Balancing People Capacity –Dickeson

Year Lower
2002 61.73% 49.35% 12.38%
2001 63.84% 54.35% 9.49%
2000 63.38% 53.76% 9.62%
1999 63.91% 53.79% 10.12%
1998 63.09% 54.25% 8.84%
1997 63.70% 55.08% 8.62%
1996 64.25% 55.04% 9.21%
1995 63.86% 55.38% 8.48%
1994 64.64% 56.16% 8.48%
1993 64.99% 55.25% 9.74%
1992 65.39% 56.78% 8.61%

Here are the numbers taken from the PIA Ratio Studies plotted in the graph. As best I can recall we haven’t ever looked at these data points in a time series before. I don’t remember ever having thought of them as measuring capacity before now.

But when we do this we get a fresh, global view of our industry, don’t we? We’re suckers paying a dime more for every dollar of value we add for people we can’t, or aren’t, using! When we see those two graph lines and when we scan down the Variance column in the table we ask ourselves: “Didn’t we know this? Are we that dense?”

The answer is that we knew, or sensed, that something was wrong. We called it “over-capacity” and blamed suppliers for sweet-talking us into equipment purchases. Yes, we were that dense. We bought the machines and then kept all the same people cashing the same, or increasing, paychecks. We dreamed that, in some magic way, new sales would keep everyone busy. Never happened in 11 years.

Or we didn’t buy the new machines when we should have and the old equipment required more payroll capacity to deliver the jobs. We delayed equipment decisions beyond their time. In either case, it comes down to people as the capacity constraint, doesn’t it? With new equipment we have unneeded staff.

With older equipment we need to have more staff to get the work out. The key is the delicate balancing of capacity with adding values demanded by the voice of the customer. And at the right moment in time.

And then there’s that old marketing myth that in order to keep accounts we must supply ALL the printing needs of the account. (If I hear that one more time, I’ll vomit!) We support inefficient processes to avoid a competitive printer getting cozy with “our” account. This excuse is offered to support capacity for processes we can’t justify.

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