Service level agreements get broken all the time. That’s as true in the physical economy as it is in the digital one.
I learnt a lot about service levels when I worked in a coalmine.
At one level, coal mining is simple. Coal is valuable. The shale that surrounds it isn’t. Mining is about digging out as much coal as possible while leaving the shale behind.
In practice, things are a little more complex It’s often hard to dig out the coal without shifting a lot of shale, and the boundary between the two is often unclear – strata that are 90% coal and 10% shale grade gradually into strata that are 90% shale and 10% coal.
And predicting the exact shape of the coal seam as it meanders through the earth requires a lot of skill. But what makes things really complex are the contracts, the mine’s equivalent of service level agreements.