Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A recent e-mail I received......

A Japanese company (Toyota) and an American company
(Ford Motors) decided to have a canoe race on the Missouri River.
Both teams practiced long and hard to reach their peak performance before
the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided
to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat.
A management team made up of senior management was formed
to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing
and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people
STEERING and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order; American
management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of
money for a second opinion.

The consultants advised, of course, that too many people were
steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but
wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's
management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area
steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent
steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that
would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work
harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with
meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting
new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices
and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the
competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting
programs and teamwork posters.

The next year the Japanese won by TWO miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-off one
rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and
canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved
was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated
rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles) so he was
laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold
and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India .

Sadly, the End.

Here's something else to think about: Ford has
spent the last thirty years moving all its factories out of the US, claiming
they can't make money paying American wages.

TOYOTA has spent the last thirty years building more
than a dozen plants inside the US. The last quarter's results:

TOYOTA makes 4 billion in PROFITS, while Ford racked up
9 billion in losses.

Ford folks are still scratching their heads
(and collecting bonuses)
and want the U.S. Government to 'bail them out'

What AUTO be done with them?

In reading a recent RV newsletter I see where a congressman from Indiana has or is thinking of asking Congress for money to help bail out RV manufacturers. As those of us in this lifestyle know many manufacturers have closed their doors due to the state of the economy but give me a break....where does it end ? How many businesses should we bail out ? This is the normal state of survival economics and the strongest of businesses will survive if they have their "financial houses" in order. I think it has gotten really ridiculous with everyone wanting a handout. On a recent news program there was a financial guy on there that said, "What's the big deal if the big 3 fail ?" The company would be broken up into 10 smaller companies. It may create innovation and move us in the right direction instead of the backward thinking that the big 3 have been using for the past 20 years. Seems like Washington has a "money tree" at their disposal cause everyone keeps stepping up to get their share.

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