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more than two thirds. We have been panies operate with a minimum of acworking in two directions—the one with counting and it is all centralized so as the goods themselves and the manner of to be accomplished with the largest packing, and the other with the handling number of mechanical aids and the least of trains. There is a lot more to stopping number of clerks. The old D., T. & I. a train than is imagined. For instance, had a building full of clerks at Detroit it is quite common practice to throw on and about a hundred men in various the air force quickly, say, when a train offices down the line exclusively engaged is moving slowly, as at ten miles an hour. in clerical matters. Now all the accountThere is a great deal of slack in a freighting is in two rooms at the River Rouge train, and, if the engine comes down plant and not more than a dozen men are quickly from ten to five miles an hour needed to get all the necessary facts. the rear cars will still have the ten mile This was very simply brought about by speed and come crashing forward. We the auditor cutting the dead wood off find that the engineers and the trainmen the old accounting tree. are taking pride in trying to start and “Four years ago," he said, "we had an stop without unnecessary bumping and unpruned accounting tree. The organismashing.
zation was made up of many nearly “The agents, too, are acting on their independent branches. The superintenown initiative and not just passing things dent had an accounting office, so did the on. They work with the individual chief engineer, so did the master mechanic, shippers for better packing and, if a car and so did the storekeeper. Each office comes to us in bad condition from a kept its own time, made its own payrolls, connecting line, the agent will refuse to issued invoices and vouchers, made receive it unless there is some way of labor and material distributions, gathered relieving our company from the responsi- statistics, rendered reports, and carried bility of sharing in the inevitable loss. on correspondence in perfectly indepenOne agent came across a shipment of dent fashion. Then each month each of seeds that had been placed in leaky sacks. these departments made a report to a It was entirely the shipper's fault and the fifth office—that is, to the accounting shipment should not have been received department where all their work was conin the first place by the connecting rail- solidated into statistics, reports, and road. This agent, under the circum- statements for the entire railroad. That stances of the case, could not refuse to is, we had four departments of what might receive the goods, so he just bought new be called original entry, and a fifth to sacks—thereby saving us a claim that check up their work. But that is not all. would have run to $200 at least. It is Each station and there are about fifty the little things like this that the men do of them—was also an independent acthemselves and on their own responsibil- counting unit which made up its own ity which combine to make the big sav balance sheet and forwarded it to the ings."
“Our first move was to take the acAUDITING MADE SIMPLE
counting away from the four major HE work of the auditor is interesting. divisions of the road and centralize it
Railroads have a great deal of ac in the accounting department. Then counting; much of this is prescribed by the duplications began to show up, for the Interstate Commerce Commission in each of these major divisions some of and by the various state commissions, but the work overlapped, while the work of because railroading is an old business, the accounting department itself was in shot through and through with traditions a large measure the same work which the and customs, some of the prescribed departments had already done. The accounting has been just superimposed main work of the superintendent, the on the old accounting. The Ford com chief engineer, the master mechanic,
“No Room For a Busybody”
and the storekeeper ought to be the run- are too many or too few men employed ning of the railroad; the time they gave about the station, and how they do their up to accounting was only so much time work and what equipment they have; taken from their important duties. Thus sometimes he acts as an adjuster for perwe increased their efficiency.
sonal injury and freight claims. “Then we studied the station account- "This would rather give the notion that ting and as a result took actual accounting we appointed the auditors as a general away from the agents and left them free busybody. That is far from the truth. to attend to their business of receiving When men are all working together, there and delivering freight. They now have is no room for a busybody—at least if I only a few printed forms to fill out daily am right in thinking of a busybody as for the information of the accounting some one who goes after trouble for its department.
In fact, every one in our em
ploy is an inspector. Each trainman, for CENTRALIZING THE STATISTICS
instance, is in effect made an inspector E EXAMINED every report and of grade crossings.
of grade crossings. Each month he is every kind of statistic and state- given a card containing these questions: ment which had been regularly prepared
(1) Do all signal bells ring on your run? as a matter of course. We examined
(2) Have you reported any defective signals them to discover if they were of any real
to the signal department? use and about half of them proved to be (3) Are crossing watchmen performing of no practical service whatsoever-they their duties properly? were just nice things to look at, which (4) What is the most dangerous crossing went into the files and never came out on your run and what further protection do again. Now we have all the accounting you advise? we need and all the reports we need
“These cards simply carry out the and none at all which we do not need. “This centralizing of the accounts policy of making every man on the road
an inspector of everything that comes took away a large part of the duties of the traveling auditor, whose usual duties within his notice.” are to travel from point to point and
The D., T. & l.goes out after business
none of the Ford industries sits still and check up the accounts. That is ordina
waits for business to turn up. Every rily the beginning and the end of his duties and, according to railroad custom, if he employee is expected toobe a solicitor mixes into anything else he is apt to get
and to make sure that he is a solicitor his fingers burnt. Everything else on a
in fact as well as in theory he is expected
to be able at all times to answer these road is supposed to be looked after by
four questions: other inspectors who check up on their own particular departments. Our travel- Do the merchants with whom you trade ing auditor has no specific duties; he has specify the D., T. & I. on their routing into check all the accounts and to see that
structions whenever possible? the station office work is being done
Do your friends use D., T. & l. service according to instructions and that all the
when they are shipping? station records are properly filed.
Do you follow up tips about prospective “But that is only the beginning, not
shippers? the end of the duties; he is expected
Do you boost your road in the Board of
Commerce and other local organizations? to report on everything, just as though he were the president of the road making “It is not nearly so hard to get business a tour. For instance, he is supposed to as it is to keep it,” said the superintendent know how the agent gets along not only when we were discussing this part of the with the shippers of the neighborhood, road's affairs, "and that is one reason but also with all the people who use or why we are trying to make salesmen might use the railroad, whether there out of all the employees, for then the
part that operations play in the keeping output, the lowest wage, and the least of business will be brought home to every profits. Dirt is clogging, wherever it is one of them. Suppose some man in found. Bad years or good years, money contact with a shipper makes a promise or no money, the care of tangible wealth regarding delivery-most new business is the first sign of a good business man. is obtained on such promises, the time Surprising results may be obtained element is one of the big factors in trans- by turning attention to cleanliness in portation. The man who makes the times of dull business. Cleaning up the promise cannot alone fulfill it; he has to property may result in so clearing up have the coöperation of a great many the mind that new business will be disother men. A section hand a hundred covered where none was thought to be. miles away who shirks some small duty The tradition that disorder and rushing or a train dispatcher who is not thinking business go together has nothing to it. clearly may prevent that promise from Industry has commonly believed that being fulfilled—which may mean the time spent in tidying up is time wasted. end of that particular shipper's business. Yet for every example of disorder there
can be found an example of inefficiency. THEY ALL PULL TOGETHER
To know the condition of a thing, clean UT unless that section hand or that it up and keep it clean. Dirt and dis
around to the salesman's viewpoint, may be lying unused. Wealth may
be they cannot be made to realize that accumulating in junk piles, awaiting what to them is only a detail may be a discovery." very big affair indeed for the railroad.
KEEP EVERYTHING CLEAN-MONEY SAVED Specific duties and titles all tend toward isolating men from the whole larger HE surest way of keeping anything work which is going on and of which clean," continued the superintentheir work is only a part. That is the
That is the dent, “is to finish it in such a manner reason we do not have formal sub that even the slightest speck of dirt will divisions of work; if a man has responsi- show out prominently. We spend about bilities beyond the exact limits of his $500 per engine nickel-plating the cab job he will soon learn the relations of his fixtures, railings, number plates, monojob to the whole work.
grams, piping, and so on-and we find “Whenever a man has nothing else that it pays. We are trying to make the to do he is supposed to clean something. cabs just as attractive and comfortable Every day is a clean-up day. There is as the office of the business executive. no more reason for the presence of unclean As I said, all of the brass work is nickeled, and unpolished material on a railroad the floors are laid with aluminum, and than there is for a right-of-way not being we have worked out an aluminum chair clear. When dirt is removed, it is possi- with a leather seat and a nine inch spring, ble to have close inspection for defects so that the engineer and fireman can be which might otherwise escape notice just as comfortable as though they were and do serious damage. A layer of rust
A layer of rust riding in an automobile. may do more damage than a year of “The change in the finish of the locowear."
motives has made necessary a new set of System, orderliness, and tidiness are tools. The heavy hammers and monkey fundamental with Mr. Ford. As he wrenches have all gone and in their place once told me: “The poorhouse atmos is a neat tool box with each tool especiphere cannot exist about an industry ally designed for a definite utility. Inwhich expects its employees to take stead of a sledge hammer, the engineer pride in it and their work. Industries now has lead and copper hammers. He with the greatest degree of physical has exactly the right tools to make any disorderliness invariably show the lowest repair which he could make on the road,
Henry Ford's Big Economy
but he has no tools with which just to letters instead of telegrams should always injure the locomotive.
be sent if the telegram is likely to reach “The practical side of having things its destination after business hours, and clean, in addition to the pride it gives finally he warned that “Wire answer the men and the better work they do quick” should be cut out on the ground because of their pride, is that frequent that the message being sent by wire cleaning means frequent inspection. For discloses the necessity for an immediate instance, the other day an engineer in answer. shining up the driving rods of a locomo It is a rule that all materials and suptive discovered a crack in one of them. plies be kept always in order and racks Ordinarily this rod would not have been have been provided at every, storage cleaned and that it was cracked would point so as to make apparent at a glance not have been discovered at all. Instead, exactly what is on hand as well as the we should have had an accident and exact condition of what is on hand. At perhaps a costly one on the road. One every car inspection point, all the supplies of the largest economies we know is to are in plain sight. The inspectors at put plenty of time and money into keep these points, following the general rule, ing things clean.”
do more than inspect cars-for that would
take only a part of their time. To keep LITTLE SAVINGS, BIG RESULTS
the men busy through the full eight hours HE economies are in big things and
of the shift, therefore, at these inspection also in little things. The D., T. & l. points not only are all the minor repairs stations, as well as all the plants of the
made to the freight cars but, in what Ford industries, are equipped with radio otherwise would be spare time, the men in addition to telegraph and telephone, also repaint and rebuild the cabooses. and all three means of communication Cutting out a little waste of time or are constantly in use. The Springfield material here and another there that is office of the railroad, for instance, handles the story. It keeps up day in and day about 150,000 radio messages a year and
out. Take the disposing of old railway the Dearborn office about the same num
ties. The railroad shops have to use ber. One of the Ford rules is brevity
a large amount of charcoal for various ---in letters, in telegrams, in everything. purposes. Southern Ohio used to proGoing through the files, an officer dis duce a great deal of charcoal for iron covered this telegram:
smelting. Now the son of one of these
early Ohio charcoal burners is back in Answering telegram of July twenty-third. this pioneer industry, but he is employed We have no record of Hocking Valley 721,516 by the D., T. & I. and uses the old ties. being delivered to this line.
The worn out ties, instead of being burned He took the message out and put it on
along the right-of-way as is the usual the bulletin board. Under it, he placed empties to the Jackson, Ohio, shop yards
railroad custom, are shipped in returning a rewriting conveying exactly the same
where they are piled in conical form, information but with the number of words
covered with sod and soil in the old reduced from twenty-four to ten. This is the rewritten wire:
fashion, then lighted and allowed to
smoulder for the eight or ten days necesRetel yesterday. No record Hocking Valley sary to carbonize the mass. The saving seven two fifteen sixteen.
is not a large one but it is a saving that
pays-and that is enough to put it into Then he went on to explain that numer effect. That is the way everywhere als should be written out, that night along the line.