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Cycle Time and On-Time: Why It Matters for Your Service Operation

Cycle time and on-time delivery are critical metrics for any service operation. Cycle time refers to the amount of time you think it will take to complete a task or process so essentially is a yard stick, while on-time delivery measures the percentage of tasks or activities that are completed on or before the cycle time deadline. Here are 7 reasons why cycle time and on-time delivery matter for your service operation:

1. Product or service development: Cycle time and on-time delivery can be tracked in the product development process, from ideation, to development to launch. This can help your company identify delays and bottlenecks in the development cycle, and ensure that products and services are launched on schedule. Your performance will be based on the assumptions you set up front so these need to be as accurate as possible.

2. Customer support: Cycle time and on-time delivery can be tracked in the customer support process, from the time a customer dials a phone number, sends an email or submits a ticket to the time it is answered or resolved. You need to decide upfront what your cycle time target will be factoring in automation and real person intervention. This allows you to measure responsiveness, resolution and the efficiency of your support team. Poor support will cause customer dissatisfaction.

3. Sales pipeline: Cycle time and on-time delivery can be tracked in the sales pipeline, from the time a lead is generated to the time it is converted into a sale. This lead time will be a strong predictor of revenue generation and can help identify areas where the sales process can be streamlined and improved for faster deal closure.

4. HR Processes: Measuring cycle time and on-time delivery is important for HR processes to ensure compliance, improve efficiency, and to provide a positive experience for candidates and employees. Time to hire is a good indicator of both the competitiveness of the market to recruit specific candidates and also the efficiency of the recruitment process in application tracking, screening, interview and contract management.

5. Operational efficiency: Measuring cycle time and on-time of business processes across the organisation helps to identify inefficiencies in output and service delivery. By improving these processes through reengineering and automation, you can reduce cycle times and improve on-time delivery, which can lead to improved operational efficiency and cost savings.

6. Competitive advantage: Delivering services on time and within the expected cycle time can provide a competitive advantage. Are you the best in customer support? Do you provide the highest quality services? Customers are more likely to choose a service provider that consistently delivers high-quality services on time.

7. Continuous improvement: Measuring cycle time and on-time delivery is an essential part of continuous improvement. By tracking and monitoring these metrics for key business processes, you can identify areas for improvement and make changes to improve overall service delivery and cost effectiveness.


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