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16 Apr 2018

How to Get Things Done Faster, Cut Out the Middleman

Cutting out the middlemen also known as disintermediation, is a business model that bypasses intermediaries in a transaction or a series of transactions to deal directly with someone instead of talking to their representatives, which helps to avoid unnecessary stages in a process.

In many industries the traditional way to get to customers is to go through an intermediary such as a distributor, wholesaler, broker, or agent. Cutting out the middleman is a model that helps companies deal with customers directly. A good example of this is the internet, the rise of the internet has allowed consumers to shop directly from the manufacturers and suppliers with paying cheaper prices than going through wholesalers and retailers who markup the price of the products or services. This business model has made a huge impact especially on the computer industries. This decreases the total cost of servicing customers and allows the manufacturer to increase profit margins or reduce prices. Buyers may choose to bypass the middlemen (wholesalers and retailers) to buy directly from the manufacturer, and pay less.

Similarly, companies often hire an intermediary person to help direct the flow of information, progress or issues for quick resolution. This is often a good position as long as it is worthwhile to the company or department as a whole. Other times, it may not be the person’s intended position but they find themselves sending emails on behalf of their boss or co-workers. Would this be classified as constructive? You tell me, just because Employee B reads emails faster than Employee A does that mean the recipient will also receive all the information that Employee A would have originally intended for it to? When there are follow-up questions, this will cause more time for Employee B to find the answers versus Employee A already knowing them and answering directly. Messages or questions regarding individual tasks can be sent directly to the person rather than asking a middleman to forward the message, which in the end saves time, improves communication and ensures zero discrepancies. Thus communication becomes streamlined.

Therefore the next time you want to ask your co-worker, employee or even friend to send an email or make a call on your behalf, ask yourself these questions; Will it be faster if I just did it myself?, Will he/she doing it add more value than if I were to do it myself?, Is there a chance that this will cause more confusion for the recipient? If any of these questions don’t provide the intended answer you were looking for, then just do it yourself. In this case, a middleman doesn’t have to be eliminated, simply we may reallocate that person’s time to another task that contributes his/her time to do more mission-critical work.

Getting someone else involved in a task can cause confusion and consume more time. It is always important and constructive to deal directly with the appropriate person instead of seeking for a middleman. Ultimately, a business that improves communication between workers in an office will improve morale and boost productivity.