At the end of the month I am heading up to Virginia for a reunion with my crew that worked for me at the computer company. As Manager, my three departments were all under the Logistics Division, which worked hand in hand with Manufacturing. I never did understand why they kept my group under Logistics – I ran an actual manufacturing operation.
The challenge for my group was to keep enough inventory on hand to match it up with the shipping orders we were given from Manufacturing. We never knew how much product was needed until a day – maybe two – before the orders were ready to ship. We really needed better organization and communication between divisions.
That was over 25 years ago. Now we have ERP software that helps with the entire process. It coordinates the entire chain of production, from purchasing to production to shipping.
We had absolutely no Manufacturing Software to help us back in those days. All we had were occasional department head meetings and weekly reports that got passed up the chain of command – not circulated between the departments that needed the information.
Now that I think back on those days, I have to admit that I have a lot of bitterness toward the men in the Ivory Tower who did little to help the troops. To them, it was all about the money. How much profit could they suck out of the business for themselves? How little could they pay the workers without losing them to the competition? Why invest in Distribution Software when the employees can just work harder and get along OK without it?