Page images


Santa Fe railway yards, Los Angeles.

[merged small][merged small][graphic]


[merged small][merged small][graphic]


When on March 20, 1905, efficiency work was begun in the matter of locomotive repairs an enumeration was made of all locomotives and the sum of their detentions in the Topeka shop, a total of 1,735 days for fifty-six locomotives. A year later, by applying rigid rules of efficiency the sum of detentions had sunk to 254 days and a larger number of locomotives had been repaired.

In some instances greater economies were effected than were attempted. When Mr. K e n d r i c k called Mr. Emerson's attention to the high average of locomotive repair cost it was seen that in 1904-5 it amounted to $4,165 for each engine. Mr. Kendrick wanted the cost reduced to $3,165 for each engine. Mr. Emerson cut it down to $3,037. The miles run between locomotive failures on a difficult division was increased from 4,377 in 1902 to 20.000 in 1909.

In the matter of car repairs the introduction of efficiency principles has worked wonders of economy. Simpler processes for doing things have been devised. For example, the oiling of trucks has been simplified by the use of a compressed air machine. By the old hand method it took a man an hour to oil the trucks of a car; now it takes two men only five minutes.

Such men as Louis D. Brandeis, H. L. Gantt, and Charles B. Going, who have closely observed the methods pursued by Mr. Emerson in his efficiency work on the Santa Fe, are enthusiastic in its praise. It was the study of this work that led Mr. Brandeis to make the offer to the railroads that were threatening rate advances that he would save them a million a day and charge nothing for the service. Mr. Brandeis' intention was' to employ Mr. Emerson as the head of a general school of efficiency that would save the roads the sum mentioned every

The Father Of Efficiency In Business Affairs. Frederick W. Taylor.

day of the year. Some of the companies are willing that the plan should be tried, but others demur, sticking to old methods, though they are only staving off the inevitable.

On a lesser scale than that of the Santa Fe, efficiency work has been tried on the Southern and Union Pacific, and has shown excellent results. It will not be long before all the lines of the great llarriman system will introduce these methods, but the objections of wise old master mechanics will first have to be overcome.

Under its progressive president, Mr. L. F. Lowe, the Delaware and Hudson system has made marked improvements by the introduction of efficiency methods. The Erie system, which had been much run down, has also tried the plan, particularly in the matter of coal consumption. On a certain watched locomotive it was found possible to cut down the fuel bill over sixty per cent. An effort is being made to standardize this performance, and though it may not be successful a big saving is bound to result.

The advanced mechanical practices of the Union Pacific have resulted in considerable savings, and so have those of the Northern Pacific, the New York Central, the New York, New Haven and Hartford and the Boston and Maine. But Mr. Brandeis, the most enthusiastic of all the disciples of Taylor, the "Father of Efficiency," will never rest content until he has induced all the railroads of the country to try the improved methods. Brandeis is not doing this so much for the railroads as he is for the people, for whom he has made many a good fight. He believes with H. L. Gantt that with increased freight rates come increased prices, that with increased prices come higher cost of living; with higher cost of living comes a demand for Secured Efficiency In A Hostile Shop. Harrington Emerson, whose ability was promptly recognized by President Ripley of the Santa F6.


higher wages and with higher wages comes higher cost of production, involving another increase of prices, and the cycle thus repeats itself.

This same Gantt, whose economic philosophy I have boiled down into the foregoing language, is in himself a walking cyclopedia of efficiency methods. Not long ago he was engaged by the president of a cotton mill company to solve the problem of making its labor more efficient. He put in trained observers with stop watches to stand by the most skillful weavers and study all their motions in detail, a practice recommended by Taylor. The observer learned just how the skilled weaver started and stopped his loom, how he removed the

empty bobbin from the shuttle and put in a new one and how he tied the knot. This study resulted in fixing as a standard task the number of picks a loom should throw, eliminating all unnecessary delays. A substantial bonus was offered for the accomplishment of this number on eacli loom. This stimulated individual activity. Those weavers who could not make a good showing were taught by the best operators, and in a short time there was an average increase of output from the looms of eighty per cent! The average wages were increased forty per cent., while the actual wage cost for each piece of cloth produced was only sixty per cent, of the former wage cost.

In a pillow case factory where Gantt introduced his methods of efficiency and his bonus plan, similar results were obtained and, better still, it was found that in twenty-eight cases of goods furnished before efficiency work was begun the average number of imperfections to each case was A7l/i. In eleven cases after the efficiency work was started the average number of imperfections found in each case was less than one! This great improvement was made in a few weeks after Gantt went into the factory.

Like results were obtained by this master of efficiency in a packing-box factory, in a bleachery and in other industrial plants.

Going back to Taylor and his steel work, let me quote a few paragraphs from a report of Assistant Superintend7 ent R. J. Snyder of the Bethlehem Steel Company:

"One of the best results has been the moral effect upon the men. They have had it placed in their power to earn a very substantial increase in wages by a corresponding increase in their production capacity, and this has given them the feeling that the company is quite willing to reward the increased effort. They display a willingness to work right up to their capacity, with the knowledge that they are not given impossibilities to perform.

"The percentage of errors in machinery has been very materially reduced, which is unquestionably due to the fact that in order to earn his bonus a man must utilize his brains and faculties to the fullest extent. He has thus no time for dreaming, which was no doubt, the cause of many errors.

"Breakdowns are less frequent. The men work up to their capacity and now obtain from the machines the product they are capable of turning out."

In the matter of yard labor Mr. Taylor saved the Bethlehem Company fifty per cent, of the cost of the removal of material and made manv other savings.

Frank B. Gilbreth is now considered one of New York's foremost efficiency experts. He takes contracts for the construction of bridges and other structures and produces marvelous results from his methods of labor management, based on what he calls his "m o t i o n studies," made in his own actual experience in various trades he has learned and also from accurate observations of the work of others. Mr. Gilbreth uses stereoscopic views of various operations showing the men how the work should be done. Beside these he has books of details for them to study.

"On one occasion," he says, "I had to drive a lot of piles in quicksand. I wanted to get the work done as rapidly as possible. I raised the pay of all the men 25 cents a day, from $1.75 to $2, with the understanding that in -return they were to do the work in the manner I described to them. Then I employed a boy at $11 a week to stand on the bank with a stop watch and a pencil to keep a record of the work done by each gang. Where the work had previously required 4.28 minutes for each trip of the bucket out of the hole, after I had standardized the method in this manner, it required only 2.21 minutes, or a reduction of almost one-half.


A Man Who Does Xot Believe In Wasting Human Energy.

L. F. Lowe, President of the Delaware and Hudson Railway.

health of men

scientific efficiency has demonstrated many things. For instance, it has been found that in one kind of labor in order to be most efficient a man must have 27 units of rest for every 100 that he works. I tell my men when there is nothing for them to do, to sit down and rest. It has been found that the most efficient load for a shovel is 2\y2 pounds, and that in carrying weights. 92 pounds is the proper amount. This was the weight which I set for brick carriers to handle and had "packets" designed to carry this weight.

"In wall work I use what I call non-stooping scaffolds for the bricklayers. I find that a man will do better and quicker work where he is not compelled to stoop over to lay brick. Also I have my brick "packet" placed in a handy position by a cheap : man, so that the bricklayer need waste no time. I have taught men how to pick up brick and mortar with both hands at the same time instead of using one at a time as most of them formerly did.

"The care of the has been one of my studies. I don't believe in the old driving and sweating system. I believe in the new non-perspiring way, advocated by Taylor, of whom I am a close disciple. The drive or military system is going out. Instead of that we are introducing the more humane, the more practical and the more economical method of rewarding a man for good work and not making a shirking, cringing time-server of him. Yes, men must be well-fed and wellrested. I find it cheaper to feed them free rather than to let them eat at boarding-houses." .

Mr. Gilbreth stimulates the ambition of his men in various ways. Once he

"The study which has been given to had a lot of Swedes. Russians, Irish and

« PreviousContinue »