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Good, Fast & Cheap: Pick Two

Good, Fast & Cheap: Pick Two

PBI recently encountered a situation that required immediate action. We hired a new employee, and just a few days into this person’s employment, it became evident this was a very bad hire. We had no choice but to terminate this individual after just five days. Then all hell broke loose.

In a matter of 15 hours after termination, there was threatening demeanor in abundance, absurd accusations, over 400 text messages to various people in the organization, false social media postings and internet stalking of PBI personnel and multiple family members around the country.

Even though we perform full employment screening, somehow this person wasn’t on anyone’s radar, but the mental instability was apparent after the fact. This was the making of a textbook horror story that we have all seen played out in the news recently, so PBI needed to act fast. 

As soon as the threats became evident, all our facilities went into lockdown, police were notified, incidents were documented and additional security measures were installed. Our attorneys sent cease- and-desist orders, police have made regular visits to our locations and we further hired private security professionals.

In the process of hiring these security professionals I was reminded of the “Good, Fast or Cheap” principle as we needed someone “Good and Fast”. The catch to this principle is that of the three choices, you can only have two. These three aspects of business (or a particular project) are interrelated, and it’s not possible to optimize all three as one will always suffer. 

In other words, there are three options:

  1. “Good & Cheap” will never be “Fast,” because nobody can produce a good product and put you at the front of the line at a cheap price. Additionally the issue of “time is money” must be considered in the overall costs. You might get the job at a lower price, but that extra time always comes with other costs in addition to the typical headaches in the delays of getting projects completed.
  2. “Fast & Cheap” will never be “Good,” as you typically end up with a low-quality outcome. You get what you pay for and in the long run, this is always the least favorable choice. In the restoration industry, the severity of the problem is frequently exacerbated with the “Cheap” option.   
  1. “Good & Fast” will never be “Cheap,” however you do go to the head of the line. As logic dictates, this is more a costly option as organizations who can do good work quickly are not idly waiting for the phone to ring. Competent companies continually have other clients being serviced. Urgent situations dictate someone getting moved to the front of the line and reorganizing many aspects of the operation. 

There are times when “Good and Fast” is the only option, when situations such as the one described herein arise. Situations may also dictate that “Fast” isn’t a necessary expense, but care still needs to be taken in the selection process to make sure of a “Good” outcome. Even though PBI typically invoices at far less than the competition, “Good and Fast” is where PBI delivers every day.

Mike Popowski is President of PBI Restorations. Reach him at