Your Greatest Competition is Yourself


Reading time ( words)

It really doesn’t matter who you think your external competitors are, because the only competitor that really matters is you. Of course, you will look externally to stay on top of latest trends, but when it comes to competition, just competing with yourself is a win. When you look at yourself as your greatest competitor you will start with a huge advantage: you already have great intel on how “your competition” thinks. Ask yourself, “What can I do to displace my ‘competitor’ and create something much better?”

Process efficiency: The first area in which to compete is process efficiency. If you can perform your processes in a more efficient way, you will begin to add capacity, increase employee happiness, enjoy higher productivity, and find greater customer satisfaction. This will lead to more sales and ultimately higher profits.

And when we talk about process efficiency this includes all processes: how you answer phones, make sales, process orders, manufacture your products, do your accounting, shipping, filling out paperwork and every other process step in your business. When doing these tasks in your business, think differently. Think in terms of crushing the competition. Albert Einstein said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” So, if you are busy chasing your so-called external competition, you will miss the greatest opportunity sitting right in front of you—the opportunity to think differently and compete with yourself.

Use the formula: As we start the new year—what we are calling the year of continuous improvement—it’s a good time to start with the simple process improvement formula: X = Xc – 1. When you look at any current process (Xc), the question you want to ask (and have your coworkers ask) is, “How can we reduce (Xc) by (1)?” It could be one day, one hour, one minute, one less piece of material, one less percent of scrap, one less form to fill out, or it could even be lowering a risk factor or other even less tangible things. By reducing (Xc) by (1) we now have a new (X) and the process starts over.

The tricky part can be deciding what to choose for your first (X). In the early phases of process improvement, the common advice is to start with small improvement projects and grow from there. By doing so, you and your team will be able to feel and celebrate the success and benefits gained. X = Xc – 1 is perhaps a new way of thinking for some. In any case, X = Xc – 1 focuses you and your team to really compete with your greatest competitor—yourself.

This article appeared in the January 2021 issue of PCB007 Magazine.

Share

Print


Suggested Items

Agfa Taking Leap to Digital Platform

12/13/2021 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
I-Connect007 Technical Editor Pete Starkey spoke with Agfa Business Unit Manager Frank Louwet ahead of last month’s productronica show in Europe. They discuss the company’s desire to reduce its carbon footprint and the benefits of this change, particularly with a move to digital inkjet printing, and describes some of the company’s newest products. As Louwet explains, "Our claim is 'Grow your business, not your footprint.' By going digital you can grow your business without having to increase your waste materials, your processing chemicals, your water, and even your floor space."

ICT Autumn Seminar Review: Live in 2021!

12/07/2021 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
Faced with the choice between a real or virtual event, Bill Wilkie took a calculated risk. It has been many long months since members of the Institute of Circuit Technology had gathered together under one roof, but a fair-sized bunch of industry stalwarts braved the weather and the threat of COVID, descended on the Manor Hotel in Meriden, UK, on Nov. 30, and applauded Bill’s decision to go live. They were not disappointed; the program was superb, the atmosphere upbeat, and the networking opportunity priceless.

EIPC Technical Snapshot Review: Semi-additive Processes

12/01/2021 | Pete Starkey, I-Connect007
The development of ultra-high-density PCBs and packaging substrates using semi-additive and additive manufacturing processes was the theme of the 13th Technical Snapshot webinar presented by EIPC on November 24. It was introduced and moderated by technical director Tarja Rapala-Virtanen. Daniel Schulze, application engineering manager at Dyconex in Switzerland, gave the opening presentation, “Advanced high density rigid packaging substrates for RF and miniaturization.” He explained that with their long-established capabilities in ultra-high-density PCBs in flex, rigid-flex and rigid multilayer technologies, it was logical for Dyconex to apply their expertise to the development of specialist IC substrates.



Copyright © 2022 I-Connect007. All rights reserved.