Abraham Wald was a young mathematician at the Statistical Research Group (SRG). This classified program brought together the best American statisticians into the war initiative during WW2, like the Manhattan project except the weapons being created were formulas not atom bombs. Wald was put in charge of resolving the issue of where to armor planes. Too much armor makes the aircraft heavier, less maneuverable, and burns more fuel. Too little armor leaves the planes vulnerable. When planes returned from combat missions they were covered in bullet holes, but the damage wasn’t uniformly distributed throughout the aircraft. There were bullet holes all through the air frame, wings and tail sections.
Wald was charged with finding the ideal placement for the armor, and he did find the answer–but it wasn’t what the Army was expecting. Wald said that the shielding shouldn’t be where the bullet holes are; rather, it should go where the bullet holes aren’t–on the engines. Wald merely asked, “Where are the missing holes?” The fact was there were no planes coming back with holes to the engine because aircraft that got hit in the engines weren’t coming back at all.
The Japanese say that business is war. And today business technology is a war–and a race against time. You don’t want to lose that race or that war with your business. Wars are not won because one side is braver than the other or stronger than the other. Wars are won by percentages. Armies win wars because they can do more with less. They can relocate soldiers with 10% less fuel, get 5% more supplies to their infantry at 95% of the cost, lose 5% fewer of their airplanes, or achieve their objectives with 12% less men.
Winning a physical war or a technology war is all about being proficient at what you do and removing the inefficient systems and processes. That’s what wins in battle and that’s what wins in business. Take Abraham Wald’s approach when it comes to your own business. Where are the bullet holes in your company that you can’t see? Are you putting your armor in the wrong places? Is your staff getting 20% more done at 80% of the cost? Or are they getting less done and costing you more because of slow and inefficient systems, staff hung up on the phone with vendor support, or something else? This is where our team of experts can help. We can do a complete analysis of your business procedures from a technology standpoint, find out where your weaknesses are, and help you correct them. We will ensure that you win the race and the war. Schedule an appointment today.