2016 is ending and one of the strongest news themes in every news cycle is that technology is threatening more of our jobs based on new research. In the United States, The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) hosts a great Youtube video titled what is productivity? In the video a business owner is profiled along with how she maximizes her business processes to increase the productivity of the goods and services she sells. The BLS helps its audience to explore the meaning of productivity to learn how productivity growth can lead to improvements in our professional lives and the well-being of our nation.
Per the BLS an input is “any resource used to create goods and services”. Further, it is necessary to understand that goods are things that we can touch and that services and things that we cannot touch. They both create value and both have respective inputs and process. The supply-chain of inputs will always have a starting point with an individual contributor. By individual, I mean a person. When thinking of most supply-chains of most companies, it is necessary to consider people in their most basic form as contributors. They are contributing an idea, or labor, or even personal data to create a good or service.
Having spent the past 15 years working as a process engineer, my earliest days were with the former auto manufacturer DaimlerChrysler. All of my professional time has been focused on itemizing the many inputs that make up our enterprise creations. Inputs have always included human’s labor as a measurement of time and that is how the BLS measures productivity vs earnings. As time progressed beyond the 2000’s I noticed that the consulting firms I’ve worked with were including everything from emails to mapping employee’s daily routines as a business process of valuable inputs.