Saturday, August 3, 2013

Best Practices in Shop Management - 1911 - F.W. Taylor

Unfortunately there is no school of management. There is no single
establishment where a relatively large part of the details of management
can be seen, which represent the best of their kinds. The finest
developments are for the most part isolated, and in many cases almost
buried with the mass of rubbish which surrounds them.

Among the many improvements for which the originators will probably
never receive the credit which they deserve the following may be
mentioned.

The remarkable system for analyzing all of the work upon new machines as
the drawings arrived from the drafting-room and of directing the
movement and grouping of the various parts as they progressed through
the shop, which was developed and used for several years by Mr. Wm. II.
Thorne, of Wm. Sellers & Co., of Philadelphia, while the company was
under the general management of Mr. J. Sellers Bancroft. Unfortunately
the full benefit of this method was never realized owing to the lack of
the other functional elements which should have accompanied it.

And then the employment bureau which forms such an important element of
the Western Electric Company in Chicago; the complete and effective
system for managing the messenger boys introduced by Mr. Almon Emrie
while superintendent of the Ingersoll Sargent Drill Company, of Easton,
Pa.; the mnemonic system of order numbers invented by Mr. Oberlin Smith
and amplified by Mr. Henry R. Towne, of The Yale & Towne Company, of
Stamford, Conn.; and the system of inspection introduced by Mr. Chas. D.
Rogers in the works of the American Screw Company, at Providence, R. I.
and the many good points in the apprentice system developed by Mr.
Vauclain, of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, of Philadelphia.

The card system of shop returns invented and introduced as a complete
system by Captain Henry Metcalfe, U. S. A., in the government shops of
the Frankford Arsenal represents another such distinct advance in the
art of management. The writer appreciates the difficulty of this
undertaking as he was at the same time engaged in the slow evolution of
a similar system in the Midvale Steel Works, which, however, was the
result of a gradual development instead of a complete, well thought out
invention as was that of Captain Metcalfe.

The writer is indebted to most of these gentlemen and to many others,
but most of all to the Midvale Steel Company, for elements of the system
which he has described. The rapid and successful application of the
general principles involved in any system will depend largely upon the
adoption of those details which have been found in actual service to be
most useful. There are many such elements which the writer feels should
be described in minute detail. It would, however, be improper to burden
this record with matters of such comparatively small importance.

F.W. Taylor, Shop Management

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