Who pays for the waste?

While standing in line to board my flight to Denver yesterday, a very nice woman excused herself from standing in front of me in the first class line. I had been upgraded and she had not yet, but she was hoping to be. She told me she was unlikely to get her upgrade because there were two spots left and she was #3. She also told me she had just made her reservation the day before. I commented that she must fly a lot to make a reservation so recently and jump to #3 on the wait list past at least 10 other people. She said she did, and that it was almost always last-minute because she was a consultant.

I said, wow do your clients not give you much advance notice? To which she replied, “No my company can’t get its act together and plan my travel in advance.” I mentioned that I assumed that really drove up the cost of air travel. She acknowledged that it probably did. But, as we both noted, since she worked for a big consulting firm, and the client paid the travel expenses, there really wasn’t much incentive to fix the wasted air travel expense by planning sooner, if the customer didn’t complain. And apparently her firm did not feel the need to look out for their customer’s money.

Do you have waste in your processes that nobody has an incentive to fix?


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