Felipe Villarreal
Alian Plastics
Expert Contributor

Speeding Toward Success in Today’s World Reality

By Felipe Villarreal | Fri, 09/10/2021 - 13:01

"The 3Ss of winning in business are Speed, Simplicity, and Self-confidence." Jack Welch.

In my last article. I wrote about Simplicity, one of the “S’s” mentioned in the quote from the great Jack Welch.

Today, I am writing regarding another “S,” where he reminds us that Speed coupled with simplicity and confidence are the keys to winning in business.

As Albert Einstein aptly put it, “Nothing happens until something moves.”

And we must move and move fast, at a speed where we can continue to be the best suppliers for our customers and provide benefits to our employees and shareholders.

I had mentioned in my previous article that we are living in such a complex environment, from a health and business perspective, and today in September 2021, I can say that it is even harder and more challenging than it was three months ago.  

And as a curious fact for some, but extremely true, our customers today consider speed as a fact, not as an added value, and that is a reality.

If we think about the disaster related to all supply chains today due to multiple commodities being in short supply, the speed with which we analyze, act, and serve customers will be a culture of speed that keeps your business afloat.

And speaking of logistics and supply chains, literally one second can make the difference between receiving or not receiving material in the necessary time.

The maritime ports of China, Europe and America have collapsed, the dispatch times of merchandise are ridiculous if we compare them with the pre-COVID-19 era, but that is the reality and we must learn to manage the new times; the speed with which we act will maintain or take away participation in each client's portfolio.

As Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, aptly put it, “Work smart. Get things done. No nonsense. Move fast.”

Just like in any sport, the more you practice speed, the easier it becomes to make it part of any company’s culture, allowing the entrepreneurs, business owners and employees to eventually move at a rapid pace with ease, making it part of the day-to-day routine and the normal way of working.

One recent example: During the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, between first, second and third place in marathon swimming, it was a difference of less than 1 minute. Yes, less than one minute! This is the speed I am referring to. Maybe you will never know how fast you think you are swimming until you realize how your competitors are doing.

It is not easy. People in companies are afraid to move quickly sometimes, afraid to have failures in quality, processes, just to mention some. But if you implement control, discipline and speed to procedures and establish a solid method of delivering a quality product on time, people will keep trying their best to implement a continuous improvement culture with speed, which will be, in the end, an important business distinction to evolve and ensure solid growth. It needs to be all about moving forward, strongly promoting a culture of innovation.

Embrace the technologies that help you to accelerate the decisions for your business because business success is dependent on having the right information at the right time.

The pandemic made us do away with many paradigms that we believed to be accurate. IT speed is also your business speed, along with solid processes established through your Quality, Safety and Environment Systems, and supported by certifications. We discovered that we could work in a different way. We also discovered that the 7.7 billion people who live in this world are facing a common situation and learn to get ahead. The same thing happens in business: we are all living, to a greater or lesser extent, the effects of this health crisis. Given the speed at which industries and markets are reactivating, we must learn to respond at a faster speed.

Think about the glorious ‘80s and ‘90s. Blockbuster was one of the biggest entertainment companies in the world. And, what happened? They could not change with the speed that the world required, and today they are gone. Now, there is a huge entertainment company called Netflix, which replaced Blockbuster, just to mention one.

Act fast and at the speed that you’d like to be served.

In our case, for example, in the plastic injection industry, where tooling designs, development and manufacturing take months, either for mid or large tonnage machines, development of a new project is so critical and precise that all parties need to act with engineering intelligence and speed. A perfectly managed project without speed is useless in today’s environment. Businesses must be fast to maintain relevance.

The world is moving fast, and it will continue moving faster and faster. Acceleration becomes a function of innovation and when you innovate you provide tools and strength to your team to move faster at a speed that industries and markets are requesting.

Until the next time. Keep Safe!

Photo by:   Felipe Villarreal