Monday, March 26, 2007

Assembly Line Assault

Our company decided to put in an assembly line at our new DC location where I work. This was supposed to help speed up the shipping process, by enabling the line operators to shrink wrap pallets as the move along the line to their final shipping dock destination. They purchased said unit from a company that was supposed to come in and install it. This is the same company that installed our conveyor belt that failed, the second week in use, because it was not properly installed or maintained by this particular company.

It took forever for Howard, the owner I think, and his band of fools to come and install. I and several other men and woman witnessed quite the display of ignorance while watching these young inexperienced men try to assemble the unit. At one end there is a pallet table that lifts up and and down and rotates 180 degrees allowing workers to stack boxes on the pallet more easily. This was not installed properly, as a matter of fact we don't even need it or use it. When I asked the guy putting it together what it was for he said he did not know. "Then why do we need it?" He couldn't answer.

I have an answer. Because the people who sold it to us did not look at what we needed, but looked at what they could sell us. What kind of industrial assembly products company sells their client something they don't need?... A shady uneducated one. I asked Howard, the guy in charge, several poignant questions about the operation and the installation. He always had those, used car salesman from the 70s, answers. The kind packed plum full of garden manure.

After a couple of days of operation our shrink wrap unit started to lose momentum and we were reduced to actually pushing it manually around in circles. Someone called Howard to come fix it. In the weeks that followed, myself and several other plant people inspected the equipment and surmised that it was a mechanical failure. The turn table was out of balance and the guide wheels where shot. Along comes Howard and the gang. He brings several people with him none of whom seem to know much about trouble shooting, except the electrician.

Now to save time in the interest of our company, I'm not sure if these are billable hours from Howard or not, I suggest early in the morning that they disassemble the turn table to get to the root of the mechanical problem.

Allow me to illuminate. I am no one special at my place of employment, but my yearly bonus and our reputation depends on our ability to adequately provide product to our account holders. If we lose accounts, we lose business and then we lose our jobs. That being said the longer they dink around with this the longer we are held up. And if they are billing us for this "repair time", its costing us money.

So back to the root of the problem. After I relay what myself and my colleagues believe to be useful information I am told that this is an electrical problem and I really don't know what I am talking about. After wasting an entire day rewiring and "troubleshooting" they finally decide to take it apart. What do they discover.

A bent sprocket shaft and worn out trolley wheels. So my superior looks at Howard and says "So Howard still think it's an electrical problem".

Moral of the story:
#1
No matter how long you have, or more importantly have not, been in business always listen to your clients. At least pretend to listen, there by avoiding egg face.
#2 Always know those that labor among you, for there may be one wolf hiding as a sheep waiting to devour your money with no remorse.

1 comment:

Lynda said...

People should read this.