I have been considering getting a new lawn tractor and was recently speaking with a sales person for one of the popular brands (I won’t mention the brand but the sales person’s name was John and he was such a dear).
I had done a bit of research and had determined that, given the size of the lawn I mow (close to two acres) and the tasks for which I use the mower, I knew this company’s smaller offering (call it #1) was too small and that I needed either their mid-sized lawn tractor (call it #3) or larger still (#5)
I stated, “Certainly, either #3 or #5 will do the job.” The sales person confirmed that I was correct. “Either of those two machines will do the job and do it well. The problem is you’ll wear out the machine much faster.”
He went on to explain, “#3 or #5 will take much longer to mow your lawn, probably as much as twice as long. And because it’s taking longer, you’ll run the machine faster than you should in order to get done sooner. Running the machine faster will result in pushing it too hard and this will in turn cause it to break down sooner. You’ll also not do as good a job mowing because the mower is moving faster than the proper pace to get a good cut.”
As happens so often, there’s an obvious parallel here with many of the proposal groups on which we conduct benchmarking and assessments. Such groups are all too often understaffed. This is further exacerbated by those individuals being expected to perform all of the various proposal functions, and often also be the pseudo subject matter expert.
The above scenario results in the staff working harder and faster and this in turn results in poor quality proposals, staff burn out and people eventually quitting. Such groups would do much better to staff appropriately and realize the long term gains… in both improved proposal quality and associated win rates, as well as overall cost savings.
I’m going with the #7. It will cost me a bit more at the start, but the benefits – machine life, quality and overall costs –more than offset this.