Under this heading we wish to bring out the effect of the evolution on the interest of the individual - not as an owner, but as an earner of a salary or wage: First by stating the real value of an earning power of an individual; then by indicating its relative permanency and means for its protection and betterment.
The salary or pay received in return for services has a greater significance than a mere exchange of money for brain energy. It is an indisputable tribute to the genuine worth of the individual. This is valued by every intelligent worker regardless of his wealth, for, although tribute is sometimes falsely given in words, it is seldom falsely paid in cash.
The value of this remuneration as an evidence of real worth is not all, for it has a monetary value which should not be disregarded. On a 4 per cent interest earning basis each $100 earned per year indicates a value of $2500; hence $1000 earned pet-year is worth $25,000, and $2000 per year is worth $50,000 to the recipient.
This is real value, with a security in some respects better than a more easily negotiable principal which the possessor might be beguiled into exchanging for some hazardous investment. Since this earning power has this value, let us see on what basis it stands. Is it secure regardless of the possessor's indifference? Or, is it something to be guarded?
Success in management of a business or department may give a good name and a good professional standing, but it must be remembered that just as a plant may or may not be on a sure footing, so there may be a doubt regarding the professional standing and good name of each individual in responsible position.
To-day's standing is based on yesterday's action, and to-morrow's position will be the result of the decisions of to-day.
The correct course for to-day may not be very clear, but it is safe to conclude that there is no safety in standing still, for that surely results in losing one's position in the race.
One way to make or protect a good name is to be on the right side of questions relating to progressive development. No credit or good comes from weakly suggesting the adoption of this or that method, or resorting to the "I-told-you-so" attitude.
Real results come from strenuous and tireless insistence upon an action which you believe is best.
It may be that the plant will be carried along by the combined work of all without it becoming necessary for you to conspicuously push for some reform, and, as a result of such combined work, the whole scheme may for many years continue to furnish comfortable conditions for you, or, if not, perhaps some other opening may be found in some other establishment, and all this may happen without your playing the painful part of a reformer ; but the chances are that inaction now will not result in any such favorable future; on the contrary, there is much evidence to show that individuals rise and fall even quicker than companies.
Many of the important actions may be tested without greatly jeopardizing an individual's name; for instance, a maker of a device or machine may make a claim that he can effect an important saving in the cost of your work, and stands ready to demonstrate, without cost to your company, and without placing you on record as indorsing his views - there is small chance of mistake. Let him demonstrate or fail, and let him abide by the result. It is his own proposition. You will indorse it if it is a success, but if it is not, you will not want that machine standing in your plant, for it would be there as a continual evidence of somebody's blunder.
With the ever-increasing complexity of machines you should compare results, and should not hesitate to disclaim attempting to comprehend each minute detail of each machine. Therefore, let the burden of proof rest on the advocate.
In considering cost of production by present method compared with some newly proposed scheme, see what saving is to be made by the change. The saving for one year makes a convenient basis; compare this with the cost involved in making the change. If you see a chance to make a good saving by the introduction of a certain machine, the next step is to make sure that that machine is the best of its kind.
Unfortunately the maker's standing is not a conclusive proof, for the best machine shop equipment cannot be obtained from any one company or any one section of our country. The best companies are unable to keep their entire line of manufacture in the lead; in fact, some of the machines turned out by the best builders are known to be back numbers. Why is this so? How can they be of the best and yet so far behind in some respects?
There may be no satisfactory explanation, further than that good things may grow up anywhere in the country and be developed by the most faithful and zealous specialists, and that no one company, no state, and no section of our glorious country, can have a monopoly of all of the machines of all types.
But, while warning against the mistake of selecting a machine on the builder's general reputation, it should be borne in mind that although that is not a guarantee of correct design, the greatest mistake of all is to disregard the builder's reputation.
See to it that your proposed new machinery is of correct design and made by one of the best companies, but don't accept any machine that meets only one of these two requirements.
Whatever policy you follow in the management of your own personal interests, it is safe to state that a careful consideration of each new phase of problems is absolutely necessary to enable you to hold your own, to say nothing about advancement.
The problems of machine shop management are affected by the evolution of its machinery as much, if not more, than by any other element.
All new growth is not of a kind that may be of service to you; in fact, much that is new is inferior to the old.
In this book is set forth a machine built on new lines. It is one of the new things that affects machine shop values. If it is a good machine, it gives its users an advantage over others. If it is not a good machine, the advantage goes to the non-users.
It has been on the market in its present form since March of 1904. It is an outgrowth of the original Flat Turret which held undisputed supremacy since 1891. There are thousands of the original and hundreds of the present in operation. The original machine has been abandoned by its makers for this new type. This may only indicate that they consider the new more profitable; but even so, a machine cannot be profitable to the builder without its being in good demand and receiving the hearty indorsement of the users.
In addition to your being able to see a plant exclusively devoted to it manufacture, (and many of the machines may be seen in actual use in other plants), you have in this problem that extra chance of proof offered by the builder to demonstrate its value on your own work, in your own plant, in the hands of your own men, without cost to you, and without your indorsement until it has there shown its value.
The foregoing pointers do not include an important element, and one that must be settled by your own decision; namely, Is this machine the best of its kind? There may be a dozen machines that would effect a saving on some of your work, but in making each move see to it that it is the best. Your own future depends on your judgment in such matters.
In the following pages you will find some of the important points to be kept in mind in considering such questions.