The Best in Business Always Standardize

Be Different. Deliver Excellence.

Jan 30, 2018

How Standardization Increases Efficiency

Ah yes, I’ll take your signature old fashioned! Do you mind swapping out the orange peel with a banana? Oh and could you use captain instead of rye? ...they’re basically the same color. Last thing; swear. I’m cutting back on sugar so lose that brown cube, I’ll use some honey. We’ll just call this a spin on a classic! *takes a sip* Well this tastes nothing like an old fashioned, I’d like a new drink please.

Why would an MSP (you) provide a standardized technology stack for your managed services offering? Why on earth would you limit yourself like that? How could you be so narrow-minded? There are thousands of products out there, and you’ve restricted yourself to a select few? WHY?

The same reason an old fashioned contains a specific set of ingredients. Because standardization works. (And tastes incredible).

Let’s switch industries for a second and try this again. You’re walking down the airport terminal with a close buddy of yours who has an uncanny amount of airline knowledge, specifically in business operations and maintenance of passenger jets (one of those guys). To your left, Terminal A is packed with Southwest jets. And to your right, Terminal B; a mix and match of jets ranging in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Buddy turns your way and asks, “Do you know what makes Southwest so special?” Is he serious? Of course you do… your moment to shine… deep breath… “I sure do. Bags fly free!”


While you weren’t necessarily wrong, it turns out there are a lot of things that make Southwest special, and Buddy’s about to spend the next 15 minutes telling you how. For starters, despite operating in a notoriously brutal industry, Southwest has recorded over 40+ years of consecutive profitability. How do they do it? By keeping operations simple. Terminal A only consists of Boeing 737’s. While Terminal B has over 10 types of aircraft. Southwest only needs to train their mechanics on one type of airplane. Their inventory contains extra parts for only one type of airplane. All of their on-board and ground crew are familiar with only one type of airplane. And if they need to swap a plane on short notice for maintenance, the fleet is totally interchangeable. Lastly, to avoid the interdependence on connecting flights, Southwest practices point-to-point travel in which their plane lands, goes through turnaround, and heads right back where it came from. By understanding their target market and intentionally limiting themselves to the domestic business commuter Southwest can turn a plane around in an industry leading 25 minutes.

What kind of turnaround can your team achieve? How many miscellaneous parts are sitting in your inventory? When it comes to ticket resolution, does your team follow an ever improving workflow, driving further efficiencies? Or are you continuing to add new workflows due to multiple exceptions and a lack of customer targeting?

Industry leaders say it. The internet says it. My blog says it. It’s simple.

The best in the business standardize.

Doesn’t matter if you’re in commercial aviation, fast food, or managed services. Those that achieve higher OML’s, and higher profitability, have honed their offering and have become exceptionally good at delivering it.

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Category: Technology

About The Author

Jake Wagner

Jake Wagner, an Account Manager for Collabrance, is responsible for sharing, coaching, and training partners on Managed Services best practices. Jake is a great resource providing value to help partners achieve greater success in their business. Jake graduated from the University of Dubuque with a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing.