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A Modern Parable.
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
A Modern Parable.
the names have been changed to protect the guilty from retailiating against me personally

A company (Company A ) and a company (Company Z) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, Company Z won by a mile.

Company A's managers, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat.
A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was that Company Z had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the Company A team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order; Company A management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Company Z, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

Company A also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.

The next year Company Z won by two miles.

Humiliated, Company A management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles as-is, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to Company V.

Sadly, the End.

Here's something else to think about: Company A has spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US , claiming they can't make money paying American wages.

Company Z has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US The last quarter's results:

Company Z makes 4 billion in profits while Company A racked up 9 billion in losses.

Company A folks are still scratching their heads, and collecting bonuses... for a while...

are any of you Company A managers?
  • Posted 6 Jan 2009 10:14 AM
Total replies: 13. Showing items 1 - 13 of 13 results.
Replies
that ed,is a classic! i advise everybody on this side of the water who work for a certain materials handling company to read [url removed] just too close to the truth.
  • Posted 20 Jan 2009 12:00 PM
This is the company I work for, how uncanny.

Classic observation
  • Posted 21 Jan 2009 08:37 AM
I think we all work for the same company!
  • Posted 28 Dec 2013 06:41 AM
I once worked for a company just like that. They are no longer in business, having sold out.
Funny how the bigger they are, the more they are the same.

Liftman
Equipment, Inc.
Mobile, Al.
  • Posted 30 Dec 2013 06:18 AM
  • bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
Ed- you have wisdom beyond your years! It is amazing to me that these upper management "gentlemen" can pull off situations like these & move on to greener pastueres. Maybe it's me - I can't see the forrest for the trees!

bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
  • Posted 2 Jan 2014 03:38 AM
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
I can not take credit for that, I only copy pasted and changed the company names, and that was typed almost 5 years ago. What amazes me is how much things stay the same, and change so little, while the world is changing so much.

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 2 Jan 2014 05:32 AM
  • • Modified 2 Jan 2014 11:04 AM by poster
  • swoop223
  • North Carolina, United States
gee edward, it sounds as if whoever came up with this was working where i work too.
The business model they are trying to follow is the same one company A did. They work EXACTLY the same way... DOH!

thinks back to years ago when he noticed the 'mission statements' of companies seemed to change and went from putting the customer first to putting the company first' , now it seems money is the driving force behind all business, let's tell the customer he's #1 but secretly behind the scenes stick it in and break it off! ;o)

You've been swooped!
swoop223@gmail.com
  • Posted 2 Jan 2014 09:31 PM
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
trade ya swoop...

Just kidding...

"it's not rocket surgery"
  • Posted 3 Jan 2014 09:21 AM
  • NER045
  • North Yorkshire, United Kingdom
Ed, you know over the years I've worked in this business I've become very cynicle of top management, having been made redundant a multitude of times I found stability with the last company I worked for it being owned by the coal company. But in 20yrs that company never made a profit and every 18 months we got a new MD or CEO as they are called these days, every now and again we would get a memo to say so and so had left the company to work for jack stacking and racking and we wish him well in his new career, and I began to think there must be a special boys club these guys are members of and there on this merry go round where they go from one really good job to another but never ever doing any of the companies they work for any good. Then one day the coal company sent a man from across the pond to look after us, and he was a nice guy, and he stayed for about 4 to5 years and he had a plan and on the last year he was here we made a profit, we were all naturally thrilled, with in three months we were sold off, and that was the coal companies ultimate plan, and I thought what an anticlimax.
  • Posted 22 Jan 2014 03:57 AM
  • bbforks
  • Pennsylvania, United States
The problem is- in our industry- everyone wants more profits by re-inventing the wheel (or in this case, a business model with more profits). The challenge is, the wheel has already been invented & it is what it is.

Forklifts all perform the same function- moving materials - period. The customer just wants that done as cheaply as possible with the least amt. of downtime - period. Somewhere in the middle the forklift vendor has to make a profit.

bbforks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Customers love technology- until they have to pay to fix it!
  • Posted 22 Jan 2014 04:37 AM
This is very funny!
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  • Posted 5 Aug 2014 11:20 PM
  • • Modified 5 Aug 2014 11:20 PM by poster
They are just too smart and too educated to go with a simple solution that works.

It's all just nuts n' bolts.
  • Posted 13 Aug 2014 11:55 PM
Great article I have worked for 2 companys like this now at 3rd company we will see
  • Posted 29 Oct 2014 02:38 AM
Total replies: 13. Showing items 1 - 13 of 13 results.

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