How does it matter when a follower helps with crafting?

Richie has helped me with many things, but as to HOW he did, I don’t know. It didn’t go any faster, which is what I thought it would do originally, so what does it matter? Does it just not do anything? Am I missing the obvious? If only Richie could answer my question, but the game won’t let me ask him…

If you batch craft, it goes faster.
If you single-craft, it decreases chances that something goes wrong, as if you had higher skill.