When management doesn't understand the business - Page 3
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  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newman109 View Post
    He answered your question in the first post. Management at his company apparently doesn't care. He's 64 years of age and will have a tough time finding another job.

    Hope this helps you.
    No he did not sir.

    He put with managements errors, and "Made doo" with whatever
    they gave him, kept production flowing.

    THAT sir, is "Enabling" the bad management.

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    You know this sounds an awful lot like management knows exactly what they are doing. Getting as many as possible to quit as a way of reducing the level of employment. Not that it is a good move. I worked at a shop where every Friday the owner fired someone and Monday his replacement came in. I got called to the office in the 16th week. I didn't get fired, I got reassigned, and my replacement started Monday as before. I didn't stick around to see how long this would go on, but they are still in business 15 years later so maybe it worked.

  3. #43
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    I'm sure the age thing comes into play but there are quite a few companies hiring in this area. Which side of Greenville are you on?

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    Quote Originally Posted by MushCreek View Post
    On Thursday, they announced that the plant is going on 12 hour shifts.
    They don't have time anda half after 8 laws in South Carolina ? that's interesting ....

  5. #45
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    This issue is all too common and it is a two way street. Managers manage and workers follow corporate direction and work. When opinions differ and disagreements arise, it is because those two elements are not making decisions on the same set of facts. It isn't rocket science. It is how the world works. It is therefore incorrect to criticize other peoples decisions without understanding what they know and visa-versa. The best way to address these situations is to offer polite suggestions not criticism. They will never tell you all their perceived facts that make up the drivers of their decisions. It is, after all, none of your business. The best you can do is offer concise suggestions containing ONLY facts, no opinion. Let them decide if they have value. It is not your call nor are their errors your responsibility. Usually, these suggestions, if written correctly, will generate enough curiosity on their part to start asking questions and don't worry about it if they don't.

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  7. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    This issue is all too common and it is a two way street. Managers manage and workers follow corporate direction and work. When opinions differ and disagreements arise, it is because those two elements are not making decisions on the same set of facts. It isn't rocket science. It is how the world works. It is therefore incorrect to criticize other peoples decisions without understanding what they know and visa-versa. The best way to address these situations is to offer polite suggestions not criticism. They will never tell you all their perceived facts that make up the drivers of their decisions. It is, after all, none of your business. The best you can do is offer concise suggestions containing ONLY facts, no opinion. Let them decide if they have value. It is not your call nor are their errors your responsibility. Usually, these suggestions, if written correctly, will generate enough curiosity on their part to start asking questions and don't worry about it if they don't.
    The "Negativity Band Wagon" is a comfortable easy ride for most who don't know all the facts.

    No matter who I have worked for, whether incompetent, ill informed, misguided...what ever I have always done what is right and put forth my best effort. At the end of the day when my vision, my core values do not align with "Management" I move on. The last time that happened was in 1996. It requested I ship an order missing parts so they could make their revenue numbers. I wouldn't do it and I was overridden by the GM. He said he would take the reject to get his bonus.

    I resigned the next week and 9 months later started as a competitor. Those who shared our core values came to work for us. The customer base followed and today we have 92 skilled fabricators who share the same vision. We all make decisions based on the same facts and share our integrity to service the customer. We have healthy disagreements but we are aligned.

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  9. #47
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    I mentioned this in your other thread about weirdness at this company, but reading through this new thread just reinforces my suspicion.

    I have a lot of sympathy for the situation you are in, it sounds like a horrible place to work day to day especially coming at the end of a long career. Unfortunately I don't see much prospect for your intervention improving things, as ironically it seems likely that you do not understand what business your employer (specifically the investment group that owns the company) is in.

    Companies get bought up and loaded up with debt. The "core business" of manufacturing and the reputation they built over the years essentially becomes collateral for this. Any valuable assets are sold for short term gain, regardless of their necessity for supporting the success of the nominal core business of manufacturing. The company is dumped from the investment portfolio once it can no longer be propped up or squeezed of capital. Usually the investment company has been paying itself substantial salaries the whole time, to the point that the actual monetary loss incurred by the intentional mismanagement of a portfolio company is relatively trivial.

    It is important to understand that the company is run to support this method of private equity looting, not to actually build a successful manufacturing business. Management is hired and incentivized this way. Of course this is a boneheaded way to run a business that wants to grow long term and actually be successful in manufacturing, which many members of PM who are deeply invested in running successful manufacturing businesses are justly calling out. Ultimately though, that does not matter to an investment/private equity company who has bought your employer's business as a financial instrument and sees any investment into the capability or long term success of the business as a financial liability w.r.t. their short term profits.

    You mention how nice the office/outside looks, but how horrible the shop floor looks and feels. The owners aren't dumb, they are investing money in those aspects of outward appearance that will allow their business to look successful to non-technical people representing lenders or to (again, non-technical) potential buyers who they can sell the business off to after they have done their work.

    After saying all this, I don't know for sure what situation this company is in. But it is following the outlines of this very common and very toxic way of doing business that has been a major factor gutting American industry for decades. There's a lot of reading online about how these private equity groups operate, and it's easy to get deep in the weeds of economic terminology and come out more confused than when you started. Especially if you get caught up in distracting FUD about "obamanomics" or "trumpnomics"- this has been going on regardless of what party is in power. In the end the way these predatory investment groups operate is very simple and you only need follow incentives and paychecks to figure out who is getting paid and who is getting screwed.

  10. #48
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    While I liked the carbonbl post on the reality and economics of many us investment/takeover deals ...
    I have experience in similar with 200-300 workers, where I was called in as the fireman.
    And multiple other business cases.

    The owners/investors/management actually *would* like You to improve and aid the situation.
    Very much.
    They can then sell off or offload the system for much more money.

    You *must* go in with some basic spreadsheets showing current/new practices losses and likely profits with better practice.
    Don´t worry about "pretty" or financial terms in the presentation.

    You *really should* ask for major money for yourself, and continuity novated on company assets, as part of your pitch.
    Special title, role, position, planner, etc. at xxx.xxx / yr, for e 10 yr minimum guaranteed against company assets.
    You *need* to ask for this, to be credible- to the investors and *their financiers*.
    Almost all financiers will agree- on results.
    They could not care less .. it is not their money.

  11. #49
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    My major point nr # 48 is that the cost / salary is almost immaterial to investor groups.

    Higher margin on cogs, or higher turnover, can cost anything (amortised).
    Anyone bringing same, is very welcome. Always. Ime. LOTS of experience.

    The OP has a situation with no possible positive outcome, in 2 years, as-is.
    And nothing much to lose.
    Him going to top management is almost certain to work- if he can make a good short simple presentation.

    E:
    Let´s do aaa:
    It will cost bb, and bring in zzzz.
    Mucho profit, much easier.
    "I will make aaa happen for bbb."

    *MUST have some even simple contract* on the work/benefits.

  12. #50
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    I've talked to other people who tried to talk to management, although I don't know how good their 'pitch' was. I'm not even sure that they would give me an audience. At any rate, I've learned to swallow the bitter pill, and if I try to re-establish hope, I'll come away more angry then ever if they don't listen.

    If the current situation reflects their true business plan, then I wish they'd stop all of the hand wringing and complaining that goes on on a daily basis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MushCreek View Post
    I was told that 'labor doesn't count' as they were already paying me to be there.
    Man...that's a scary thing to hear from someone you have to call your boss.

  14. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by MushCreek View Post

    If the current situation reflects their true business plan, then I wish they'd stop all of the hand wringing and complaining that goes on on a daily basis.
    Many years ago, the microphone manuf "Astatic" (maker of the famous d-104)
    pulled something I had never seen before.

    This little town manuf got bought up by a shark.

    He simply fired everyone on friday, had them all remove their stuff, marched
    them out the door.

    Monday he held interviews....brought back most of the workers, but at much lower wages, and reset the clock as far as vacations, seniority, etc.

    What I witnessed was terrible, but was the precursor of things to come.

  15. #53
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    Read through quite a few of the responses, most were a variation of the first thing that came to mind. At your stage in the game, ride it out till they fold up their chairs and go home. They surely will, but I couldn't say whether it will be next week, next year, or when.
    I'm about to retire in a few weeks, and I know what you mean. A worker this close to retiring gets very little consideration when a long term position is being discussed. Everyone assumes that you are intent on retirement, very few consider that some would rather continue on with what they have done all their life, because they like it.
    Very likely, the management team you are dealing with came in as not much more than money managers. Somebody bought the company based entirely on it's P&L statement. Very little thought is usually given the the heads that have to think things through to produce those Profits, and keep the Loss as low as they have been. Always puzzled me. Never saw a company of ANY kind that could make the numbers work by themselves, but so many seem to think that they abound.
    As to what you do to turn the situation around, I couldn't say. As I said, I'm counting days myself(37 as of this morning), and I have a group of mother cows I'm gonna babysit for my remaining days before checkout. I have a mill at home,so I can play and work a little on the side if I want. Retirement is a scary thing if we have to just flat walk away from a life's career. Not so much if we can keep a touchstone around.
    By the way, anybody got a little 12x 40 or so lathe they might wanna part with?

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  17. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hodge View Post
    I'm sure the age thing comes into play but there are quite a few companies hiring in this area. Which side of Greenville are you on?
    I'm on the north side (Travelers Rest area).

    Nobody asked, but, how much am I being paid at this 'plum' job? $22 an hour, little to no OT. That seems kind of light to me, for someone with my skillset, but then again, this is SC.

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    To sum up......bad things happen to good people every day.....and nobody else gives a .....

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    Quote Originally Posted by gorrilla View Post
    By the way, anybody got a little 12x 40 or so lathe they might wanna part with?
    I certainly want to part with my 12-1/2 x 30 Cincinnati Traytop lathe, and regularly do, but to be honest it has enough wear that it is not the best machine for parting. Often I will part only 1/4" deep or so, then cut the rest off on the bandsaw ...

    Oh, wait - was that what you were asking??


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    Quote Originally Posted by awake View Post
    I certainly want to part with my 12-1/2 x 30 Cincinnati Traytop lathe, and regularly do, but to be honest it has enough wear that it is not the best machine for parting. Often I will part only 1/4" deep or so, then cut the rest off on the bandsaw ...

    Oh, wait - was that what you were asking??

    I have only minutes of experience with a Traytop but I have been told that they have a poor spindle bearing setup and are prone to chatter.

    Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaMoss View Post
    They don't have time anda half after 8 laws in South Carolina ? that's interesting ....
    Time and a half is after 40hrs worked in a week. I believe that is a federal law. I've never heard of being paid time and a half after 8 hrs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AARONT View Post
    Time and a half is after 40hrs worked in a week. I believe that is a federal law. I've never heard of being paid time and a half after 8 hrs.
    Place I worked many moons ago paid time and a half over 8.. Company decision, I don't think its ever
    been law. They stopped that soon after I started working there though.. Grocery stores used to
    pay time and a half for Sundays. Then it was time and a quarter.. Then it was "shut up and work"..

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    Quote Originally Posted by 9100 View Post
    I have only minutes of experience with a Traytop but I have been told that they have a poor spindle bearing setup and are prone to chatter.

    Bill
    Bill, I'd be curious to know more about that. In my case, I've not noticed any issues related to the stoutness / rigidity of the spindle - I rarely have any issue with chatter, and when I do the cause is predictable and obvious (e.g., asking too much of a too-small and overly extended boring bar).

    I used to struggle with chatter when parting, but that largely turned out to be that I was using a slightly bell-mouthed 3-jaw chuck. Once I figured that one out, and also learned to keep my parting blade extended as little as possible, and did a better job of ensuring it was perpindicular ... now parting is not such sweet sorrow. (Can you tell that I am mostly self-taught, learning by trial and lots of error? )

    Even so I still have to be careful - it's an old, worn machine, with a good bit of wear in the saddle/cross-feed and an enormous amount of backlash. Fortunately, parting is the only place where its deficiencies really cause any me issues, and I don't often have a need for parting. Otherwise, I can easily hit .0005 with this old lathe, .0001 if I really try, and since this is a hobby for me, either is usually way more than I actually need.


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