed after the treatment, he’s already off treating the next guy in the next room. He probably doubled his capacity by streamlining his process. More to the point, he doubled his hourly intake of money, thereby allowing him to get richer, but also allowing him to pay for his process improvements.
OK, you ask, what’s this story doing in your blogg? Well, if this guy had been an IT consultant, I would have evaluated him by his hourly rate. He would have cost a whopping 6.000 SEK an hour. As a diligent purchaser, I would have compared him to other suppliers. As a matter of fact, in this case there was another guy I tried a couple of times. He would massage my back and then finish of with the same kind of back-breaking maneuvers that the 6.000 SEK guy does, only the whole procedure was closer to 45 minutes, and, sadly, it didn’t help a lot. It would probably cost me something like 400 SEK today, which quickly translates to 600 SEK an hour. Since I am a professional purchaser that take pride in my trade, I go for the 600 SEK/hr supplier. I don’t really care that I get a service that is inferior and takes longer time (45 minutes vs. 5 minutes).
The moral of the story (in case you missed it) is simply this: I, as the customer, would do well to compare the service I get (quick, efficient back-ache alleviation) , and the price I pay for it (500 SEK vs 400 SEK), and ask myself what is the value in this for me? Well, the answer, of course, is a no-brainer in this example. I go for the 6.000 SEK/hr guy any day.
So will integration services in any way resemble chiropractor ditto’s? Because that’s what we’re betting on 🙂 !