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Co-operative organizations could save themselves a great deal of money by not trying to catch pennies and by adopting the same methods of distribution of expense as used by the commercial canner. There is not sufficient profit in the canning business to warrant spending dollars in running down nickels, though this must not be construed as favoring any loose system in the operation of the factory or in the accounting, but it is in support of a sane system such as will be outlined in this work and which is based on that of successful commercial companies and not on those which have proved failures.
Assignment No. 2
The profits of any manufacturing business are made in the office. This is true regardless of the term "nonproducers" often applied to the administrative force by factory employees and sometimes even by general managers, who frequently look upon an office employee as a mere white-collared chair warmer whose principal qualification is his capacity for interfering with the efficient operation of the plant, a matter he is given the credit of knowing very little about. Fortunately this feeling against the administrative employee is not as pronounced as it was a few years ago. The advent of the efficiency and the cost expert, with his systems, his statistics and his checking of operations, has shown up so many leaks and inefficiencies in operations that almost all present-day successful managers and superintendents welcome his methods and labordecreasing theories as indispensable to their own success.
It is the duty of the management to see that a friendly, co-operative spirit between the office force and the factory employees exists at all times, and it should be thoroughly understood by those at the head of the factory departments that their departments are subject at all times to examination and supervision by properly accredited office employees but that such examinations and any resulting recommendations that may be made affecting the operation of a department are made solely for the purpose of producing a higher degree of efficiency and not for the purpose of interfering with, or as
a reflection on, the intelligence of the department manage
In turn, the factory superintendent, and the employees through the superintendent, should be encouraged to make recommendations for improvements which will increase production, save time and expense in operation and promote the general welfare of the employees.
Ideas are valuable and a prize offered for every suggestion made by an employee and adopted by the management will result in creating among the employees an interest in their work which otherwise will not develop.
This prize need not be large. Five or ten dollars, or a case of canned goods, for each suggestion adopted, and twentyfive dollars extra for the best suggestion made and adopted during the year, are sufficient to keep the employees on the outlook for some method of improving the organization.
The one-man plant, occasionally met with, where there exists in the mind of some one individual in authority the opinion that any idea originating outside of his own brain is unworthy of consideration, will never be a long-run success. Sooner or later, the competitors of such management will be far ahead in organization, plant and efficiency, which means also in profits and in success. Narrow-mindedness is always a loser. There are always others from whom certain things can be learned. No one man knows it all. Consider the ideas of others; they may be valuable and may save you a lot of money.
The first business transaction in any new organization will be from its office; therefore the first consideration in any organization system should be given to the office.
In outlining the organization of the office it will be presumed that the main office of the company is located at the principal plant operated. This is found to be more convenient than maintaining a general city office, except in the case of the very large corporations.
The office at the factory keeps the entire managerial organization in close touch with the factory operations, and this is an important factor in the education of the force in the efficiency required for the successful administration of the business. Even the female clerks and stenographers will advance materially in efficiency by becoming familiar with
the factory organization, departments and methods, and if it is necessary to locate the offices away from the plant to secure better buying and selling facilities, or for other reasons, it should be the policy of the management to see that every new employee, after his first month's employment, be given an insight into the operation of the factory during the busiest period of the season.
In planning the office, care should be exercised to see that it is not only large enough to accommodate the present office force required without crowding but also large enough to take care of the additional force that will be necessary with the growth and expansion of the business.
Plan for efficiency, which cannot be secured where the clerks are so crowded together that elbows touch. Concentration of thought requires as little interruption and annoyance as possible. Crowding invites useless conversations, and such as are necessary and important will be listened to by those having no interest whatever in the subject under discussion. The employee is not to blame for this fault. It is human nature and it can be corrected only by providing sufficient room for each employee to insure the necessary degree of privacy.
Private offices should be provided for the managers of the business where private conversations and meetings of the board of directors can be held without interruptions. The business policy of the company should never be discussed before the clerks in the office. Such discussions should always be private. If possible the cost and statistical department should have a private office, as the nature of this work requires a great deal of heavy concentration.
The office should have plenty of natural light and the best artificial lighting equipment possible to procure. The modern indirect lighting systems, as represented by the Panama lights, are the best for general office lighting and each desk should be provided with a portable desk light, properly shaded with adjustable shades, to keep the strong rays of light out of the worker's eyes. The majority of canned goods manufacturers operate during a season and not throughout the year, and while the season is on it may be necessary to do considerable night work, so the lighting system should be as faultless as money can provide.
Heat and ventilation should be given special attention. Many offices are comfortable during the mild seasons of the year, but become very uncomfortable during the cold weather, when it is necessary to have artificial heat. If an office is poorly ventilated the atmosphere becomes thick with unpleasant odors, and when the heat becomes oppressive windows and doors are thrown open, cold air rushes in and the employees take home a cold, if not worse. The best heat for the office is steam generated by the power plant and distributed through a radiating system. As most plants are located where city steam heat cannot be had, the company will be amply repaid for the expenditure necessary to install a heating system which utilizes the steam from the engine room of the plant. There is usually enough waste accumulated during the packing season to provide fuel for the entire winter without cost. This is particularly true of plants where peaches are packed, as the pits make an excellent fuel when used with other fuels and unlike the apricot pits have little other commercial value.
The duties of the general business and financial departments of the company will, of course, be regulated, more or less, by the size of the plant and the volume of business.
For the company packing from 200,000 to 500,000 cases per season, the business, if efficiently administered, will require the following officials and business departments: Board of directors, president, vice president, secretarytreasurer, general manager, field superintendent, sales manager, traffic manager, office manager, purchasing agent, chief accountant, bookkeeper, stock clerk, label clerk, stenographers, telephone operator. (See chart of Authority, Executive and Administrative Employees.)
The members of the board of directors may all be active in the business or merely financially interested and take no active part in the management of the affairs of the corporation.
In the larger corporations, the president, vice president, secretary, treasurer, general manager and office manager will each require a private office of sufficient size to accommodate his assistants. The heads of various departments should also be given private offices, but in those companies of the size previously mentioned the president or the vice
president may also be the general manager. The offices of secretary and treasurer are usually filled by one individual, and he may also be the chief accountant or merely some trusted employee given the title as a matter of legal form and convenience. The duties of office manager can sometimes be taken over by the sales manager or chief accountant. The general manager should be provided with a private office and if the business is large enough he should be given a suite of rooms, one of them to be used as his private sanctum and the other to be occupied by his personal clerk and stenographer. The meetings of the board of directors should be held in these private offices. The general manager should act under the instructions of and be accountable only to the president of the corporation, who in turn is accountable to the board of directors.
The field-work department should be provided with desk room in the general office for use by the field superintendent.
The field superintendent will have supervision over the purchase and shipping of all green fruit and produce and over all farming operations of the company.
The farm superintendent, the green-produce buyers and weighers, loading and shipping agents will be under the supervision and subject to the orders of the field superintendent, who in turn will be directly under the orders of the general manager and be accountable to him.
The sales department, usually considered the most important department of the business, is under the supervision. of the sales manager.
The sales department should occupy a prominent place in the general office.
A private office for the sales manager can be provided, if desired, in which he can hold consultations with salesmen, brokers and buyers, but he should be, at all times, easily accessible to the general public.
His duties are very easily determined by his title. He is the selling agent of the company and should keep in close touch with selling conditions and markets of the world. All salesmen and brokers are under his personal direction, and he should be accountable only to the general manager.
The sample room, filling of orders, shipping, displays and demonstrations of canned goods and, in the smaller com