Velocity is all about the speed at which you get things done and deliver your service. It is far more important than is typically recognized. Entire industries have been built based on speed- the faster the velocity, the better. Fast food, Overnight delivery, Email (regular mail is now called snail mail), Eloans, Ebooks, instant printing, 1 hour cleaners, 1 hour photo processing (and now instant digital prints without the processing). We have quickie marriages, quickie divorces! Who could leave out that new rage: speed dating!?
In dentistry, we have instant digital x-rays, instant intra-oral photos, near instant computer simulated after treatment pictures, electronic claims processing, even renewal of dental licenses by the web. We also have 15 minute crown procedures start to finish, 15 minute root canals, impression material that sets in half the time. There are dozens of more examples.
Velocity has become a new substitute measure for quality in the minds of many, if not most, people. One Hour Heating and Air Conditioning is the latest version of this-it is the fastest growing franchise in the country.
Time and quality have an interesting relationship. The faster something can be done without compromising results the more apparent quality to the consumer.
Quality is usually difficult to measure by the average patient. Everyone claims it so the public generally discount these quality claims. When everybody says it, it means nothing. Velocity of service can be measured and because of the demands on everyone’s time it is appreciated by consumers.
Time and speed have an interesting relationship in another way. If we can get it fast we will generally pay more for it and do so gladly. Think Concorde jet airplane, Ferrari sports car (OK, it looks cool, too). Fed Ex built a multi-billion dollar company based on the premise of overnight delivery. Even the cell phone is a variant of this desire for speed of communication in the form of near instant communication with anyone.
As a profession we have moved toward speed. One of the main draws of sedation dentistry for patients and dentists is fewer appointments. The immediate placement implant is yet another version of increased velocity of care. Some dentists are now promoting implant teeth in a day to great marketing advantage. For close to fifty years, 1 day denture clinics have had a distinct, un-duplicated advantage in the mind of the denture wearer. Is there more to velocity than just these things? Oh, yes there is. In the meantime, here is the question for you to consider: how can you use the built-in desire for high velocity in your practice? What opportunities exist that you could use to your advantage?