Fast Cheap and Good....It's Impossible to Get All Three!

I always thought this diagram was a load of crap. Of course you can do something quick, cheap and come out with a great result. Why do I have to pick two? Why can't I have it all? As with many things, we learn by experience. My company, Crematory Manufacturing & Service, Inc., started 20+ years ago by my Father, who was, at the time, running operations for a now-defunct crematory manufacturing company. He started with a lot of knowledge, a lot of support and not a lot of money. CMS started not by manufacturing cremation equipment, but by building a base of repair, service and maintenance clients. We chose "good and cheap" and slowly were able to afford the development of our Millennium line of cremating machines. The development was expensive, but well worth the expense, as they are still being manufactured today and are a mainstay of the profession. 

Being in the funeral space for more than 20 years, I've been to and exhibited at countless tradeshows and have seen lots of new companies with new products and innovations, only to find out the next year that they have disappeared into the oblivion of the land-of-failed-funeral-service-products. Think of some of the goods and services that are still around despite their lack of success—they undoubtedly have tons of money behind them. The rest are gone, having chased all three. At least I know I am not the only one that has learned this lesson the hard way. But I learned the lesson and will not repeat it!

The development of our newest models? Research actually started 10 years ago. We wanted to create something revolutionary, but didn't have the extensive resources (think cash!) to pour into the development of a new type of equipment. In haste, our first attempt was cheap and fast. It turned out to be crap. Our second prototype was also fairly inexpensive and pretty quick from conception to implementation, but again, it didn't work well. Fast and cheap really did produce a bad product. We wouldn't dare put a product on the market unless it was absolutely perfect, so we went back to the drawing board. Unfortunately, we didn't come across millions of extra dollars, so we still had to pick "cheap", relating to the language in the Venn diagram above, so we slowed down and we took our time. Once we had our ducks in a row, it took two years and a lot of people including PLC programmers, combustion engineers, steel engineers, environmental experts and marketing folks to come up with the GOOD (think perfect!) new Qortex and Equinox models of cremation equipment. What a ride, and I can honestly say it was too long for me to get this project finished. Especially since it ended up costing much more, in the long run, to develop. 

But, I can also say it was worth every dollar.

We hit a home run.

The new control system that operates the Qortex and Equinox is so advanced it actually thinks and will react long before a human operator can, virtually eliminating visible emissions even with the most challenging of large cases. I didn't mean for this to come off like an advertisement, but I am just so happy that we got it right, even if it took forever. I guess we really can't have it all sometimes, and making the right decisions can be easier if we just stop and think "pick only two".

Sounds easy, right?