Friction

Replacing labor is only part of the problem. Think about how technology improves customer service and satisfaction.

Replacing labor is only part of the problem. Think about how technology improves customer service and satisfaction.

This is an image of a woman enjoying one of 7,000 McDonalds kiosks in their European stores.

McDonalds installed the kiosks to reduce friction.

Friction are human touch-points in your business process.

It's any time that labor must intervene to get something done.

Labor:

  • Is inherently unreliable. They may or may not show up for work; may require sick or family leave; may require more training to do the work with higher quality.
     
  • Is inherently error-prone. Humans make mistakes. Especially in repetition. 
     
  • Is inherently slow. People can only work so fast. They are limited by their limbs, mind, focus, and attention. 
     
  • Is inherently costly. Add up the opportunity cost of slow, error-prone, and unreliable to determine a basis for their expense, and, a for a return on technology investment.

Thus, technology investment is used by businesses to reduce friction, reduce human interaction, and either contain the cost of growth, or, lower costs to an organization. 

If your company isn't investing in technology to reduce friction, your competitors are, every day building themselves the capability to work faster, smarter, and less expensively than you.  

US Corporations have experienced the most profitable years on record recently because of their fervor in attacking friction. They're driven by the profit motive. Businesses will never stop investing in technology to lower labor's influence in their processes.

So you must ask yourself two questions:

1. In what ways are you investing in technology today to reduce friction and remain competitive?

2. In what ways am I redundant as labor - do I create friction - and thus at risk at losing my job?

R