To Boldy Go Against All Advice

Great innovators are the ones who do what everyone said can’t be done. Columbus. Orville and Wilbur. Einstein. Edison.

Great idiots are the ones who attempt to do what everyone said can’t be done. Since they are so much more common, their names are less famous, though a good historian could name a few (shame on me). Small-time fools expire in the moment of their own education, but the great and powerful fools can leave rows and rows of gravestones as tribute to their innovation.

Since the matters of Acme are not martial, an outcome of actual gravestones will hopefully be avoided. The powers the be have decided to close one distribution center, consolidating it with another. However unpleasant, this could be simply a wise business decision. But the one they choose to close has been the control center for a number of plants, and I have heard mainly good things about it. I visited the site myself and thought it was in excellent working order. The center they are consolidating into I have never personally seen, but I have not heard anything about it about it in particular. From as much I am priviliged to know, therefore, it seems possible that scores of wage workers are losing their jobs because the other warehouse is closer to corporate bigwigs.

Why should I take the most cynical interpretation of inconclusive data? Because of first-hand experience. At our site a certain manager is tearing out our existing inventory storage architecture to install a new system. Nothing wrong with the idea of doing that. The problem is when you dislocate inventory without giving it any kind of official new location, so that it exists in a limbo that depends for its coherence on the care and good keeping of temporary wage workers. Add to this that your new system, while in place physically, also does not have systematized locations with processes for adding, deleting, changing, and reassigning locations. Add to this that your new system, of plain racks, is not getting adequately funded to buy purpose-specific racks. Instead there are ominous rumblings about reusing existing beat-up, repurposed, mismatched racks.

Add to this that your whole new theory of inventory management, sending to the assembly lines the exact quantities and mixes required to complete the scheduled work, is falling apart in every way; the schedule doesn’t hold up, the assembly lines build when there is nobody around to resupply them (which requires either an excessive buildup ahead of time or a lag after the fact, or simply shuts down the assembly), and that the supplier-owned inventory manager is under such strict orders not to release extra inventory (by the same manager) that material handlers cannot get enough parts out in advance of the assembly line’s need for them.

Add to this that the nominal manager of the stockroom said, “Don’t do this thing this way.”

Add to this that everyone involved in the actual physical and transactional processes said “Don’t do this thing this way,” and only the people who hear only the pitch that “this will reduce inventory” are excited about it.

Add all that together, and what do you get? A fool or a hero. Time will tell.



One response to “To Boldy Go Against All Advice”

  1. […] _uacct = “UA-1202685-1”; urchinTracker(); Map of the Ethereal Land The Ethereal Voice Front Page – Politics – Money – Knowledge – Art – Food – Fun Masthead About To Boldy Go Against All Advice By Chicken Man | October 14, 2007 – 12:07 pm Posted in Category: Front Page, Money Great innovators are the ones who do what everyone said can’t be done. Columbus. Orville and Wilbur. Einstein. Edison. Great idiots are the ones who attempt to do what everyone said can’t be done. Since they are so much more common, their names are less famous, though a good historian could name a few (shame on Click Here to continue reading. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *