Saturday, August 3, 2013

Production Planning and Control - F.W.Taylor

The writer has found that better results are attained by placing the
planning department in one office, situated, of course, as close to the
center of the shop or shops as practicable, rather than by locating its
members in different places according to their duties. This department
performs more or less the functions of a clearing house. In doing their
various duties, its members must exchange information frequently, and
since they send their orders to and receive their returns from the men
in the shop, principally in writing, simplicity calls for the use, when
possible, of a single piece of paper for each job for conveying the
instructions of the different members of the planning room to the men
and another similar paper for receiving the returns from the men to the
department. Writing out these orders and acting promptly on receipt of
the returns and recording same requires the members of the department to
be close together. The large machine shop of the Bethlehem Steel Company
was more than a quarter of a mile long, and this was successfully run
from a single planning room situated close to it. The manager,
superintendent, and their assistants should, of course, have their
offices adjacent to the planning room and, if practicable, the drafting
room should be near at hand, thus bringing all of the planning and
purely brain work of the establishment close together. The advantages of
this concentration were found to be so great at Bethlehem that the
general offices of the company, which were formerly located in the
business part of the town, about a mile and a half away, were moved into
the middle of the works adjacent to the planning room.

Importance of Planning

The shop, and indeed the whole works, should be managed, not by the
manager, superintendent, or foreman, but by the planning department. The
daily routine of running the entire works should be carried on by the
various functional elements of this department, so that, in theory at
least, the works could run smoothly even if the manager, superintendent
and their assistants outside the planning room were all to be away for a
month at a time.

The following are the leading functions of the planning department:

(a) The complete analysis of all orders for machines or work taken by
the company.

(b) Time study for all work done by hand throughout the works, including
that done in setting the work in machines, and all bench, vise work and
transportation, etc.

(c) Time study for all operations done by the various machines.

(d) The balance of all materials, raw materials, stores and finished
parts, and the balance of the work ahead for each class of machines and

(e) The analysis of all inquiries for new work received in the sales
department and promises for time of delivery.

(f) The cost of all items manufactured with complete expense analysis
and complete monthly comparative cost and expense exhibits.

(g) The pay department.

(h) The mnemonic symbol system for identification of parts and for

(i) Information bureau.

(j) Standards.

(k) Maintenance of system and plant, and use of the tickler.

(l) Messenger system and post office delivery.

(m) Employment bureau.

(n) Shop disciplinarian.

(o) A mutual accident insurance association.

(p) Rush order department.

(q) Improvement of system or plant.

These several functions may be described more in detail as follows:


This analysis should indicate the designing and drafting required, the
machines or parts to be purchased and all data needed by the purchasing
agent, and as soon as the necessary drawings and information come from
the drafting room the lists of patterns, castings and forgings to be
made, together with all instructions for making them, including general
and detail drawing, piece number, the mnemonic symbol belonging to each
piece (as referred to under (h) below) a complete analysis of the
successive operations to be done on each piece, and the exact route
which each piece is to travel from place to place in the works.


This information for each particular operation should be obtained by
summing up the various unit times of which it consists. To do this, of
course, requires the men performing this function to keep continually
posted as to the best methods and appliances to use, and also to
frequently consult with and receive advice from the executive gang
bosses who carry out this work in the shop, and from the man in the
department of standards and maintenance of plant (j) beneath. The actual
study of unit times, of course, forms the greater part of the work of
this section of the planning room.


This information is best obtained from slide rules, one of which is made
for each machine tool or class of machine tools throughout the works;
one, for instance, for small lathes of the same type, one for planers of
same type, etc. These slide rules show the best way to machine each
piece and enable detailed directions to be given the workman as to how
many cuts to take, where to start each cut, both for roughing out work
and finishing it, the depth of the cut, the best feed and speed, and the
exact time required to do each operation.

The information obtained through function (b), together with that
obtained through (c) afford the basis for fixing the proper piece rate,
differential rate or the bonus to be paid, according to the system


Returns showing all receipts, as well as the issue of all raw materials,
stores, partly finished work, and completed parts and machines, repair
parts, etc., daily pass through the balance clerk, and each item of
which there have been issues or receipts, or which has been appropriated
to the use of a machine about to be manufactured, is daily balanced.
Thus the balance clerk can see that the required stocks of materials are
kept on hand by notifying at once the purchasing agent or other proper
party when the amount on hand falls below the prescribed figure. The
balance clerk should also keep a complete running balance of the hours
of work ahead for each class of machines and workmen, receiving for this
purpose daily from (a), (b), and (c) above statements of the hours of
new work entered, and from the inspectors and daily time cards a
statement of the work as it is finished. He should keep the manager and
sales department posted through daily or weekly condensed reports as to
the number of days of work ahead for each department, and thus enable
them to obviate either a congestion or scarcity of work.

planning room who perform the duties indicated at (a) above should
consult with (b) and (c) and obtain from them approximately the time
required to do the work inquired for, and from (d) the days of work
ahead for the various machines and departments, and inform the sales
department as to the probable time required to do the work and the
earliest date of delivery.


The books of the company should be closed once a month and balanced as
completely as they usually are at the end of the year, and the exact
cost of each article of merchandise finished during the previous month
should be entered on a comparative cost sheet. The expense exhibit
should also be a comparative sheet. The cost account should be a
completely balanced account, and not a memorandum account as it
generally is. All the expenses of the establishment, direct and
indirect, including the administration and sales expense, should be
charged to the cost of the product which is to be sold.


The pay department should include not only a record of the time and
wages and piece work earnings of each man, and his weekly or monthly
payment, but the entire supervision of the arrival and departure of the
men from the works and the various checks needed to insure against error
or cheating. It is desirable that some one of the "exception systems" of
time keeping should be used.


Some one of the mnemonic symbol systems should be used instead of
numbering the parts or orders for identifying the various articles of
manufacture, as well as the operations to be performed on each piece and
the various expense charges of the establishment. This becomes a matter
of great importance when written directions are sent from the planning
room to the men, and the men make their returns in writing. The clerical
work and chances for error are thereby greatly diminished.


The information bureau should include catalogues of drawings (providing
the drafting room is close enough to the planning room) as well as all
records and reports for the whole establishment. The art of properly
indexing information is by no means a simple one, and as far as possible
it should be centered in one man.


The adoption and maintenance of standard tools, fixtures, and appliances
down to the smallest item throughout the works and office, as well as
the adoption of standard methods of doing all operations which are
repeated, is a matter of importance, so that under similar conditions
the same appliances and methods shall be used throughout the plant. This
is an absolutely necessary preliminary to success in assigning daily
tasks which are fair and which can be carried out with certainty.


One of the most important functions of the planning room is that of the
maintenance of the entire system, and of standard methods and appliances
throughout the establishment, including the planning room itself. An
elaborate time table should be made out showing daily the time when and
place where each report is due, which is necessary to carry on the work
and to maintain the system. It should be the duty of the member of the
planning room in charge of this function to find out at each time
through the day when reports are due, whether they have been received,
and if not, to keep bothering the man who is behind hand until he has
done his duty. Almost all of the reports, etc., going in and out of the
planning room can be made to pass through this man. As a mechanical aid
to him in performing his function the tickler is invaluable. The best
type of tickler is one which has a portfolio for each day in the year,
large enough to insert all reminders and even quite large instruction
cards and reports without folding. In maintaining methods and
appliances, notices should be placed in the tickler in advance, to come
out at proper intervals throughout the year for the inspection of each
element of the system and the inspection and overhauling of all
standards as well as the examination and repairs at stated intervals of
parts of machines, boilers, engines, belts, etc., likely to wear out or
give trouble, thus preventing breakdowns and delays. One tickler can be
used for the entire works and is preferable to a number of individual
ticklers. Each man can remind himself of his various small routine
duties to be performed either daily or weekly, etc., and which might be
otherwise overlooked, by sending small reminders, written on slips of
paper, to be placed in the tickler and returned to him at the proper
time. Both the tickler and a thoroughly systematized messenger service
should be immediately adjacent to this man in the planning room, if not
directly under his management.

The proper execution of this function of the planning room will relieve
the superintendent of some of the most vexatious and time-consuming of
his duties, and at the same time the work will be done more thoroughly
and cheaper than if he does it himself. By the adoption of standards and
the use of instruction cards for overhauling machinery, etc., and the
use of a tickler as above described, the writer reduced the repair force
of the Midvale Steel Works to one-third its size while he was in the
position of master mechanic. There was no planning department, however,
in the works at that time.


The messenger system should be thoroughly organized and records kept
showing which of the boys are the most efficient. This should afford one
of the best opportunities for selecting boys fit to be taught trades, as
apprentices or otherwise. There should be a regular half hourly post
office delivery system for collecting and distributing routine reports
and records and messages in no especial hurry throughout the works.


The selection of the men who are employed to fill vacancies or new
positions should receive the most careful thought and attention and
should be under the supervision of a competent man who will inquire into
the experience and especial fitness and character of applicants and keep
constantly revised lists of men suitable for the various positions in
the shop. In this section of the planning room. an individual record of
each of the men in the works can well be kept showing his punctuality,
absence without excuse, violation of shop rules, spoiled work or damage
to machines or tools, as well as his skill at various kinds of work;
average earnings, and other good qualities for the use of this
department as well as the shop disciplinarian.


This man may well be closely associated with the employment bureau and,
if the works is not too large, the two functions can be performed by the
same man. The knowledge of character and of the qualities needed for
various positions acquired in disciplining the men should be useful in
selecting them for employment. This man should, of course, consult
constantly with the various foremen and bosses, both in his function as
disciplinarian arid in the employment of men.


A mutual accident insurance association should be established, to which
the company contributes as well as the men. The object of this
association is twofold: first the relief of men who are injured, and
second, an opportunity of returning to the workmen all fines which are
imposed upon them in disciplining them, and for damage to company's
property or work spoiled.


Hurrying through parts which have been spoiled or have developed
defects, and also special repair orders for customers, should receive
the attention of one man.


One man should be especially charged with the work of improvement in the
system and in the running of the plant.

The type of organization described in the foregoing paragraphs has such
an appearance of complication and there are so many new positions
outlined in the planning room which do not exist even in a well managed
establishment of the old school, that it seems desirable to again call
attention to the fact that, with the exception of the study of unit
times and one or two minor functions, each item of work which is
performed in the planning room with the superficial appearance of great
complication must also be performed by the workmen in the shop under the
old type of management, with its single cheap foreman and the appearance
of great simplicity. In the first case, however, the work is done by an
especially trained body of men who work together like a smoothly running
machine, and in the second by a much larger number of men very poorly
trained and ill-fitted for this work, and each of whom while doing it is
taken away from some other job for which he is well trained. The work
which is now done by one sewing machine, intricate in its appearance,
was formerly done by a number of women with no apparatus beyond a simple
needle and thread.

There is no question that the cost of production is lowered by
separating the work of planning and the brain work as much as possible
from the manual labor. When this is done, however, it is evident that
the brain workers must be given sufficient work to keep them fully busy
all the time. They must not be allowed to stand around for a
considerable part of their time waiting for their particular kind of
work to come along, as is so frequently the case.

The belief is almost universal among manufacturers that for economy the
number of brain workers, or non-producers, as they are called, should be
as small as possible in proportion to the number of producers, i.e.,
those who actually work with their hands. An examination of the most
successful establishments will, however, show that the reverse is true.
A number of years ago the writer made a careful study of the proportion
of producers to non-producers in three of the largest and most
successful companies in the world, who were engaged in doing the same
work in a general way. One of these companies was in France, one in
Germany, and one in the United States. Being to a certain extent rivals
in business and situated in different countries, naturally neither one
had anything to do with the management of the other. In the course of
his investigation, the writer found that the managers had never even
taken the trouble to ascertain the exact proportion of non-producers to
producers in their respective works; so that the organization of each
company was an entirely independent evolution.

By non-producers the writer means such employees as all of the general
officers, the clerks, foremen, gang bosses, watchmen, messenger boys,
draftsmen, salesmen, etc.; and by "producers," only those who actually
work with their hands.

In the French and German works there was found to be in each case one
non-producer to between six and seven producers, and in the American
works one non-producer to about seven producers. The writer found that
in the case of another works, doing the same kind of business and whose
management was notoriously bad, the proportion of non-producers to
producers was one non-producer to about eleven producers. These
companies all had large forges, foundries, rolling mills and machine
shops turning out a miscellaneous product, much of which was machined.
They turned out a highly wrought, elaborate and exact finished product,
and did an extensive engineering and miscellaneous machine construction

In the case of a company doing a manufacturing business with a uniform
and simple product for the maximum economy, the number of producers to
each non-producer would of course be larger. No manager need feel
alarmed then when he sees the number of non-producers increasing in
proportion to producers, providing the non-producers are busy all of
their time, and providing, of course, that in each case they are doing
efficient work.

It would seem almost unnecessary to dwell upon the desirability of
standardizing, not only all of the tools, appliances and implements
throughout the works and office, but also the methods to be used in the
multitude of small operations which are repeated day after day. There
are many good managers of the old school, however, who feel that this
standardization is not only unnecessary but that it is undesirable,
their principal reason being that it is better to allow each workman to
develop his individuality by choosing the particular implements and
methods which suit him best. And there is considerable weight in this
contention when the scheme of management is to allow each workman to do
the work as he pleases and hold him responsible for results.
Unfortunately, in ninety-nine out of a hundred such cases only the first
part of this plan is carried out. The workman chooses his own methods
and implements, but is not held in any strict sense accountable unless
the quality of the work is so poor or the quantity turned out is so
small as to almost amount to a scandal. In the type of management
advocated by the writer, this complete standardization of all details
and methods is not only desirable but absolutely indispensable as a
preliminary to specifying the time in which each operation shall be
done, and then insisting that it shall be done within the time allowed.

Neglecting to take the time and trouble to thoroughly standardize all of
such methods and details is one of the chief causes for setbacks and
failure in introducing this system. Much better results can be attained,
even if poor standards be adopted, than can be reached if some of a
given class of implements are the best of their kind while others are
poor. It is uniformity that is required. Better have them uniformly
second class than mainly first with some second and some third class
thrown in at random. In the latter case the workmen will almost always
adopt the pace which conforms to the third class instead of the first or
second. In fact, however, it is not a matter involving any great expense
or time to select in each case standard implements which shall be nearly
the best or the best of their kinds. The writer has never failed to make
enormous gains in the economy of running by the adoption of standards.

It was in the course of making a series of experiments with various air
hardening tool steels with a view to adopting a standard for the
Bethlehem works that Mr. J. Maunsel White, together with the writer,
discovered the Taylor-White process of treating tool steel, which marks
a distinct improvement in the art. The fact that this improvement was
made not by manufacturers of tool steel, but in the course of the
adoption of standards, shows both the necessity and fruitfulness of
methodical and careful investigation in the choice of much neglected
details. The economy to be gained through the adoption of uniform
standards is hardly realized at all by the managers of this country. No
better illustration of this fact is needed than that of the present
condition of the cutting tools used throughout the machine shops of the
United States. Hardly a shop can be found in which tools made from a
dozen different qualities of steel are not used side by side, in many
cases with little or no means of telling one make from another; and in
addition, the shape of the cutting edge of the tool is in most cases
left to the fancy of each individual workman. When one realizes that the
cutting speed of the best treated air hardening steel is for a given
depth of cut, feed and quality of metal being cut, say sixty feet per
minute, while with the same shaped tool made from the best carbon tool
steel and with the same conditions, the cutting speed will be only
twelve feet per minute, it becomes apparent how little the necessity for
rigid standards is appreciated.

Let us take another illustration. The machines of the country are still
driven by belting. The motor drive, while it is coming, is still in the
future. There is not one establishment in one hundred that does not
leave the care and tightening of the belts to the judgment of the
individual who runs the machine, although it is well known to all who
have given any study to the subject that the most skilled machinist
cannot properly tighten a belt without the use of belt clamps fitted
with spring balances to properly register the tension. And the writer
showed in a paper entitled "Notes on Belting" presented to The American
Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1893, giving the results of an
experiment tried on all of the belts in a machine shop and extending
through nine years, in which every detail of the care and tightening and
tension of each belt was recorded, that belts properly cared for
according to a standard method by a trained laborer would average twice
the pulling power and only a fraction of the interruptions to
manufacture of those tightened according to the usual methods. The loss
now going on throughout the country from failure to adopt and maintain
standards for all small details is simply enormous.

It is, however, a good sign for the future that a firm such as Messrs.
Dodge & Day of Philadelphia, who are making a specialty of standardizing
machine shop details, find their time fully occupied.

What may be called the "exception principle" in management is coming
more and more into use, although, like many of the other elements of
this art, it is used in isolated cases, and in most instances without
recognizing it as a principle which should extend throughout the entire
field. It is not an uncommon sight, though a sad one, to see the manager
of a large business fairly swamped at his desk with an ocean of letters
and reports, on each of which he thinks that he should put his initial
or stamp. He feels that by having this mass of detail pass over his desk
he is keeping in close touch with the entire business. The exception
principle is directly the reverse of this. Under it the manager should
receive only condensed, summarized, and invariably comparative reports,
covering, however, all of the elements entering into the management, and
even these summaries should all be carefully gone over by an assistant
before they reach the manager, and have all of the exceptions to the
past averages or to the standards pointed out, both the especially good
and especially bad exceptions, thus giving him in a few minutes a full
view of progress which is being made, or the reverse, and leaving him
free to consider the broader lines of policy and to study the character
and fitness of the important men under him. The exception principle can
be applied in many ways, and the writer will endeavor to give some
further illustrations of it later.

The writer has dwelt at length upon the desirability of concentrating as
much as possible clerical and brain work in the planning department.
There is, however, one such important exception to this rule that it
would seem desirable to call attention to it. As already stated, the
planning room gives its orders and instructions to the men mainly in
writing and of necessity must also receive prompt and reliable written
returns and reports which shall enable its members to issue orders for
the next movement of each piece, lay out the work for each man for the
following day, properly post the balance of work and materials accounts,
enter the records on cost accounts and also enter the time and pay of
each man on the pay sheet. There is no question that all of this
information can be given both better and cheaper by the workman direct
than through the intermediary of a walking time keeper, providing the
proper instruction and report system has been introduced in the works
with carefully ruled and printed instruction and return cards, and
particularly providing a complete mnemonic system of symbols has been
adopted so as to save the workmen the necessity of doing much writing.
The principle to which the writer wishes to call particular attention is
that the only way in which workmen can be induced to write out all of
this information accurately and promptly is by having each man write his
own time while on day work and pay when on piece work on the same card
on which he is to enter the other desired information, and then refusing
to enter his pay on the pay sheet until after all of the required
information has been correctly given by him. Under this system as soon
as a workman completes a job and at quitting time, whether the job is
completed or not, he writes on a printed time card all of the
information needed by the planning room in connection with that job,
signs it and forwards it at once to the planning room. On arriving in
the planning room each time card passes through the order of work or
route clerk, the balance clerk, the cost clerk, etc., on its way to the
pay sheet, and unless the workman has written the desired information
the card is sent back to him, and he is apt to correct and return it
promptly so as to have his pay entered up. The principle is clear that
if one wishes to have routine clerical work done promptly and correctly
it should somehow be attached to the pay card of the man who is to give
it. This principle, of course, applies to the information desired from
inspectors, gang bosses and others as well as workmen, and to reports
required from various clerks. In the case of reports, a pay coupon can
be attached to the report which will be detached and sent to the pay
sheet as soon as the report has been found correct.

F.W. Taylor - Shop Management

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