My local taxi company has been taken over. It has been bought out by Taxi-Rank Services PLC.
They have started to apply big business thinking to a small business.
It is a revelation.
As you know, “what gets measured gets managed” so the first job, post take-over, was to apply a little science to their management information.
Management Information the Taxi-Rank Way
Yesterday my driver turned up. He had his weekly management dashboard printed out on the chair next to him. Being a management type myself I had to have a little look, (professional interest). It read like this:
- Current miles per hour ~ target 70mph (made sense, at least for every taxi I have ever ridden in)
- Average miles per hour (today and month to date)
- Kilometres per hour ~ target 70kph (target not too cleverly thought through)
- Inches per second (fine detail metric)
- Furlongs per fortnight (historic metric N.B. for ease of comparison 1 furlong / fortnight = 0.000372 miles / hour, I think)
- Litres per hour
- Miles per gallon
- Gallons per mile (presumably for American taxis, not entirely sure if this is Imperial or US gallons)
- Wiper speed ~ swishes per minute
- Ride Quality ~ dirty, lumpy, bumpy or sickening
- Driver responsiveness ~ words per minute intelligible words per minute
The driver spent more time looking at his targets than at the road and we came to a juddering halt half way to my destination because nobody had thought to include a fuel warning light in his MI.
Many a true word said in jest
I must apologise, I am being flippant, but when was the last time you critiqued your management information? I bet you will find: unclear conflicting targets, badly defined measures, multiple measurements of the same thing, irrelevant information and the odd gaping hole (not too many I hope).
If you ever take up driving a taxi, all you need is a speedometer, a fuel warning light and a fare meter.