Saturday, August 3, 2013

Investment for Increasing Productivity or Efficiency - F.W. Taylor

Before starting to make any changes in the organization of a company the
following matters should be carefully considered: First, the importance
of choosing the general type of management best suited to the particular
case. Second, that in all cases money must be spent, and in many cases a
great deal of money, before the changes are completed which result in
lowering cost. Third, that it takes time to reach any result worth
aiming at. Fourth, the importance of making changes in their proper
order, and that unless the right steps are taken, and taken in their
proper sequence, there is great danger from deterioration in the quality
of the output and from serious troubles with the workmen, often
resulting in strikes.

As to the type of management to be ultimately aimed at, before any
changes whatever are made, it is necessary, or at least highly
desirable, that the most careful consideration should be given to the
type to be chosen; and once a scheme is decided upon it should be
carried forward step by step without wavering or retrograding. Workmen
will tolerate and even come to have great respect for one change after
another made in logical sequence and according to a consistent plan. It
is most demoralizing, however, to have to recall a step once taken,
whatever may be the cause, and it makes any further changes doubly

The choice must be made between some of the types of management in
common use, which the writer feels are properly designated by the word
"drifting," and the more modern scientific management based on an
accurate knowledge of how long it should take to do the work. If, as is
frequently the case, the managers of an enterprise find themselves so
overwhelmed with other departments of the business that they can give
but little thought to the management of the shop, then some one of the
various "drifting" schemes should be adopted; and of these the writer
believes the Towne-Halsey plan to be the best, since it drifts safely
and peacefully though slowly in the right direction; yet under it the
best results can never be reached. The fact, however, that managers are
in this way overwhelmed by their work is the best proof that there is
something radically wrong with the plan of their organization and in
self defense they should take immediate steps toward a more thorough
study of the art.

It is not at all generally realized that whatever system may be used,
--providing a business is complex in its nature--the building up of an
efficient organization is necessarily slow and sometimes very expensive.
Almost all of the directors of manufacturing companies appreciate the
economy of a thoroughly modern, up-to-date, and efficient plant, and are
willing to pay for it. Very few of them, however, realize that the best
organization, whatever its cost may be, is in many cases even more
important than the plant; nor do they clearly realize that no kind of an
efficient organization can be built up without spending money. The
spending of money for good machinery appeals to them because they can
see machines after they are bought; but putting money into anything so
invisible, intangible, and to the average man so indefinite, as an
organization seems almost like throwing it away.

F.W. Taylor, Shop Management

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