This section is from the "Modern Machine Shop Construction, Equipment, And Management" book, by Oscar E. Perrigo. Also see Amazon: Modern Machine Shop Construction, Equipment, And Management.
Modern methods. Divided responsibilities. The "shop tree." The three grand factors. Capitalization. Manufacturing. Selling. Graphic diagram of the organization of a manufacturing establishment. The regular channel for orders and reports. Relations of the departments. The secret of success in management. The value of individuality. Indiscriminate criticism harmful. Frenzied mechanics. The quiet and methodical manager. Some prime facts concerning systems. Any reasonable system better than none at all. Patchwork systems. The successful system. A system to be effective must be carried out as planned. A good system requires a strong manager. Vacillation of management disastrous. Plan of organization. Efficiency the first requisite. The management. The United States Army system. A criticism. The military idea in the shop. Analogous positions and duties. The superintendent's functions. The assistant superintendents and their duties. The foreman and his work. The "gang boss" and his value in the shop.
There is no truer illustration of the saying that "old things have passed away and all things have become new," than is shown by the modern methods of the management of the manufacturing enterprises of the present day. The days of the "one-man management" have passed away, and in their stead has come the management by a system of divided and properly distributed responsibility, whereby the real head of the establishment takes up only the consideration of the larger, broader, and more comprehensive questions of importance in management, leaving to his able assistants the questions of the next grade of importance, and in their special spheres, while they, in turn, divide the next grade of lesser responsibilities with their assistants, the foremen, and so on down through the several grades of less importance to the operatives or workmen.
Thus we have what has come to be known as "the shop tree," representing graphically this plan for the division of responsibility in the management of the entire plant.
There are three grand factors that go to make up the sum of this problem of manufacturing which should not be lost sight of at the outset. The first is the capitalization of the scheme; the second the manufacture of the product; and the third, the marketing or selling of the product.
The first factor comprises the stockholders, represented by the Board of Directors, whose head is the president of the company, and whose executive officer is the general manager. This group includes the administrative and financial departments of the entire establishment.
The second factor comprises the manufacturing plant, whose head is the works manager or superintendent, and includes the purchase of stock and supplies, the care of the grounds and buildings, and the entire process of manufacturing and shipping the product.
The third factor includes the advertising or publicity department, and the sales department, each with its own manager, and frequently presided over by the vice-president.
While each of these departments are of prime importance in all respects, it is the second that particularly concerns us in this work. Nevertheless it may be interesting and instructive to present, in Fig. 162, a graphic diagram representing the division of duties and responsibilities as generally arranged for establishments such as we are considering, and as representing the management of our model manufacturing plant.
This will show the regular channel for all official orders and communications, as well as, inversely, the channel through which all reports go through intermediate officers to their proper and ultimate destination. It also shows the proper relation of one department with another, of certain groups of departments with other groups, and in a general way the entire plan of organization and management. A careful study of these important relations is recommended to the earnest student of machine shop and factory organization, management, and economics.
Now a few words of practical common sense on the subject of the successful management of men from the standpoint of personal experience and observation during years of actual shop work and supervision.
If we search diligently and conscientiously for the secret of success in management, whatever may be the importance of the responsibilities, from the president down to the "gang boss," we shall find that it lies principally in the ability of the manager to find the right man "who can do things," and then let him alone so as to give him an opportunity to accomplish the duty devolving upon him. It often requires less talent and genius, not to say common sense and good judgment, to find the man to "carry the message to Garcia," than to keep your hands off and let him do it in his own way.
Again, the business may have reached the limit of its expansion under a certain man because "the man isn't big enough or broad-minded enough to let his subordinates "do things." He is forever interfering with the routine and methods of his manager, and every one else, for that matter, and so individuality is lost, efficiency lowered, and the value of the man and the force greatly impaired. Thus the effort is made "to please the old man" rather than to improve the management, the condition, and the conduct of the business. Good ideas of experienced men are smothered by objections, the results "damned by faint praise," or "tinkered" until their identity and usefulness is entirely lost and their author discouraged in making others in the future.
Fig. 162. A Graphic Chart, showing the System of Organization and Management of the Modern American Shop or Manufacturing Plant.
Another equally reprehensible and quite as disastrous propensity is for "the old man" to make periodical raids through the establishment, grumbling and criticising right and left "without just cause or provocation," after the manner of the proverbial" bull in the china shop," and with equally unpleasant results to the employees and to the business.