Friday, April 11, 2003

Batch Perspectives Die Hard

Had a question yesterday for a supplier. Some technical info we needed. I had expected it earlier in the week, didn't get it, so emailed requesting it.

The reply came, with the needed information. Then a line that said "We wanted to send the updated info to everyone at the same time." Huh?

The supplier wanted to batch the information distribution. Had it been a piece of common information, such as pricing updates, in which it was crucial that all customers got the same information at the same time, it would make sense. However, this was purely a technical update, specific to our situation. It made no difference to me when or if anyone else got the info. But we needed our data!!! I would have waited another week had I not asked, when, in fact, it was ready, right now, for me. And, it was distributed with a simple email, "Parameter XXX should be set for YYY."

The reason? Nothing malicious. The supplier, without thinking deeply about customer value, felt it would be more "efficient" to batch specific information to all parties at once. This simply reflects our innate, perhaps genetic, tendency to batch.

Flow is a learned response. So, if it is tough for you, relax. Try to focus on it and keep learning it. As you see it, you will grasp it more and more clearly. Today, see if you can resist a batch tendency. For example, instead of emptying the entire dishwasher onto the counter top and then putting it all away, take the coffee cups directly to their place in the cupboard. No "work in process." Instead of addressing all the envelopes at once, put one letter into the envelope, address it, stamp it and put it out for mailing. Once you see it, you'll find many examples daily.

Even in supplier correspondence.

I hope this is helpful. Feel free to forward to a friend. Email me

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