Does average work for you?

September 30, 2019 | Gear Change

Gear Change James Price

Gear Change. A series by James Price. Fast information for when your time is poor, and you know the best time for change is now. 

 This series provides insight and advice with a focus on improving productivity and sustainability for aged care providers in Australia. A series that you can squeeze in during your lunch hour and then share the ideas with the rest of your team in the afternoon. 

We see averages used all of the time in business.

  • Average EBITDA
  • Average ACFI rates
  • Average length of stay

All are interesting of course, but how do they help us to manage a sustainable business?

Interesting fact. The average shoe size for ladies in Australia is size 7. Did you hear about the shop that only sells size 7 shoes? 

On open day, 20 ladies turned up all ready to buy new shoes. The thing is, 10 people were size 6 and the other 10 were size 8!

On average they were size 7!

In theory they should have all been happy. In reality they all walked home disappointed and barefoot!

We don’t run businesses on averages but of course they are nice to know. We think that knowing what others can achieve is useful, but what is more useful is proactive management against realistic targets and measured often.

In our experience benchmarking is useful data to review within groups of facilities where we know more about the processes, the care models, staff skills and the physical layout of buildings.  Without this complete picture it can be difficult to understand the differences and what they mean.  A useful analysis we undertake is a comparison of hours, wages, funding and occupancy considered against other factors such as site layout, staff and culture. The aim of this analysis is to find the strong performers and seek to replicate this across other facilities.

Averages can lead us to look at ratios, which could be a useful measure, particularly if we don’t have real-time available.  A ratio can provide comfort and help us when we have reporting responsibilities but that will come later. It’s a control of sorts, albeit one that comes second to better data and insights.

So at Mirus Australia, whilst we CAN provide averages, we DO provide Business Insights and we also have co-designed solutions that will give operators real-time data and intelligence for decision making.  We do this because it’s #makingagedcarebetter and we believe that people should be using the right tools so they can spend more time on what matters. After all, who really wants to be average?

James Price, co-founder at Mirus Australia is a self-confessed petrol head. That is a person who is overly reliant on the use of their car and enjoys making a noise with it. James frequently shares a car analogy to explain a methodology, complex problem or an idea that has formed and with the goal of #makingagedcarebetter

More from the Gear Change series by James Price:

Risk + quality + for the love of spreadsheets by James Price

Biometrics + do we need them? by James Price

Fit for purpose: co-design in aged care by James Price

Since when did hope become a strategy? by James Price