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27 October 2005


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While I agree with the idea that contracts should be followed, as well as your thoughts on the 10% time for breaks being locked into this contract, I think the Detroit News may have given you the wrong impression of Sandy - he is no ‘petty nitpicker’. Having trained under him and worked with him and his group, I suspect he made additional comments to the reporter that ended up on the editing-room floor. He is enough of a systems guy to recognize knee-jerk reactions to systemic issues, and would have suggested better ways to address the problem than to treat their employees like little kids. It would be interesting to see what the UAW contract with NUMMI allows, and if they are having similar issues. My guess is the contracts are similar, but there is no problem like this, nor a need for policing the policy, both for reasons that most folks never understand or attribute to the TPS.

I was eating dinner at a great little Thai restraint when the Detroit News called my cell phone for an interview. I told the reporter as soon as he mentioned Ford that my company Munro & Associates, Inc. doesn’t work with Ford because of the philosophical differences between Fords “SAVE” money approach and our “MAKE” money approach.

Munro reduces cost and improves quality via the design of the product and Ford chooses to look at other things like cost cutting and supplier squeezing. I mentioned that our main Automotive customer is Chrysler (not Mercedes) and they are doing just fine MAKEING money.

However it was late and he had a job to do so I agreed to help.

When he told me what the story was about I lit off. He was describing the Ford I worked for in the 70’s and early 80’s; the company that I and everyone else at Ford banded together and helped turn into a huge money machine by the end of that decade.

When I left Ford in 1989 I strongly felt that no car company; not even Toyota could catch them. But then a series of “new style management” came to power and you get what you got.

You can call me anything you want, I am not a sensitive guy;. I believe any “Blue Barney” type manager should be executed or at least tarred and feathered and tossed out the front gates as an example to others. The Auto industry is the toughest industry there is and I am not talking in metaphor. Munro has worked on everything from Toys to Smart Bombs to medical to the NASA and I know I don’t guess.

There are lots of other things rolled into that 20% (really 15%), so your number is going to drop. But lets first look at the time it takes to go to the john. Lets start with how far away it is. You could probably roll your chair into the bathroom in a second, but the guy on the factory floor has a hike. Some of the facilities are three blocks from the operators.

Don’t say it; because I have the CAD layout of three plants right now on the computer next to me. I don’t guess I KNOW.

That said the UAW is not the enemy! Read that again! The enemy is cheap and slow management! I want to look at the management that will be standing in the shithouse with a stop watch and a list of names. You want to talk about stupid waste?

God I wish Dr. Ed Deming was alive!

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