Do It Right the First Time (DRIFT) – Definition

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 Do It Right The First Time (DRIFT) Definition

Do it Right The First Time, also known as DRIFT, is a managerial accounting theory that relates to an inventory called just-in-time (JIT), where a firm only takes in necessary to reduce production management and inventory costs. The ideology behind DRIFT is for the management to ensure that all the processes that form JIT philosophy are efficiently and rightfully done to avoid delays in the production process.

A Little More on What is Do It Right The First Time (DRIFT)

Generally, even if it takes a longer time, it is always easy and beneficial to do things right the first time. Repeating work is time-consuming and also a waste of energy, especially where sales are involved as it can cost your business many opportunities. In most organizations, cutting waste resulting from anything that is not done right for the first time is the best way of ensuring that your business seizes all the opportunities that come its way.

The concept of ‘first time right’ ensures that business operations are carried out the right way the first time and at any given time. Examples of the DRIFT include things such as

  • Customers not repeating their orders like say at a takeaway restaurant because their first time order was delivered perfectly in time
  • Customers get the right item or service the first time

Completing all your services in the right way, and the first time is the best thing that can happen to your business. The first impression your services creates to customers determines the growth of your business. So, what DRIFT basically does to your business is to create a positive impact on your customers at the first encounter. It is an effective way of ensuring that your business begins its Lean journey.

The fact that a larger percentage of a just-in-time inventory production system relies on the movement of parts and information along the process of production, DRIFT becomes an important factor. Note that a small error in any of the stages of production is capable of affecting the entire production process. So, DRIFT ensures that a company’s production process runs smoothly without carrying out excessive inventory. By doing so, it is easy to diminish costs related to production.

What does DRIFT Do?

There are a number of functions that DRIFT does to business. They are as follows:


  • Improvement Performance


Most organizations would want to ensure that all their transaction processes are well understood by those performing them at all levels. A well-documented process ensures that there are clear guidelines that will enable staff to implement DRIFT.

For instance, let’s say that a bank has a standard operating procedure when it comes to filling out a loan application form. So, when the filled forms move to the next step in the loan application process, very few will be rejected. It means that most of the loan application forms were done right, and there is no need for repeating the process. The procedure improves the performance of the staff in the organization. It is cost-effective, and it also saves time.

Another good example is a fast food restaurant that distributes an order form for a customer who is online. It is easier for this customer to check the items put in the order form before handing it over to the billing clerk. The method ensures that there are no errors in ordering and also reduces the time taken for billing.


  • Reducing Waste


When a company is determined to reduce any form of waste in its operations, then DRIFT is the best method of achieving this. DRIFT helps to address the following wastes of lean:


  • Defects: If you don’t do a service right the first time, it can result in what we call a defect. A wrong misdiagnosis or wrong package delivery are things that can cause a defect. In most cases, it can be difficult or costly to correct a defect.


Also, customers who encounter bad experience with your services the first time you attend to them, may not come back again. It means your business will lose a good number of customers. Generally, there is no luxury when it comes to service rework. There are two things, you either you get it right or be prepared to lose.

However, service manufacturing is quite different from product manufacturing, as it creates a different impression. For instance, if a wrong order is given to a customer in a restaurant, the customer will always remember the bad taste even after rectifying the mistake. But things may be different when it comes to something like working on a car engine. The customer does not care about the number of times you work on the engine as long as he is okay with the results.

  • Overproduction: To recover transactions that went wrong the first time, services usually resolve to overproduce. Note that reworking is overproduction requiring a lot of effort that could be useful in a new transaction. A good example of overproduction is when you misdeliver a package that will require you to pick up the delivery and make sure it reaches the right destination.
  • Processing: A lot of processing happens in the services industry to prevent defects from going out to customers. A good example is a bank where employees check account-opening forms from different points before it opens a new account for a customer. Keep in mind that inspection is an activity without value addition. For this reason, inspections should be out of necessity.

Businesses should not use it as a filtering process to run away from the existing inefficiency as far as input is concerned. Instead, they should devote their time to come up with an efficient system of capturing customer’s data the first time. By doing so, they will not require to deploy someone to check the applications all the time.


  • Waiting: The difference between customer demand and time taken in the processing turnaround is what causes waiting among customers. In most cases, doing things wrong the first time leads to rework an act that increases the processing turnaround. Remember that there is waiting involved in any rework, especially on the part of a customer.


For instance, any loan application that needs to be worked on again will delay disbursement of the same to a customer. It means that the customer will have to wait a little bit longer.


  • Inventory: Inventory only applies to businesses that offer products but not services. The reason is that you cannot store services to deliver them in the future. For instance, a hotel room that has no customer for a night is counted as a loss as you cannot recover it. However, there are situations where a hotel can maintain an inventory in the form of capacity.
  • Motion and Transportation: Most handoffs in various service delivery stages lead to transportation and motion costs. For instance, let’s assume that there is a case of wrong income calculation that has led to a loan application rejection. In this case, the bank has to rework on the application process to correct the mistake, a move that will result in additional handoffs. Note that rework would not be there if the person in charge was able to do the calculation right the first time.


Reference for “Do It Right The First Time – DRIFT

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