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The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 2, Issue 12 (April 1, 1928.)

Production Engineering, — Modern Methods

page 9

Production Engineering,
Modern Methods

I have endeavoured in my series of production articles to make readers think, a certain phase at a time, of the principles and reasoning behind the reorganisation work in hand on our railways.

The successful economic operation of the railways, the economic security of the individual members of the railway staff and the prosperity of New Zealand generally, are all bound up together.

For this reason, all must think, and reason out the principles of modern management methods, and in so doing take as a guide the principles that have, in this connection, been proven to be thoroughly sound and progressive. If we take as our guide those big men—I mean mentally big men in the world of business management, who have had wide experience of modern economic problems (coupled with practicable knowledge) — we shall, if we follow their leadership, be enabled to avoid those pitfalls and struggles that they have had to go through.

New spiral drilling machine at East Town workshops. This machine drills two fish-bolt holes in one operation.

New spiral drilling machine at East Town workshops. This machine drills two fish-bolt holes in one operation.

Many in our service are making the mistake of saying: “These principles only apply to the workshops.” They don't—they apply to every department of the service. Waste elimination! Costing! Planning! Efficiency! Is there anyone who can say: “This doesn't apply to me?”

Let me quote an extract from the “Weekly Despatch” just to hand of January 15th this year. Sir Alfred Mond, who is one of England's greatest employers of Labour said in an interview:—

“The problems of industry largely resolve themselves into those of cost, output, and profits.

Everyone is agreed that the community must reach a higher standard of life. Low wages and long hours are no cure for industrial depression. What is required are high production, cheap cost, and high wages.

The watchword should be negotiation by conciliation towards cooperation.”

The article goes on to say:—

“The establishment of Works Councils for the purpose of ensuring direct touch with every worker and an improvement in the status of the worker, are two more important points of the industrial peace problem.”

Think that over a bit. If, as Sir Alfred Mond says, “Everyone is agreed that the country must reach a higher standard of life,” can it possibly be done without high production, cheap cost and high wages? Can it?

I think not. Personally I say I know it can't. So what is the answer?

The answer is: Let us get the high production, the low costs and also the high wages. There is nobody to stop us.