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What Dell Can Teach You About Time Management

Author: Jeffrey Mayer   |   June 9th, 2011

It’s about halfway through the year. You’re thinking about your goals and how you can become more successful.

But if you’re like most people, you get bogged down because you believe that in order to increase your income you must…

increase the hours you work. You feel trapped in a Catch-22. With this thought in mind – the only way to increase your income is to work more hours.

I read an article in The New York Times about Dell Computer’s ability to reduce its costs of production by increasing its efficiency.

And a lot of small business owners could certainly profit from these success tips.

Dell’s gotten so good at this that it has become one of the world’s largest – and most profitable – computer maker. There’s a tendency in business to promote – and brag – about how big, and or successful, a business is.

But the real key to running a successful business is to keep your fixed costs down, while striving for new ways to increase operating efficiencies. Once that’s been achieved you focus on how to advertise, market, promote and sell your products.

Dell has turned the process of making computers into a science. Dell’s production team takes videos of its most productive workers – they’re called Master Builders – and uses them as training tools for other workers.

Small Business Success Tip: Learn the best from the best, and you become the best. Dell’s designers are thrilled when they can eliminate a single screw from a product. That saves the assembler about four seconds on each computer built. Four seconds may not sound like a lot, but it adds up when you’re building almost 50,000 new machines before lunchtime.

To compare, in 1991 Dell’s 4th quarter production was 49,269 computers, about 550 per day. Look at how they’ve grown. When Dell tries to save production time, they’re trying to shave seconds off the production line. When they decided to place one fewer stickers on each computer, they shaved another two seconds off the production time.Dell’s constant and continuous striving for improved productivity has reduced its labor costs per computer to roughly $10, or 2 percent of the overall cost of a PC. Leverage your time and make more money.

Five years ago it took two workers fourteen minutes to build a PC. Today it takes a single worker five minutes to do the same.

Improving Your Sales Processes

We can learn a lot from watching and studying how Dell approaches its manufacturing processes. Dell studies every one of its processes and searches for ways to do each one in a shorter period of time. It’s become their mission.

Ask yourself these questions to help you achieve small business success:

* What are you doing to lower your costs of sales?

* What are you doing to lower your costs of production?

* What are you doing to increase and improve your productivity?

Wasted time is the biggest challenge to a sales person. It’s far too easy to spend many hours with people who don’t buy. And when you add commuting and sales call preparation time, it becomes a huge investment. Wasted Time! Wasted Effort! And after that H-U-G-E investment of time, it’s real depressing when the sale doesn’t close, and you don’t earn a commission check. Especially when you’ve worked so hard on it for 30, 60, or 90 days.

The secret to becoming a H-U-G-E success is to have a step-by-step process that you follow day-in and day-out. Create  and refine your processes and it’s easy to increase your revenues and profits without working more hours.

Remember: The goal isn’t to work harder. It’s not to work smarter.It’s to work less. And everybody should have an MBA: A Massive Bank Account.

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