Is Your Team Ready for Its Moneyball Moment?

Hatteberg Homerun - Blog

Paul McNamara

New competitive requirements for speed and efficiency are driving companies to rethink the way they operate to avoid existential threats. In a moment of similar significance, the Oakland A’s baseball team needed a new, more competitive, and transformative strategy. The strategy they invented, dubbed “Moneyball”, succeeded wildly in outperforming traditional management approaches producing results 500% better. The A’s produced results that were game-changing for them.

  • The A’s tied for most wins in Major League baseball
  • Set a new record for consecutive wins in the 103-year history of the league
  • They did it all at a cost 80% lower than the team they tied for most wins

The results and consequences are explained in this scene from the movie featuring the owner of the Boston Red Sox and the champion of Oakland’s strategy, Billy Beane.   There are many lessons to be learned.

Question What you Think you Know  

While most baseball executives and managers were certain about what it took to win games and judge players, the A’s were not so certain. They knew that producing vastly different outcomes was impossible without vastly different ways of thinking about the game. They were ambitious in seeking a new way of thinking, a new language. Their ambition combined with moods of openness and humility enabled the opportunity to appear to them where others in the game either couldn’t see it or disrespected and belittled it. To a baseball traditionalist, it wasn’t part of “baseball” to them.

Be Open to Insights From “Outside”  

Moneyball’s Big Insight Came from Outside the Game. Ditto Sente’s Solutions (aEAM and TRM).

In baseball, it was a young man named Paul DePodesta (Peter Brand in the movie), an Ivy League graduate who had majored in economics and saw flaws in management’s way of thinking. He could see that major league baseball didn’t understand the true value of different skills or how the skills related mechanistically to winning. He explains it to the GM of the A’s in this famous scene from the movie.  We know the result.

Sente’s “Outsider” Insight about Asset Management

Confronted with the costly habit of equipment hoarding, something the industry had long accepted as “the way things are,”  we ended hoarding. We did it with proprietary analytics and algorithms.  Asset utilization and speed increased 400% and 35% respectively.  As with Moneyball, economic principles played a significant role in the development of our game-changing practices and, like Peter Brand, we’ve frequently had to explain how we produced these accomplishments to people who thought it impossible.

Listen as our customer explains the successes he achieved at 27:48 of the video, Digital Transformation:  Asset Management 5.0.  We think if you do you’ll want to watch the rest of the video to see how we actually achieve these results!

  • 400% Increases to Utilization
  • 25% to 75% Reductions in Equipment Spend (more typically the capital saved is invested in new growth and improved capabilities)
  • 25% to 50% Support Cost Savings (reduced calibration, maintenance, and repair costs)
  • 30% time savings

Transformation Requires Commitment from the Top

The A’s leadership believed they had found something big and knew their only way to know for sure and ultimately succeed would be to go all in. Traditional ways of thinking guaranteed the same results so they knew not changing meant failure. Their mood of resolve and courage to follow through, in spite of criticism from their own manager, scouts, and coaches, was essential to their eventual success. As the Red Sox owner said to the A’s GM after the season, “The first guy through the wall always gets bloody, always.”  He also said anyone who wasn’t adopting the A’s model would be sitting on the sofa in October watching the Red Sox win the World Series, and that’s exactly what happened. Having not won a World Series between 1918 and 2003 they’ve won 4 since.  More than any other team.

Moneyball Helped Accelerate Player’s Careers

It always seemed the teams that won had all the best players who also happened to be the game’s most famous stars. Moneyball flipped all that making hero’s out of everyday players. “Win with nobodies and the fans showed up and the nobodies became stars. Lose with stars and the stars became nobodies.” Scott Hatteberg was a player no longer wanted by anybody in the league. He was undervalued. The A’s signed him. He became a star in this at-bat when he cemented the A’s record for consecutive wins.

aEAM and TRM teams produce significant improvements to speed and cost and, as a result, team members win enterprise awards, receive promotions, and, on occasion, have been sent on trips with their team to recognize their accomplishments as discussed by one of our customers in the video linked earlier. This is not what companies typically expect of their asset teams but this result is one of the things we love best about our work at Sente.

Are You Looking for Game-Changing Outcomes?  Check Out Our Solutions.

Scireo Accelerated Enterprise Asset Management includes unique capabilities that enable your teams to produce speed, cost, and quality advantages.  We help teams connect, power, and accelerate their performance and, when they do, they often win enterprise awards from their management.

CONNECT: We connect teams with integrated workflows that help cross-functional teams to coordinate, collaborate and share as they see emerging resource constraints, whether they be people or equipment ranging from fixed capabilities, e.g. wind tunnels, EMI chambers, engine test cells, or test benches, to portable and sharable capabilities e.g. meters, scopes, or analyzers. These integrated workflows enable previously disconnected departments to, Work Together, Better!

POWER: We power teams with contextual knowledge, like equipment capabilities or availability, that reduce knowledge and resource constraints by the correct contextual knowledge in workflows enabling a quick assessment of contingencies in a fast-changing environment or enabling more robust capital planning with knowledge of equipment obsolescence and health states.

ACCELERATE: We help teams accelerate with acceleration algorithms that identify locations where policy or knowledge constraints produce perverse incentives (like hoarding) which leads to resource or knowledge constraints. Sente’s Accountability Practices and various tactical and strategic services are used to enable our Acceleration Algorithm.

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