Turnaround Times: Why are they so crucial for your startup?

Jun 10, 2022Dianne Eberhardt

Have you ever brought something in for repair and often wondered when you would get it back? Do the people give you a timeframe on when they will have it completed? This often causes anger and resentment towards the person or business because they don’t give you a turnaround time.

What is turnaround time anyways?

Well, it is the time frame you start a project to the time you finish it. The turnaround time is usually the length of time at the most that the job will be done, but there are many instances where the technician or business owner will have it done much sooner. So, going back to the equipment you brought for repair if the repairman told you he would have it done in 4 days, he just gave you a 4-day turnaround time.

So why are turnaround times so important for business and the internet?

When people and business owners need a task done, they rely on the turnaround time to predict when to continue the project they are on. It is essential not to set your turnaround time too short so that you cannot get the task done. For example, if I told somebody that I could build their website in 3 days but found out it took me five days, that would upset the customer because my turnaround time was so short. If you are the person who is doing the work, then always set your turnaround time long enough to get the job done, and if you finish early, then that is just a bonus, and the customer will be even happier.

Turnaround times become particularly important in laboratories when testing, as they use turnaround time as a metric to monitor the efficiency and productivity of laboratories. Turnaround times are an important aspect of lab management. We must know its significance and attributes contributing to improving our services for end-users. Secondly, using turnaround times to measure different laboratory aspects and optimize them holds huge benefits on both operational and financial fronts. When you have good turnaround times, you will get faster and more reliable delivery times and more credibility from patients, referrals, and business partners.

There are also different types of turnaround times:

Pre-analytical turnaround time:

Processes from test requests to sample transfer.

Analytical turnaround time:

Processes from the segregation of samples to report generation.

Post-analytical turnaround time:

Processes from the doctor’s assessment to report delivery.

Knowing the different turnaround time types can help you determine how to measure your business.

So why do we need to measure turnaround time?

So, monitoring all the turnaround time variability helps us get to the root causes of the delay. It can be instrumental in helping to make improvements in different areas of the end processes. So, reviewing turnaround time can help us to reduce delivery time and customer satisfaction and reduce costs in a significant manner.

What can you do to shorten your turnaround time?

If you are working with products and automation, you can automate the redundant processes and get 5 to 10% savings.

You could also barcode your samples, which helps further automated testing.

Machine interfacing also helps to automate the entry of testing, which in turn can be more significant than 20% savings.

And last, creating an electronic report delivery system could help get 5 to 10% savings.

Turnaround Time Improvement Examples

Every industry has specific processes that are measured for efficiency and effectiveness. In many cases, the amount of time it takes to complete, represents real dollars and can present risk. Fast turnaround time means less money spent on the workforce. If you can achieve shorter turnaround times without compromising quality, then you should try to do so.

Examples of critical processes that focus on improved turnaround are:

  • Healthcare patient turnaround
  • New product development
  • Consumer loan approvals
  • Approval of capital requests
  • Laboratory turnaround

In each scenario, the difference between a slow and rapid resolution is significant and can result in poor outcomes and lost opportunities. Not having a quick turnaround time can cost your real business dollars.

So, in general, turnaround times are critical and can play a vital role in business. Just remember always to set your turnaround times long enough to get the job done; if you finish early, that is a bonus for you and the customer or client.

Dianne Eberhardt

Dianne Eberhardt

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