A Very Silly KPI

Shop in a typical UK supermarket and you’ll see how little priority is given to customer service. Checkout staff are measured on how many items they scan per minute. This doesn’t speed up the checkout process. The goods pile up in a random heap at the end of the conveyor as the hapless customer tries to re-sort them into a sensible order for packing. The end result is an irate customer, damaged goods, and a queue which is processed more slowly than if the checkout operator had been allowed to deliver the simple customer service of matching scanning speed to the customer’s packing speed. Similar examples can be found in many other areas, where easily measurable targets are used as a substitute for good process. The DeliveryDemon is not impressed!

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