June 22, 2005

It's Simple Business

It's like trying to shove a round peg in a square hole.....damn manufacturing and sales. WHY oh WHY can't they talk to each other!! Damn.

OK brace yourselves - I have to get this off my chest.

I work for a forging plant. It's a hot, slow, manual process - the making of forgings. Honest to goodness -- there is no air conditioning, there are furnaces going full bore, and there are hammers slammin' down on hot metal constantly. And this is all manned by humans. Humans that are tired, hot and just plan, well, human.

Now take sales. Our performance and pay are based on how much we sell. We take orders, sell new parts and generally bring business into the plant.

When you put all those pieces of the plant together you get what they call Capacity. There is only so much that can be done in a set amount of time. Period. Add into that accidents (tools break, furnaces stop firing) and you have trouble. With a capitol T.

Now - having worked in a manufacturing enviroment most of my adult life I understand capacity. I understand issues. And I work very hard to pad my orders so that we stay out of trouble. I will actually turn orders down rather than put us in a position to piss off a customer by missing delivery. I'm kinda funny that way.

But I'm finding that is a strange way to look at things by most sales peoples way of thinking. Sell Sell Sell. Then Lie Lie Lie. Then Yell Yell Yell.

Yeah - well, I got better ways to spend my time.

I actually spend one afternoon a week on the shop floor. Not just walkin' around patting people on the back - I try to do something. I'll pack orders, move parts, empty bins - what ever I can do to help move things along. I need these parts to ship. My livelyhood depends on it. And I have never thought that because I sit behind a desk I am better than anyone else. It doesn't hurt to get my hands dirty every now and again - it's actually good for the soul.

So...what am I bitchin' about anyway? I'm bitchin' because I am sick and tired of people not talking to each other. I'm bitchin' cause I'm sick and tired of finger pointing and arguing. If everyone would just talk to each other - explain what is going on and try to actually understand things from the other point of view - we might actually get some damned work done.

Well, that and there would be world peace.

*guess I am kinda pie in the sky today - sorry*

Posted by Tammi at June 22, 2005 06:32 AM

I'm amazed a sales rep that doesn't over commit. I didn't realize there were such beings around. Every rep I've ever dealt with, especially a commission based rep, would sell like hell and then press production to get it done. I've never talked to a rep that would pad their order's delivery time versus padding their pockets (and I've dealt with over hundreds or reps while consulting).

I'm pretty sure that makes you one of a kind.

Posted by: phin at June 22, 2005 06:23 AM

Tammi is very one of a kind!

You'll open up the lines of communication. I know you will!

Posted by: Sissy at June 22, 2005 07:10 AM

Tammi, Tammi, Tammi ..

You missed one very important department. The department that makes both sales and manufacturing lives a living hell.

It's called Quality.

Doesn't matter how much a sales rep promises, doesn't matter how much the manufacturing people produce. If it doesn't get by quality neither department is going to be happy.

I looooove working in Quality :)

Posted by: Machelle at June 22, 2005 07:36 AM

Yeah, let me tell you I just LOVED having the sales guys promise shit when we were already three weeks behind schedule and them have the owner blame us guys out on the shop floor when it didn't get shipped on time. It was even more fun when the office would promise parts and then not bother to order raw materials, only to have us get reamed for "poor efficiency" when our machines sat idle for lack of that raw material. Even more hilarity ensued when the office would give us outdated prints, we'd run parts to spec on those prints, and then get blamed for the scrap.

I don't miss that bullshit at all.

Keep doing what you're doing Tammi. If there were more front office folk like you manufacturing would be a much more pleasant field to work in.

Posted by: Graumagus at June 22, 2005 09:37 AM

Wow, you must work in my business... the uncommunicating business types. Oh. Wait. I work in aerospace! ;-)

Posted by: Bou at June 22, 2005 07:08 PM

Phin - money is fleeting...all that lasts is my reputation. And that means more to me than anything (in business). Plus - I hate hate hate those ass chewin' phone calls. Right now I'm cleanin' up someone elses lies and let me just say - it is NOT a fun job.

Machelle - I LOVE Quality - blew that theory. In fact spent 3 hours with the head of the department today putting some stuff in place to limit the amount of control I (sales) have. I'm about sick of these idiots that back door the Quality department, send out shit and then..again..I gotta clean it up.

Grau - Dude - that whole situation sucked - plain and simple. Every time you'd post about it my head would start spinning. You are much better off without them.

Sissy - thank you darlin'. :-)

Posted by: Tammi at June 22, 2005 07:13 PM

*leaves appletini*

Posted by: Harvey at June 22, 2005 07:57 PM

The problem is when manufacturing sends shitty quality out the door they know exactly who has to take care of it.


They don't get any of the shit for producting it and sending it out without Quality knowing, but Quality has to clean the mess up.

Blech, I hate manufacturing people.

Posted by: Machelle at June 23, 2005 06:28 AM

There's a flip side to that though too, Machelle.

I've had plenty of arguments with QC where something on a print wasn't clear, or there were discrepencies, and getting the head of QC to make a call on what spec I was supposed to produce the parts to was like trying to herd cats on crystal meth. I learned very quickly that "Use your best judgement" was another way of saying "Go ahead and if it comes back as scrap it's YOUR ass, not mine".

I see your side too, though. I've worked QC, it's maddening when they blame the QC people for mistakes on the production line...

Posted by: Graumagus at June 23, 2005 09:02 AM