1980s HBR: Why Japanese Factories Work

As a U.S. manufacturing manager pointed out, “U.S. managers analyze, rationalize, and agonize until their office walls are covered with paper before committing to a piece of equipment requiring an investment of $500,000—and therefore an annual depreciation charge of $50,000. Yet the process of evaluating and making recommendations regarding the training, compensation, and career path of a $50,000 a year (including benefits) engineer typically requires one-half of a piece of paper, reluctantly prepared in one-half hour once a year!” This difference in priorities is puzzling, particularly when one recognizes that a machine is simply the embodiment of an engineer’s skill.

(emphasis mine)

via Why Japanese Factories Work

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