Time Is Money; Spend It Wisely

“Time is money.”

This profound statement is commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin.  If Ben indeed coined this phrase more than 200 years ago, then he was a wise man.  These words are amazing and true.  For example, the time you spend reading this article has a cost to you.  Thus, if you could do something else more valuable with 10 spare minutes, then reading this article is a waste of your time and, as the quote says, your money.

Let’s fast forward to the 21st century and see how Ben’s thinking applies to our modern world so troubled by a shaky economy.  Let’s see if there’s a lesson for the gaming industry.  (Hint:  keep reading because there is a lesson here.)

I read a Forbes magazine article  in 2008 that is still pertinent today.  It talked about the “Distress Bus” airline flights from New York to Detroit.  Planes on this route were filled with a variety of experts who worked with auto manufacturers and suppliers to help them survive the downturn in the auto sector.  The article estimated that the Big Three and their suppliers spent more than $500 million in the past year on fees for advisors and experts. 

Half a billion dollars!  That certainly caught my attention.  How did General Motors, Ford and Daimler Chrysler justify spending that kind of money?  How did they explain this to their directors, stock holders and employees?  Can’t the auto makers’ own people develop internal solutions to the companies’ woes?  Don’t they have bench strength?

Old Ben has the answer to all these questions.  Time is money!

Of course GM and the others have talented people.  But they know that time is money.  GM generated $181 billion in revenue in 2007 before the floor fell out from under them.  That was almost $500 million a day.  At that rate, it would cost GM more than $347,000 per minute to create its own solutions.  Perhaps outside consultants could devise some answers much quicker and cheaper while GM focused on running the day-to day business.  Obviously, the Big Three decided consultants were the way to go.

Now let’s turn to the gaming industry.  It’s no secret the recession trickled down to  gaming.  What is it worth to your casino to find solutions to this problem faster?  Do the math and you maybe shocked.  There are many excellent consultants in the gaming industry that cam help your casino find better solutions faster than doing it on your own and that can mean real savings.  Time is becoming more expensive for casino executives.  Journalists write about the cost of crude oil, gasoline, food, etc., but they never mention the cost of time.  I think if you are a casino CEO, president or GM, the cost of your time is much greater than it was a few years ago.

The cost of your time has skyrocketed because gaming has changed forever.  The casino market is ultra competitive and becoming more so every day, while the rocky economy makes each decision even more important.  The right decision regarding your employees could save your casino thousands of dollars this month.  It could create more employee and guest advocates at your property as the months roll by.  Decisions concerning your guest experience and how you manage it could make the difference between your casino surviving or not.

“You may delay, but time will not.”  It appears Benjamin Franklin also said that.  If time is money, then delay is the loss of money.  The time it takes you to take action costs you money and opportunity.  

The Big Three auto makers invested $500 million in consultant assistance because they knew it was too costly to develop solutions internally.  Here’s a simple way of explaining their decision.  I could make repairs to my home’s heating and cooling system if I was willing to learn how HVAC works.  I could brush up on the subject, talk to experts and buy the right tools.  Of course, I probably would make mistakes, break something and have to buy new parts.  Still, I could do it.  But how much would it cost me in time spent learning, in time spent doing the work, in time given up that I could have devoted to my family?  How uncomfortable would we become until I finished the job?

Here we are a couple of hundred years later and old Ben is still as profound as he was while alive.  Time is money.  In today’s gaming world, your time is very expensive.  How will you spend it?

To read other articles by Martin Baird, go to www.casinocustomerservice.com/post.htm

Martin R. Baird
Robinson & Associates, Inc.

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