Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: A Parable....

  1. #1
    Senior Member shovelhead's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    115
    Rep Power
    14

    Default A Parable....

    Got this from someone yesterday, VERY appropriate for the current climate here IMHO...

    A Japanese company ( Toyota) and an American company (General Motors) 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, the Japanese won by a mile.


    The Americans, 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 the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.


    Feeling a deeper study was in order, American 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 Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.


    They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person 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 rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.


    The next year the Japanese won by two miles.


    Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India


    Sadly, The End.


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


    TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US.

    The last quarter's results:
    TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

    Ford folks are still scratching their heads.


    IF THIS WEREN'T SO TRUE IT MIGHT BE FUNNY.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hurricane9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Someplace warm and fuzzy
    Posts
    156
    Rep Power
    16

    Default Re: A Parable....

    The sad part about the ending of your post is that Toyota realized that QUALITY has to be consistant. If the QUALITY of the truck is there, then customers can rely on them, and are willing to spend a little more money than on a Ford that's made "less expensively"

  3. #3
    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    3,910
    Years of Experience
    15
    Rep Power
    167

    Default Re: A Parable....

    same ole story...........too many chiefs not enough indians....... hey wait a minute...that sounds like the same thing at my company........ hey you got a good point there...
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

  4. #4
    Senior Member frostypeters's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Midwest
    Posts
    163
    Rep Power
    16

    Default Re: A Parable....

    Makes you think.

    So just how many levels of management are between you (the locator) and the president of your respective companies?

    Hhhhmmmmm...
    Why does a round pizza come in a square box?

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    41
    Rep Power
    11

    Default Re: A Parable....

    The president of the locating company noticed that he was unable to get to all the locates on time. So he Hired a supervisor to watch of the locates. Then hired a d.m to oversee the supervisor and let him know what the results where. At that time he felt he needed a rm to talk to the d.m. So the Pres hired a vp to talk to the r.m. to talk to the d.m. to talk to the supervisor to ask the locator what the problem is with not getting to the tickets on time. by the time it got to the top the message was quality. So the pres hired a director of quality who set forth a trainer to train the person, The director of quality then hired a claims manager. Again the pres asked why is cotp so bad. So the vp asked the r.m. who asked the d.m. who asked the supervisor who asked the locator..........The locator said 9 bosses above me to make sure I paint this thing. And still I am the only one here......Putting paint down.......Its kind of like fishing.....dont matter how many people you have in the boat telling you how to fish....You will catch more fish if you are all fishing.

    You found this story on a locators bathroom wall.....



    Quote Originally Posted by shovelhead View Post
    Got this from someone yesterday, VERY appropriate for the current climate here IMHO...

    A Japanese company ( Toyota) and an American company (General Motors) 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, the Japanese won by a mile.


    The Americans, 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 the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 8 people steering and 1 person rowing.


    Feeling a deeper study was in order, American 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 Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 3 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.


    They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 1 person 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 rower. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses.


    The next year the Japanese won by two miles.


    Humiliated, the American management laid off the rower for poor performance, halted development of a new canoe, sold the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India


    Sadly, The End.


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


    TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more than a dozen plants inside the US.

    The last quarter's results:
    TOYOTA makes 4 billion in profits while Ford racked up 9 billion in losses.

    Ford folks are still scratching their heads.


    IF THIS WEREN'T SO TRUE IT MIGHT BE FUNNY.


    Colonel Travis At the Alamo....."hold on boys helps coming!!!!" Oh sh** its the Alamo

  6. #6
    Senior Member LadyLeatherneck's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    In the swimming pool
    Posts
    435
    Rep Power
    27

    Default Re: A Parable....

    Quote Originally Posted by thejoker View Post
    The president of the locating company noticed that he was unable to get to all the locates on time. So he Hired a supervisor to watch of the locates. Then hired a d.m to oversee the supervisor and let him know what the results where. At that time he felt he needed a rm to talk to the d.m. So the Pres hired a vp to talk to the r.m. to talk to the d.m. to talk to the supervisor to ask the locator what the problem is with not getting to the tickets on time. by the time it got to the top the message was quality. So the pres hired a director of quality who set forth a trainer to train the person, The director of quality then hired a claims manager. Again the pres asked why is cotp so bad. So the vp asked the r.m. who asked the d.m. who asked the supervisor who asked the locator..........The locator said 9 bosses above me to make sure I paint this thing. And still I am the only one here......Putting paint down.......Its kind of like fishing.....dont matter how many people you have in the boat telling you how to fish....You will catch more fish if you are all fishing.

    You found this story on a locators bathroom wall.....
    YOU LEFT OUT THE ALL IMPORTANT LEAD LOCATOR
    "There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion."

    - General William Thornson, U.S. Army

  7. #7
    Senior Member yahoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Louisiana
    Posts
    3,910
    Years of Experience
    15
    Rep Power
    167

    Default Re: A Parable....

    what ????????????there was alot left out.......ass to the rm and ass to the dm and ass to the vp and the ass to the ass. hahhahaah then senior supervisor and the lead tech and .....................the foreman.......????? to many chiefs not enough indians....
    wise men talk because they have something to say and fools because they have to say something....plato

  8. #8
    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    924
    Rep Power
    46

    Default Re: A Parable....

    Quote Originally Posted by Hurricane9 View Post
    The sad part about the ending of your post is that Toyota realized that QUALITY has to be consistant. If the QUALITY of the truck is there, then customers can rely on them, and are willing to spend a little more money than on a Ford that's made "less expensively"


    Here are some interesting ancedotes to this parable.

    After the second world war when U.S. General Marshall was put into Japan to get that country back on its feet he introduced the Marshall Plan. Part of that plan involved bringing W.Edwards Deming over. Deming was a noted statistical data guy in the U.S. who could not get his ideas on quality to float in the U.S. So, the Japanese grasped the idea and as they say, the rest is history.

    The Japanese have PROVEN consistently that it actually costs LESS to manufacture quality products, NOT MORE. AND, because people are willing to pay for quality/reliability, the Japanese companies actually make pretty good profit on each unit they sell.

    If you think about building quality into a product and cut your scrap, bad parts, lost labour, rework costs, down time, redesign, retesting, wasted "meeting" time to discuss issues, etc. out of the equation, it really does COST LESS to produce a quality product.

    Another major tenent of the Japanese way of doing buisness is that the worker is empowered to resolve, offer suggestions on resolving problems that that worker faces. Managements role is to review, rubber stamp and fast track solutions. Workers have a reasonably high job satisfaction level and feel more involved. They produce more for higher wages and there is a lot less frustration due to unresolved minor issues.

    At a conference I attended a Japanese CEO related a story of GM execs coming to Japan to review one of the TOYOTA factories. Toyota showed them everything and explained everything in detail. The GM execs were astonished and said so. The Toyota tour guide simply said we have nothing to fear from showing you our processes. For you to adopt the processes, retool, train staff and become productive 10 years will have passed and we will still be miles ahead of you.

    Okay, so I do not know if that is true, but, it truly does get the idea across as to why north american industry is hurting, while Japanese industry is generally doing well.

    Something else to think about, Japan has very few of its own natural resources, so everything has to be imported. That makes their input costs higher than for most North American businesses. And, in Japan, their wages are considerably higher than what GM workers make.

    In closing, think about this. It was an AMERICAN that introduced the entire concept of Quality to the Japanese because he could not sell his ideas at home. Scary stuff!
    Last edited by underground quester; August 16th, 2008 at 09:36 PM.
    Success is a journey, not a destination...

  9. #9
    Senior Member AULupstate's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    969
    Rep Power
    48

    Default Re: A Parable....

    I think the American worker is well aware of all of the mentioned above. That's why GM moved their plants to MEXICO.

  10. #10
    Senior Member underground quester's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    924
    Rep Power
    46

    Default Re: A Parable....

    Quote Originally Posted by AULupstate View Post
    I think the American worker is well aware of all of the mentioned above. That's why GM moved their plants to MEXICO.

    At the time they started doing this I was overseeing the logistics auto compound here in the city I live. This is the storage facility for all vehicles that come in by rail and are then trucked to their final destination.

    At the time, Canadian Auto workers were making over $20.00 per hour. The new plants in Mexico started their workers at $2.50 hr U.S. At the time, most cavaliers and sunbirds were being made in Mexico. I have lost all track of that now, so, I do not know how the Mexican plants are doing.

    Companies can improve margins two ways:

    By improving quality or,
    By lowering input costs.

    We know which way GM went. And, its a damned shame. American (and Canadian) workers could do the job and these companies could be making profits if management would only get out of its own way. They (management) does not, so the workers pay in lost jobs. Sad!
    Last edited by underground quester; August 16th, 2008 at 10:34 PM.
    Success is a journey, not a destination...

  11. #11
    Senior Member AULupstate's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    969
    Rep Power
    48

    Default Re: A Parable....

    I apologize I should have made mention of our Canadian brotheran also.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wingfoot's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    4,439
    Years of Experience
    20
    Rep Power
    190

    Default Re: A Parable....

    Quote Originally Posted by underground quester View Post
    At the time, Canadian Auto workers were making over $20.00 per hour. The new plants in Mexico started their workers at $2.50 hr U.S. I do not know how the Mexican plants are doing now.

    Companies can improve margins two ways:

    By improving quality or,
    By lowering input costs.

    We know which way GM went. And, its a damned shame. American (and Canadian) workers could do the job and these companies could be making profits if management would only get out of its own way. They (management) does not, so the workers pay in lost jobs. Sad!
    Lee Iacocca, (acronym for "I Am Chairman Of Chrysler Corporation America"), father of the 1964 Ford Mustang, is an American businessman most commonly known for his revival of the Chrysler Corporation in the 1980s. Chrysler was on the verge of going out of business when Lee became the CEO.
    Realizing that Chrysler would go out of business if it did not receive a significant amount of money to turn the company around, Iacocca approached the United States Congress in 1979 and asked for a loan guarantee. While it is sometimes said that Congress lent Chrysler the money, it, in fact, only guaranteed the loans. Most thought this was an unprecedented move, but Iacocca pointed to the government bail-outs of the airline and railroad industries, arguing that more jobs were at stake in Chrysler's possible demise. In the end, though the decision was controversial, Iacocca received the loan guarantee from the government.

    After receiving this reprieve, Chrysler released the first of the K-Car line, the Dodge Aries and Plymouth Reliant in 1981, compact automobiles based on design proposals that Ford had rejected during Iacocca's tenure there. These cars were made in the new Chrysler manufacturing plants Lee had built in Mexico, using money borrowed with U.S. taxpayer guarantees! A good Mexican manufacturing wage in 1978 was 50 cents per hour w/o a retirement package. American union manufacturing wages were $30+ including retirement packages.

    Lee was the first to move a large scale manufacturing operation south of the border to ship back a finished product to sell to America & Canada. The retail prices of these cars at the time did not reflect the lower manufacturing costs. Chrysler's return on investment was astronomical! The Mexican built K-Car line was a success and all the loan guarantees were paid 7 years early!

    Seeing Lee's successes, most international corporations moved it's North American manufacturing south to Mexico. Cheap labor, no labor retirement packages and zero government restrictions on environment issues made Mexico a haven for these bastards. These international corporations hire kids to work the assembly lines in Mexico for less than $1 per hour. When the boys become 20 years old and when the girls turn 26, they're fired. Corporation research has indicated these groups tend to unionize above these ages! Consequently, Mexicans above these age groups can not get manufacturing jobs in their own country! These are the ones that escape Mexico and flood to America illegally to find work!

    For many years, Lee Iacocca was my American Hero! Today, Lee is my American ZERO!

  13. #13
    Senior Member sprayandpray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    2,120
    Rep Power
    94

    Default Re: A Parable....

    Quote Originally Posted by underground quester View Post
    Here are some interesting ancedotes to this parable.

    After the second world war when U.S. General Marshall was put into Japan to get that country back on its feet he introduced the Marshall Plan. Part of that plan involved bringing W.Edwards Deming over. Deming was a noted statistical data guy in the U.S. who could not get his ideas on quality to float in the U.S. So, the Japanese grasped the idea and as they say, the rest is history.

    The Japanese have PROVEN consistently that it actually costs LESS to manufacture quality products, NOT MORE. AND, because people are willing to pay for quality/reliability, the Japanese companies actually make pretty good profit on each unit they sell.

    If you think about building quality into a product and cut your scrap, bad parts, lost labour, rework costs, down time, redesign, retesting, wasted "meeting" time to discuss issues, etc. out of the equation, it really does COST LESS to produce a quality product.

    Another major tenent of the Japanese way of doing buisness is that the worker is empowered to resolve, offer suggestions on resolving problems that that worker faces. Managements role is to review, rubber stamp and fast track solutions. Workers have a reasonably high job satisfaction level and feel more involved. They produce more for higher wages and there is a lot less frustration due to unresolved minor issues.

    At a conference I attended a Japanese CEO related a story of GM execs coming to Japan to review one of the TOYOTA factories. Toyota showed them everything and explained everything in detail. The GM execs were astonished and said so. The Toyota tour guide simply said we have nothing to fear from showing you our processes. For you to adopt the processes, retool, train staff and become productive 10 years will have passed and we will still be miles ahead of you.

    Okay, so I do not know if that is true, but, it truly does get the idea across as to why north american industry is hurting, while Japanese industry is generally doing well.

    Something else to think about, Japan has very few of its own natural resources, so everything has to be imported. That makes their input costs higher than for most North American businesses. And, in Japan, their wages are considerably higher than what GM workers make.

    In closing, think about this. It was an AMERICAN that introduced the entire concept of Quality to the Japanese because he could not sell his ideas at home. Scary stuff!
    The interesting thing about the "Japanese Manufacturing Superiority" belief was we Americans were taking this at face value. I worked for a very lage co back at that time who required all of us lower-level mgmt people to read 2 books writen about the Japanese System and then for two years we tried to implement some of the methods to no success. Why? It seems there were in-born major cultural differences and a little publicized fact : It seems in order to get a good-paying job at one of these model factories the average Japanese family had to sacrifice a little more than Americans were willing to.. namely, the wife was expected to do electronic assembly at home for little or no wages. The company supplied the tools and parts and the women assembled them at home. Ergo - a big savings in overhead and wages and a 'captive' unseen labor force.
    Also remember, America re-built all of the Japanese factories after WWII giving the Japanese a good head-start on older American plants and mills.
    All I am saying is we need to be careful when denigrating American companies and their work forces and remember the Press likes to compare Apples to Oranges to push their own agendas.
    I might not be as good as I once was, but I'm as good once as I ever was !


    It's better to be Pissed Off than Pissed On or Stood On and Pissed Off Of !


    The views expressed on this website/blog are mine alone and do not reflect the views of my employer. or my wife , if that matters.

  14. #14
    Senior Member wet_boots101's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    People's Republic of IL
    Posts
    145
    Years of Experience
    retired
    Rep Power
    15

    Default Re: A Parable....

    I know very little about the moves American industry has made in the past 30-odd years other than generally what has been posted above.

    Two things I have been thinking about while reading this, what do you think:

    1) How would a Japanese locating company fare? (regardless of where in the world, since I know there are locating co's in Canada, the U.K., Australia etc.)

    2) Is there a practical way of implementing a work ethic that the major companies can stick to and keep it simple, a la Six Sigma? (The term QLP somewhat comes to mind, but that's not me trying to answer my own question...)

    Keeping it simple is ideal, but to think that there shouldn't be that many people involved in our job other than the bean counters and locators is unrealistic, I am sorry to disagree. Yes, there are many wasteful levels of management that I do not believe do much other than make locators suffer another round of re-thinking and overhauls. Does someone have a way to solve this? Is there something missing here, a better way? I'd jump right in line and follow that path if it ever came to be, I assure you.
    "Aye, verily hath I spoken." - Thor, god of thunder

  15. #15
    Right Wing Conspirator GWJ_CAS's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    387
    Years of Experience
    31
    Rep Power
    28

    Default Re: A Parable....

    Quote Originally Posted by wet_boots101 View Post
    I know very little about the moves American industry has made in the past 30-odd years other than generally what has been posted above.

    Two things I have been thinking about while reading this, what do you think:

    1) How would a Japanese locating company fare? (regardless of where in the world, since I know there are locating co's in Canada, the U.K., Australia etc.)

    2) Is there a practical way of implementing a work ethic that the major companies can stick to and keep it simple, a la Six Sigma? (The term QLP somewhat comes to mind, but that's not me trying to answer my own question...)

    Keeping it simple is ideal, but to think that there shouldn't be that many people involved in our job other than the bean counters and locators is unrealistic, I am sorry to disagree. Yes, there are many wasteful levels of management that I do not believe do much other than make locators suffer another round of re-thinking and overhauls. Does someone have a way to solve this? Is there something missing here, a better way? I'd jump right in line and follow that path if it ever came to be, I assure you.
    No locating companies in Japan. Japan uses Roadic for its utility information. It is a utility as-built database that designers and constructors must utilize when designing / building a project. The contractor calls in, tells them where he is working and he gets a copy of the as-builts for the area. The difference is the quality of their as-builts...far superior to US "wish-builts". All utilities are GPS'd to a high degree of accuracy and uploaded into the centralized repository.

    Click here and you will get a good sense of how robust the Roadic System is...
    http://www.roadic.or.jp/

    The following are links to reports on, various parts of the Roadic system and contributors to the system

    http://www.nsdipa.gr.jp/english/index.html

    http://www.gita.org/gita-in-action/n...nal_Report.pdf

    http://www.fgdc.gov/library/presenta...Tokyo.ppt/view

    Company we have worked with in Japan:
    http://www.osakagas.co.jp/indexe.html

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •