What type of management system would be appropriate for a small business "going bad"? - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    It would be good if there was a way to make bath rooms a cell phone free zone.. that would be a good invention.
    If it really worries you, and you got money to burn. Amazon.com: Y-Shield RF Shielding Paint (1 liter size): Arts, Crafts & Sewing

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    Start doing an honest appraisal of how you treat your employees. How do your conversations go? How do employees respond to your requests & questions? Ask them why they do the things they do, and then DON'T respond - just listen and try to understand all that they're telling you, and also what the aren't telling you. You AND THE OWNER need to do some brutal, ugly, painful, unpleasant self-appraisals, and then work on improving your findings...

    Then ..

    Go tell the owner that you are going to stop doing certain tasks - running machines let's say - so that you can focus your efforts on training the other employees on doing the higher value work that you normally do. This should improve their skillset & attitudes, and free you up to either continue their training, and/or also performing higher value work, as well as help them out with the low-value work when things are running smoothly.

    You keep repeating that you "try to lead by example" although I kind of doubt that's what you're ACTUALLY doing. I would guess that you might try to be a hard ass when performing your own work to "set the example" when maybe you should just spend more time engaging with the other employees. About their work. About their personal lives. About whatever...

    Bottom line is, if you all don't make a change and try something different, then things will continue to erode until the business gets stuck in an unbearable cycle of crappy mediocrity before going bust - the proverbial race to the bottom. Change something, and YOURSELVES would be a good place to start.

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    It is a shame that many people are so "do it their way". Big hurdle in the army is teaching people to do the drill.
    People would be surprised how many restaurants have food fights. Poor rules and poor managers often are the reason.

    In any work the people have to care about the work getting done. They should like, respect, or fear the boss (or the owner) or just be aware the work has to be done correctly to get paid and hold the job and keep the shop running.

    *Still you never answered if your workers play with their cell phone on the job..Darn machine keeps interrupting me right in the middle of my game. It is worth having a few scrap parts if I can get top score...or not?

    Does you shop have any rules or does everybody just do their thing..

    Yes if a dirt poor wage shop then you get what you pay for. lucky they even come to work.

    Some times with a crew of slackers you have to fire someone.. then blame to owner or the rules not your self..

    The owner said he was making to much scrap or was not pulling his load so he(she) had to go..

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    Quote Originally Posted by JS View Post
    Do you have an employee handbook?
    no, what would that be and what would that include?

    Do you offer a decent training for your employees?
    yes, six months extensive.

    Is every QC component / tool properly calibrated and are the employees trained in the use of those tools?
    yes.

    If you are running CNC machines , Why are you hand tapping?
    because parts have gone through some kind of surface finish treatment which has made threads out of 6h tolerance.

    Or, because the thread is too shallow (by mistake or on purpose because the taps were breaking like popcorn in that material).

    If your crashing machines figure out "Why?" it happened?
    no we're not, happened two times in a year and a half and was sorted inside one day.

    Character 1: is a one part guy, you teach a one part guy , to make one part really well, and never let him out of that position..... Why not give him the saw operator and part deburring responsibilities?
    problem is we don't make one part programs, or we maybe do it once in six months. Most of parts are above 20 pieces. Same for character 4.

    Character 2: If he only gives excuses and crappy parts, fire him.
    no, he does a good job while he's supervised (when the owner or I are around).
    Character 3: If he is trainable and bright you must challenge him otherwise he will slack off.
    I agree to this, but what happens when there is no way to challenge him becauese all the jobs/parts on every machine are going well? How do you challenge him then?


    Piece rate with a twist, only payable after each quarter of the year, but the parts have to pass the Customers Quality Control. Make it too good to pass up.
    how would that work?Give them even smaller salary for two months, then give them bonus percentage for third month?
    I believe everyone would quit the same day. That does not sound like a good idea, or you need to explain it furthermore.

    But at least you gave me some solid advice, so thanks anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobw View Post
    How does your day go with respect to your people???
    Told you, outside of job, we are very good. On the job, we joke and have fun when we can, all except one will work first, play if he gets some free time.

    How do you greet them in the morning?

    "Joe go over there and do that"...

    Or "Hey Joe, hows it going? Sure was nice seeing those Steelers get clubbed like a baby seal wasn't it?
    go grab a coffee and I'll show what WE've got going on today"..
    In a friendly way as you described in example two.
    I don't have a problem respecting other workers, I do have a problem respecting their abilities or work ethics.


    Do you thank them when they leave at the end of the day, even if they didn't have the best day??
    No, we dont thank each other much here, we usually go drink beer after a hard day at work.
    We've even discussed some things I've told you here, about their performance, but in friendly and causual manner, they do agree with that, but it only lasts so long...



    Are you a shy person??? How old are you? Do you feel self conscious giving praise to manipulate
    people into being happy?
    No I'm not shy. 31.
    I don't like the feeling of manipulating someone into doing something, I want them to be aware of why they need to do what they need to do. I want them to want to do a good job every day because it will make THEM happy and more secure (both financially and about their skills).

    I want them to be conscious of why we need to make as many quality parts as we can, not just bare minimum of what will make the company survive.

    I want them to want to accept challenge of a job and want to improve their skills and try to work on more complicated jobs in the future (which is near).

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkmc View Post
    This thread reminds me of the ones ROCKFISH used to post.
    Whine, piss, moan, ask for help. Then when he didn't like what
    he heard, he'd get nasty and belligerent.
    People come asking for help, but do they really want it?
    Or do they just like to bitch and moan...
    Ole 'Fish must be doin good these days, he's not on here whining any more.
    Or maybe I just want to hear an advice I can apply in real life?

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    Quote Originally Posted by allenp View Post
    I understand your point, but I basically do the same "shitty job" other cnc operators do in our company. Since we're small company, none of us has the luxury to be above others. Even owner works on machines or is hand tapping parts when necessary, etc. other shitty jobs.

    When I have to (which is often) I run machine(s) all day long, work the saw, fix some shit someone else has broken and program parts.

    I try to lead by example I try to be leader someone will respect because I know more, not because I was handed that role/job by someone.
    I want them all to see that I do all the jobs they do and more and that it can be done if you organize yourself well.

    But seems to me it only goes so far. Something else needs to be done because leading by example in my case, does not seem to be answer to all our problems.
    Lots to analyse here but I think herein lies at least part of the problem. If I did the math correctly, there are up to 6 people there (you, owner, 3-4 other shop guys)? At some point, someone has to become a dedicated leader and manager. If the owner likes to "make parts" then he should make parts and someone else (like you, at least you're willing to learn) should manage the shop on a regular basis (i.e. that's your priority, not something you do when there's no machine to fix or parts to rework). The "math" here is that, at some point, someone has to basically become overhead (management) so that the work you get out of your other employees is greater than the work you would get out of them if no one was overhead. At first, it might not pay off right away (it's like buying a machine you don't fully utilize at first because not enough orders or you don't know how to fully run it yet) but in the long run the shop grows and then can absorb future growth better because your productivity improves and you get more orders.

    Again, this is only part of the problem. The rest of it is in many details that have been written (having an employee manual, enforced poilicies, performance standards, stop playing favorites with the new guy, etc.). BTW, that last guy, if he doesn't start showing up, is just a "disease" on the rest of the team. It really sucks when "everyone is equal, some are just more equal than others".

    Good luck! Sorry for sounding critical, you are doing the right thing in trying to improve but it will be "bang head here" if the owner doesn't get on board by at least handing over shop management to you. Tell him that even Tim Leatherman (yes, invented the Leatherman tool) figured that out. He just now does what he likes (inventing) and leaves running the show to a hired hand.


    The Dude

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fadriver View Post
    I like this one:
    allenp maybe you need to be part of the solution
    how about asking the owner for a managerial position
    and then build a team, rather than complain of half ass workers
    Yes I would want that very much!!!
    Not the managerial position, I would still want to work what I work now, but I would like to build my onw TEAM, not a bunch of half products. But that won't happen and I have to deal with what I have.

    normally cnc programmers, think are specials because the know how to pull code from the software,but that is really nothing in a shop,untill you work with your workers as team and you shovel chips yourself
    I do not just pull code out of software, I started working as a plain CNC operator, taught myself, stole knowledge and time on machine every way I could, just to be able to learn more.
    I started working on series of parts, then started working on more complicated parts (2 parts, one "normal" one mirrored) then I started programming by myself in G-code directly on machine, no quick code or nothing sinumerik like, just plain old typing and trying. I learned G code by watching what happens in machine when I loaded programs made by engineers in my old company who pulled that code out of software, not knowing what it means.

    I corrected their mistakes every day, I've modified and tweaked their programs and made them 300-400% more efficient in some cases.

    Then I decided it was time to make a move and either move up the ladder there or find a new place under the sun. I moved here where I work now, where I've upgraded my knowledge by using CAD/CAM, but my basic skills as a machinist come from manually typing on machine in Gcode.

    I feel like I've just begun working this, I do not, by any means, feel as a complete and finished product and perfect in any way, but I do feel like I've accomplished much in comparison to other people who work in this job, which I've met (including my current boss, who worked for 13 years on a machine and can't program for shit, but I have to admit, he does know other stuff better than me).

    Btw I shovel chips every day, and mop floors every week, I clean and fix machines, I work the saw cutting stock, I also do finish work by hand on parts, etc, whatever is needed at that moment and if someone else is occupied with something else, I will do that job, no questions asked,no ifs ands or buts.

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    Although PM has members worldwide, not so many seem to post pictures from these more rare area's like yours.

    How about a couple of general pictures of the shop, etc ?

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    And now the shop is so poor the owner is thinking about cutting wages..and a bad move but to keep the doors open..Are there shops in your area still making money?

    Are you writing all your post on company time..Are you defending your methods..How long have you been boss and have things gotten better... Do you think the workers are putting perhaps 85% of paid time on the job and trying to do good work..Is the shop making less than 5% or less than 3% scrap... Have you picked one thing to try, Is it a dirt poor wage shop and so poor work is expected.. Do your workers play with cell phones at the machine...

    If I was the owner and have now asked you four times if the guys are using cell phones on the job and still not getting an answer you would no longer be boss.

    Good boss a nice guy who has high respect for good shop rules and expects his crew to do the same. Shows no favoritism. will give a fair numbers of chances and will toss a non worker out on his ear.

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    Here is a simple project for a boss of a 6 man crew.

    Look to see how many hours were missed last month. See if the work was covered with extra hours and the value loss to extra hours.. Who was off and why. If the same guy is off most often, for poor reasons and not the best producer he might be let go or be given a warning. Having an extra man to cover lost time may cost more than the best worker can produce.
    If covered with no extra hours you may be one man over needs.

    Next make a crew sheet for tomorrow listing 6 random times well between break times.
    Also list the time to be on the job before break times.

    Each guy gets a check mark for being on the job at these times and a zero for not being there...On the cell at the selected time counts for not being there.

    So with this you can figure the time loss you are paying for slack time and who is most slack.
    Next know the amount of scrap and if that is excessive what to do about it.. each piece is double the labor with adding the time to make another, so more loss than just cost of pieces.

    If the owner did this the boss would be blamed for the lost time and excessive scrap..

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    And now the shop is so poor the owner is thinking about cutting wages..and a bad move but to keep the doors open..Are there shops in your area still making money?
    What makes you think shop is poor? It's quite opposite, we're making good money (make no mistake, there's a lot of room for improvement).

    He was thinking of cutting wages as a precaution and a lesson for workers doing bad work. (screwing up hefty amount of parts lately)
    Are you writing all your post on company time..
    No, it's 10pm here now.

    Are you defending your methods..
    what methods?

    How long have you been boss and have things gotten better...
    1 and a half year

    Do you think the workers are putting perhaps 85% of paid time on the job and trying to do good work..
    depends which worker and which shift.
    Sometimes yes, sometimes no (significantly less).

    Is the shop making less than 5% or less than 3% scrap...
    Depends on parts, and quantity of them, sometimes yes, sometimes maybe 20-40% scrap (smaller series of more challenging parts).

    Have you picked one thing to try,
    I dont understand this, elaborate please.

    Is it a dirt poor wage shop and so poor work is expected..
    for your standards, yes, for Croatian, no. Yes, I feel workers are underpaid for complexity of job they are doing, but still, here are so many unemployed people, and those who work, work for merely minimal wage, that they can be lucky to work for such a prospective company (yes, I said that, because there's so much potential to grow bigger and work better, but something needs to be done right now, in my opinion. We won't go bust if that does not happen, but we won't evolve as we should, not nearly as close).


    Do your workers play with cell phones at the machine...
    no, only when they got nothing else to do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by michiganbuck View Post
    Here is a simple project for a boss of a 6 man crew.

    Look to see how many hours were missed last month. See if the work was covered with no extra hours and the value loss to extra hours.. Who was off and why. If the same guy is off most often, for poor reasons and not the best producer he might be let go or be given a warning. Having an extra man to cover lost time may cost more than the best worker can produce.

    Next make a crew sheet for tomorrow listing 6 random times well between break times.
    Also list the time to be on the job before break times.

    Each guy gets a check mark for being on the job at these times and a zero for not being there...On the cell at the selected time counts for not being there.

    So with this you can figure the time loss you are paying for slack time and who is most slack.
    Next know the amount of scrap and if that is excessive what to do about it.. each piece is double the labor with adding the time to make another, so more loss than just cost of pieces.

    If the owner did this the boss would be blamed for the lost time and excessive scrap..
    there's half an hour break and noone comes in a minute late, if anything they come in sooner than expected. Also, they all show up for work 10-15 minutes sooner, they often go home 10-15 minutes later. I see no problems there.

    As for the cell phones, it's not prohibited to have them and to answer them once in a while, but not while your on duty (unless it's something important for what you have good excuse for). There is virtually no time lost to cell phones, as they only use them when they got nothing else to do, ie, the machines are all running, the parts are under control, stock is being sawed, everything else in place and order.

    I see no measurable significant time lost due to this so I did not see a reason to answer your question earlier.

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    QT [no, only when they got nothing else to do.]
    You are avoiding the question.. when on the clock they have something to do. When they are on the phone the work has to wait..so

    Your answer is YES.

    QE: [they all show up for work 10-15 minutes sooner, they often go home 10-15 minutes later. I see no problems there.]
    But are the machines running perhaps 85% of paid time?

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    You need an employee handbook. You need structure. Higher then normal wages gets more ambitious people who are willing to keep their jobs.

    A Handbook defines the employer & employee relationship: Probationary period, job responsibilities, working hours, PTO, disciplinary actions, hiring, firing, cell phones , etc. THIS IS NOT A COMPLETE LIST

    If they are on the phone at work and it isn't Lunch time or break time, they are not doing their jobs.... If they have time for cell phones..Require 100% inspection, Quality issue is solved. IF they still have time make them clean up, sweep etc....

    You need to figure out the plating on your parts either plug the holes or oversize them with a bigger tap for plating. It's wasting time do do it twice. Better yet if you can thread mill , do that instead.

    One part is one type of part not a quantity of one part.

    Character 2: if you have to stand over a person to get them to work, you fire him .... You don't have time to babysit. especially after 6 months

    Character 3: Personally, I don't know where he stands a machinist. If he is as smart as you say and have capacity,/ room to improve table size etc. see if he can design high capacity nesting of parts for the machining operations. Using CAD

    You must figure out the company problems FIRST before you even think of this. Piece rate with a twist, only payable after each quarter of the year, but the parts have to pass the Customers Quality Control. Make it too good to pass up.

    The pay scale.....You never cut pay if they can't do the job or get wrote up 3 times for disciplinary actions you fire them......If they are all making the same parts then you need to be able to identify who made what...

    This sentence applies to everyone. You don't have time to babysit. especially after 6 months.

    Don't discount people's opinions or act ignorant towards them, it usually pisses people off.

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    One problem I see is that you're their friend. And friends aren't supposed to hurt each other, right? So why would your guys expect any consequences from you?

    IMO, leaders do need a certain distance. Be as friendly or nice as you like, as long as everyone knows that not performing their job to expectations means that they won't have a job!

    FYI you'll probably only ever meet a handful of truly driven people in your entire life, so you should drop that illusion about your guys. Mediocre is more than good enough for probably 95% of the Earth's population.

    It really sounds like you want a leadman/head machinist role, not a truly managerial role. That's fine, but that means someone else has to fill that role, and that would mean less, or no time spent making chips.

    About the paycut thing, I'd tell the owner that sending the next offender home for 3 days is a much better alternative.

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    sending the next offender home for 3 days is a much better alternative.

    Married guy with bills to pay would avoid that with all effort.

    "Next guy who fails production of makes too much scrap will get three day off think about it."

    And I would add 5% bonus for everybody every week we make our numbers.

    and don't tell them the formula.. just give the bonus when they are doing good and not when they are doing poor.. soon they will take interest in who is doing what. Could even be 10% if not a burden on the shop.

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    Quote Originally Posted by allenp View Post
    No, we dont thank each other much here, we usually go drink beer after a hard day at work.
    We've even discussed some things I've told you here, about their performance, but in friendly and causual manner, they do agree with that, but it only lasts so long...

    I don't like the feeling of manipulating someone into doing something,
    I think you might benefit from some supervisory seminars or books... I'm sure Youtube has a
    bunch of stuff at this point...

    Do you ever tell your old lady her hair looks good, or she smells nice or you like her new
    shoes, even though her hair looks the same as it always does, the perfume is so-so and you
    couldn't give 2 shits less about another pair of fucking shoes???

    Why do you do that??? To make her feel good, so she makes you "feel good". She's happy, your
    happy, the chrome on that trailer hitch is perfectly polished and everybody is happy... All because you
    told her her hair is nice and you like her new shoes(that you don't care about).

    Its being nice... It is however in effect manipulation... Being nice makes you look like a good person,
    and if you mean it, you are a good person... Making people happy is not something to be ashamed of.

    Weather you like it or not, your words, mood, actions etc... Manipulate/effect the people you deal
    with everyday.. All I'm saying is to make a VERY conscious effort to put out positive vibes. Positive
    words, positive actions. As a managaer it is YOUR JOB to get the most out of your employees, and that
    takes some Thank You's and Atta-Boys, and Good Jobs....

    If you want your people to be self motivated, then you might as well take a pay cut and be a grunt
    right along side them. That tells me that you think your job should do itself.. Being a manager
    is about getting people to do stuff, and it is FAR MORE than just telling them what to do.. It would
    be nice if it was, but its not.

    You wanted advice.. I'm giving you free advice that COSTS nothing and literally takes no time.
    AND IT WORKS!!!!

    Spend the next week or 2 motivating your people by building them up.. THANK YOU's and ATTA-BOYS.

    Ever have your one of your guys come up and ask you to check a part before they start running 'em???
    The part is perfect.. What is your reaction? What do you say to them??

    The guy knows the part is nuts.. He just wants your approval.. He WANTS you to tell him that he
    did a good job.. Just like a dog will do what you want so you will scratch him behind the ears.

    Do you tell him "its fine run 'em"... Or do you look him the eye, smile and say "looks nice, good job"..

    Guess which response will get those parts run quicker???

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    I like the pirate management style:

    The beatings will continue, until morale improves!

    Kevin

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    Allen, no matter what, when a bad part goes out there door the fault starts at the owner then works its way down hill with you being next in line.

    NOTHING should be shipped without you or someone designated to perform inspection does so.

    To many parts for you to inspect each and everyone?

    Figure how much is lost in rework, then in the unseen cost of a customer pulling orders from you because there is no trust you deliver quality.
    Would you save money by training a dedicated inspector. Doesn't run parts with the guys, doesn't friend with the guys and only reports to you.
    An inspector is not there to be a bro and let this or that slide. Part either is to print or it isn't.

    If you don't stop the bad parts from getting out that door you all may be looking for a job when those POs stop coming in.


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