The Importance of Throughput.

What is Throughput?

Let’s talk about the importance of a thing called throughput. This concept is pretty simple. Throughput is the global measure of value that you are delivering to your patients.

Let’s break that down. Start by picturing your practice as a pipeline.

Your pipeline takes in raw materials and resources, processes it and then produces an output. In your case, the input is patients and money. Patients supply money for services and you use that money to pay for the costs associated with your practice. These costs may include products, expendables, capital expenditures, fixed costs, and wages.

Now the output is the value you create, which is measured as throughput. In other words, throughput is the global value you are giving to your patients.

Global vs. Local Metrics

Both of these metrics are important for your practice, but global is the one that truly counts. Global metrics impact your entire practice.

Local metrics are segments of your practice. For example, local metrics could include your sales staff, the marketing department, your receptionist team or a physician’s assistant. These are local segments of your “global” practice.

Now let’s say you have a problem with one of your local metrics. You want to improve your sales department and need to figure out a way to increase the number of patients for your practice.

First, you need to find the issue. Let’s say you need more leads and to get more leads, you need to do more marketing. So you run a Facebook Ads campaign… and it works!

You did some marketing, which produced leads and gave your sales team more opportunities to sell. You notice that by changing a local metric (advertising), you find an increase in your global metric.

But what happens if you fix a local metric, and it does NOT improve your global metric? Well, then you have a bottleneck.

The Bottleneck

A bottleneck is when you change a local metric and it does not increase your global throughput. This means something is blocking your value flow.

Let’s take it back to the pipeline analogy. Visualize the faucet as the market. When turned on, there is a flow of traffic, of consumers, and of potential patients ready to flow through your pipeline.

In order to actually capture these potential patients, you must go through 3 steps: attraction, acquisition & conversion.

Attraction

The attraction phase is where you peak the attention of potential patients. This phase would include marketing, advertising, and education about your various services.

Attraction is the easiest phase in value delivery and there are many ways to capture patients’ attention. You could host giveaways, offer a free consultation or run social ads.

These methods do work, however, it prompts single transactions. Whereas you want to build a long-term relationship with your patients. You want customer loyalty from life-long patients, and to get that you need to continue to the next phase.

Acquisition

Acquisition is the phase where you verify that the patients you attracted are the right patients for your practice. Once you educate them on your company, products, and services, you can ensure that their needs match what you have to offer.

After giving these customers the right information, you will know if they are qualified or right for your practice.

So the flow goes on from attraction to acquisition, and then to conversion.

Conversion

Once you assess which patients are qualified in the acquisition phase, you can convert them into your patient.

As shown in this MIT study, converting a patient is much higher if you are able to speak with potential patients and address their questions and concerns in a short amount of time.

The issue here is- do you have the available staff or enough time to get on the phone and speak with these potential customers? If you could dedicate the time for this conversation, you could increase the number of new patients walking through your door. And, in the end, it would give you ease of mind to see a return on your investment.

So this entire process of throughput is the end-to-end value delivery. You take the potential patients through attraction, acquisition, and conversion. If you can increase throughput, you will have patients who are extremely happy with your practice.

So how do you improve the overall throughput?

How to Improve Throughput

  1. Map out Attraction, Acquisition & Conversion Flow
  2. Identify the Bottleneck
  3. Observe & Correct that Root Cause.
  4. The “5 Whys” Technique

The “5 Whys” technique is a great way to determine the root cause for your business issues. Let’s say you want your practice to pull in more money. Ask yourself:

  • Why aren’t we making enough income? Because we don’t make enough sales.
  • Why are we not getting enough sales? Because we don’t have enough leads.
  • Why don’t we have enough leads? We don’t have a process for generating leads on demand.
  • Why don’t we have a process for generating leads? We aren’t advertising.
  • Why aren’t we advertising? We don’t know how to advertise.

And there you go! You now know where to start. This process may seem arduous to tackle on your own. At Fyve, we envision a much smoother value flow that will allow you to gain patients- essentially on autopliot.

In the attraction phase, we promote marketing and advertising campiagns that captures the attention of loyal, long-term patients. Then in the acquisition phase, we create a digitized version of the education process that takes place online, rather than in the office. Lastly, in the conversion phase, we would automate the process of getting them into the door and making them a lifelong patient.

If you have any questions about this entire process of throughput, please leave a comment below!

Transcript.

Click here for the full transcript.

Hello everyone. My name is JonCameron Johnson- founder and CEO of Fyve. I want to bring you this quick video called “Value Flow: The Importance of Throughput”. If you stay to the end, I’m going to give you 4 core ways to improve your overall global throughput with your practice.

So, let me give you an example. Let’s kind of take a step back and look at the in abstract kind of example, which is your practice from a 30,000-foot view is simply a pipeline. And this pipeline, what it does is it takes raw resources and materials, processes it then creates an output. From the top to bottom, you take these resources, this material- let’s say in this example for your practice it would be a patient and money- so the patient has to come in. They have a problem. You solve this by taking them the resources they gave you, the money, to purchase you know products, expendables, maybe pay for a capital expenditure, fixed costs, as well as staff time, your time. This is all part of the situation to create value, to create that output. And we measure this output as throughput. And throughput is basically the global measure of value you’re delivering to your patients and you know potential patients and clients and information, things of this nature.

So, in your practice, you can have global metrics and local metrics. Let me, let me explain further. A local metric would be your sales staff or your receptionist team or if you have maybe an aesthetician, a physician’s assistant. That would be a local segment of your global metric- will be your entire practice- and that would basically mean maybe your sales department, maybe your marketing, maybe your value delivery, how you handle certain procedures, the procedure flow. So, let me give you an example. So, let’s say inside your practice you want to improve your sales department. Maybe you want more people in your practice, maybe more patients. Well, how do you do that? Well, you have to figure out why aren’t you getting enough patients.

Maybe you need to have more leads come in. So how do you get more leads? Well, you need to do marketing. Well how do you do marketing or where should you market? Well, you have a lot of platforms. Let’s say you wanted to run Facebook and Google Ads or Instagram ads, you know, maybe Yelp or some of these online forms of advertisement. Well, you run these ads to produce, to create marketing and marketing then produces leads, leads give your sales team more opportunities to sell.

Then what you notice is well you’re going to get either a global throughput increase or it’s not going to change or maybe it even decreases. And that is a challenge. So you could improve a local metric in your practice. You can improve it, but if you’re not seeing a global increase in throughput, then you have a bottleneck. A bottleneck is something obviously keeping you from allowing the flow to continue or allowing the flow to continue freely. So. this is an example- let me show you. So right here the faucet is the market. That would be traffic, that would be consumers, potential patients, people who want to potentially want your service, want your procedures and to get the treatment that you have. But they need to be attracted properly, acquired, converted and then you get the full value delivery, which then creates throughput.

Your practice is the pipeline, right? This is an example. This is what you want right, this is what it looks like in whole. However, the first stage would be attraction. Now that’s going to be your marketing. That’s going to be, basically the phase where you’re getting them peaked and learning about what you have to offer. It might be regenerative medicine, might be laser treatment, might be like, you know liposuction, lipolysis or non-invasive body sculpting. Maybe its fillers, Botox, Kybella. These are all services and procedures that can be offered, of course, and there’s many, many more of course.

So that’s the first stage. So this is the easiest to fix, right. Running marketing and getting people attracted into what you have to offer. Now there’s many ways to do this. Now obviously you can give basically a free offer or a free consultation- something like that. And that works, however the way you want to look at is- do you want a single transaction or do you want a patient for life? Do you want someone who will continue to come back to you because they’re locked into your practice and don’t want to go anywhere else? This is the one of the problems we aim to solve at Fyve, is to make sure we’re properly getting someone interested, so they don’t feel like it’s a transaction, a singular transaction. You want them to be raving fans.

The second phase would be acquisition. Acquisition is basically the process of giving them the right information, the right education to make sure that they’re properly qualified, to understand is this person actually a buyer, someone who’s going to become a patient of mine and can pay my fees. And maybe you are a doctor who is going through a transition in your services. Maybe you are going from insurance-based reimbursement to cash-based business where you have higher margins. Maybe it’s easier for you to kind of make profit at the end of the day and you’re not being beholden to insurance companies. I completely understand that. We’re helping some clients go through that process right now. That transition- it’s a very, it’s an arduous transition, but once you get it done it’s it can be liberating. So maybe you have better acquisition. Maybe you have a sales process in place. Maybe this is the problem that needs to be fixed. Maybe you don’t have a flow from attraction to acquisition. Maybe that process is either taking too much time or is clogging up and you’re not getting enough conversion.

So the conversion process would be turning someone who’s qualified into a patient. And lots of times we’ve noticed when we’ve produced leads for clients, we’ve run into challenges such as you know, we’re not getting enough conversion and our goal as a company is to figure out why we’re not doing this. And there’s a study through MIT- you can actually search if you go to Google and type in “MIT study 900% leads” you can search this- and they did a study on how quickly you can get on the phone with these people who fill out an online form or a lead form. You have to do it in five minutes or less. You have a nine hundred percent increase in conversion if you’re able to talk to them in five minutes or less. Now the challenge is not a lot of practices have someone dedicated to making these phone calls. Obviously, if someone inputs their information into a leads form after hours or before hours, how are you going to be able to answer the phone? So what we aim to solve at Fyve is to automate that process, to make sure that your acquisition stage is done for you, as well, so you can have a much higher return on your attraction, the whole phase- from attraction and acquisition, so you get more patients in the door, producing more revenue and allowing you to have kind of a peace of mind, ease of mind, so you’re not having to worry about “Am I actually getting return on my investment. return on what I’m spending?”

You know you’re going to have patients that are extremely happy with the service. They’re extremely happy with the results and the procedure done. Obviously, you’re going to have patients who may not necessarily feel the same way and they may not come back. That does happen, but overall what we want to do is we want to increase the value delivery, so that you have a higher throughput. We want to give you an opportunity to have a higher chance.

So how do you increase throughput? Well, the throughput is basically the end-to-end value delivery of taking a patient from, you know, attraction, acquisition and conversion. Well, how do you improve overall throughput? We have to improve the previous segments and so if you have a bottleneck somewhere, what we want to do is we want to figure out is it a local problem or a global problem. And typically, if it’s a global problem, there’s local issues, there’s local segments that can be fixed, that can be improved, that you can expand. Maybe it’s you need more leads. Maybe you need more appointments. Maybe you need a combination of both. Maybe you need more people seeing more information. Maybe you need to just do advertising in general. We can figure out where the problem lies by finding out where the bottleneck is.

So, here’s a way to improve overall throughput. Here’s a practical way. This is very simple. Number one- you want to map out your attraction, conversion and your acquisition process. So, here’s a practical way to improve this process and map out your value flow, so you can understand where is there an opportunity to improve and increase your overall throughput. So let’s, I’m just going to take you through this practical example. So number one, you want to map out your attraction, acquisition and conversion flows and you want to basically identify the bottleneck. So, if you’re having challenges with the attraction phase, maybe you need to look at your advertising and see if you there’s any possible channels you can use to advertise properly and run ads- through, you know, the social channels- Facebook, Instagram, YouTube possibly, or Google. These are great examples. These are great, great places to start advertising.

Number two- your acquisition. Maybe you need to have a better opportunity to educate. Maybe there needs to be a digitized version of your education process that you would have in office online somewhere. Then your conversion and conversion would be the sales process, the follow-up process, the automated way to get them into the door and convert them into a patient. Once you’ve identified that bottleneck, observe and then correct that root cause and create a solution. And then, the way you can identify this is by asking why five times. Once again, kind of in the previous example, I said “Well I want to increase my sales. How do you increase sales? Why are we not getting enough sales? Well, why is because we don’t have enough leads. Well, why don’t we have enough leads? Well, we don’t have a process that generates leads on demand. Well, why don’t we have that? Well, we’re not advertising. Well, why aren’t we advertising? Well, we don’t know how.” See then you can take this. This is basically a first principles solution.

So, I hope this helps. I hope you can gather some value from this. If you’d like to have this download, please let me know in the comments and I will absolutely send this to you. Talk to you later. Thank you.