Hi Friends,
                                              Even as I launch this today ( my 80th Birthday ), I realize that there is yet so much to say and do.
                                                  There is just no time to look back, no time to wonder,"Will anyone read these pages?"
                                       With regards,
                                       Hemen Parekh
                                       27 June 2013

Friday, 28 December 1984

THE FUTURE - SHOCK

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave). 

28 Dec 1984

To:

Dear Friends

                                  THE FUTURE - SHOCK

Last week one worker  asked me, "Sir, for  1983-84, when will the "Balance-sheet"  be released?  We are  anxiously awaiting to know the company's performance".
I replied that, I could not tell him for sure but  I expected it to be published by March 1985.
"But, why the anxiety?", I asked.
He was frank.
"Sir,  I remember  your circular  on Mount  Kailash and  I am worried whether  our profitability in 1983-84 will  be better or worse than in 1982-83".
So  here  was  one   person  who  remembered  a  4-month   old circular'. I hope  he is not the only  one and that there  are many others who remember this circular.
But more than that,  I hope those thousands of  employees who might have forgotten the circular, are all  working very hard right now  to ensure that  1984-85 turns out  to be  a bright year for profitability.
There  is nothing.' that we can do now  as far  as 1983-84  is concerned.   The  past   cannot  be  changed.   Whatever  has happened has happened  and we will all  know when the  figures are published.
But the future  is for us to make - through  our own internal cooperation, harmony and hard-work.
And after  reading the  following articles,  if you  think we should, somehow, try to avoid the future facing,
u    Vulcan-Laval            
u    Dunlop   and           
u    General Motors,

write to me and tell me How somehow?

H.C. PAREKH

Tuesday, 18 December 1984

BUSINESS INDIA

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave). 

18 Dec 1984

To:

Dear Friends
I recently came across the following piece  of information in 'Business India' - (November 1984).
"An  Indian industrial  worker  has to  work  more than twelve times  as long as  his U.S. counterpart  to earn enough to buy  the same basket of  food, according to a survey published in Geneva.
A U.S. factory  employee can earn enough to  buy a kilo of meat,  a  litre of  milk, 500  grams of  bread, plus fish, butter,  potatoes, sugar and oranges  in one hour 50 minutes -  but his Indian equivalent has  to work 22 hours 38 minutes to buy the same things".
Is this not terrible? - that  L&T-ties at Powai, have to work so much  longer than  the American workers,  to buy  the same quantity?
Have you ever wondered why?
I will tell you why!
This  is  because  Indian workers  who  are  producing  these things  are  very  inefficient and  unproductive I  They  are taking  too much time  to produce the  milk and  the meat and the bread  and the  sugar and all  those other  things'. They are not working  fast enough and  smart enough!  So naturally their  cost of production  is  high -  making  their products expensive.'
And to be able to buy  these expensive products, we need more money.  And  to earn more money  we need to work  longer than our American friends.
So far we  talked about our having to  work longer - but what about others who buy L&T products?
Do they  also have to work  longer to buy our  switchgear and our cement plants  and our dairy equipment  because these are very expensive?
And why are  these very expensive?  Because we  take too many hours to produce these?
Perhaps we will  never know, because  there is  hardly an L&T product which  is purchased by the  common man  on the street (except perhaps our MK Starter which  is bought by the Indian farmer for his pumping set).
And the  industrialist who purchases  our equipment  does not have to  "complain" to  us about  our high  cost.  He  has an option to buy it from other companies - at a lesser cost!

Would you like to know the productivity of the Indian Worker? Here area  few examples :
1.   STEEL
In   our  steel-factories,   one   worker  is   able   to manufacture 60 'tons of steel in one year.
in Japan, one  worker produces 200 tons  of steel in the same time!
2.   TEXTILE
One Indian worker produces  3 tons of textile (cloth)  in one year.
A Japanese worker produces 10 tons of cloth in one year!
3.   SUGAR      An Indian worker produces 24 tons of sugar in a year.     
An American? 430 tons!
4.   RICE      in India, one hectare produces 1870 kgs of rice.     
In Korea one hectare produces 6780 kgs.
And these are 2/3 years old figures!
No wonder Mr. Chandrakant Kirloskar is worried!
At one place in the following article he writes,
"In  Japan, 125  men manufacture  20,000  pumps  and here  in India  (in Kirloskar's  own  factory  at  Devas) as  many  as 750 persons manufacture only 10,000 pumps.  What a contrast?"
So when  it comes  to manufacturing  pumps, the  Japanese are 12 times more productive than us !
To find out why, please read the following article.

H.C. PAREKH

Friday, 14 December 1984

LETTER TO SHOP REPRESENTATIVE

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave).


14 Dec 1984

To:
Shop Representatives :

I am glad that you attended the meeting yesterday. It gave me an opportunity to know your problems and also tell you the problems faced by the managers.

As far as discontinuing the practice of releasing Heavy-Shop workmen 5 minutes before the end of the second-shift, I have explained to you:

1.  This concession is no more required in light of changed shift timing and bus timing.

2.  It was on the strength of this argument that the Union had accepted the Management stand and reached a "collectively bargained" settlement in April.

As far as production/ productivity is concerned, I have pointed out to you my own personal experience on the shop-floor of Heavy-Shop a few months ago during shift change time that almost all the machines were completely stopped for nearly 20 minutes'. This is despite the fact that we have provided an over-lap of 10 minutes to enable the second-shift worker to take-over from the first-shift man to ensure that the machine does not/need not stop even for One minute!

By remaining silent you have admitted that this is what is actually happening;

But is it enough to remain silent?

As Shop-representatives, as leaders of workers, you have a personal responsibility to ensure that not a single machine stops for a single minute wherever an operator over-lap is provided.

And as "Worker-Leaders" you are supposed to set an example by your own personal behaviour! How else can you make others listen to you? I hope you will take the "Lead" in this matter. Remember others are watching you and waiting to "copy" your behaviour! Whatever you do, others will follow.

As far as productivity - suggestions are concerned, please make out a list of concrete/specific suggestions, give it to your production- manager and send me a copy.


Regards,

H.C. PAREKH

Wednesday, 12 December 1984

INFILTRATING THE UNION ?

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave). 

12 Dec 1984

To:
Dear Colleague

INFILTRATING THE UNION ?

I may be accused of  giving you an overdose of Japan but that only goes  to show that I  have such a high  respect for your capacity to absorb  things Japanese ! When  it comes to ball pens,  digital  watches,  cameras,  two-in-ones,  tape-decks, colour-TV, walkman  and a  hundred other Japanese  things, we never  seem to  have enough !.  So why  leave  out "Japanese Industrial Culture" from our list ?

In the enclosed article.  Dr. Maheshwari tells us  how labour unions are organised in Japan.

Now  those of  you  who belong  to  our management-cadre  may wonder why you  should worry how labour unions  are organised in Japan - or for that matter even in India .!

To me  it is obvious why the  managers amongst us  must think about  the organisation  of labour  union.  Someone  has said that  "health is  too serious  a  matter to  be  left to  the Doctor - and education is too  serious a matter to be left to the Educationists."

It is for  the same reason that I think  that organisation of labour unions  is  too serious a  matter  to be  left to  the workman .!

Which  is  not .the  same  thing  as saying  that  we  should interfere  in the  internal affairs  of a  union and  that we should try to run their show !

Quite  contrarily  ! Managers  have   enough  "management-problems"  on their  hands  as it  is,  without  taking on  a union's "internal affairs".

But if  those "internal affairs" start  hurting the long-term interests  of  our organisation  and  the  interests  of  our employees at large,  I do not think we  should remain silent. It is then time to do  some plain-speaking and say "enough is enough" .!

We must not  give-up our right  to "influence" (not interfere with)  the  union  organisation  when  issues  crop-up  which cut-across the  subscription-barrier.  And this  is where the Japanese labour union  organisation is of interest  to all of us at L&T, because, at one place the article reads,

"For all employees  of Hitachi Ltd., upto  Asst. Manager level, union membership is  compulsory.  In other words, every senior  executive of  Hitachi spends at  least ten years  as  member  of  the   Union  and  may  have  even functioned as an office-bearer of  the Union during this period."
Do you see the point ?  Would you say that

"  -   The  top-echelons  of  Hitachi   management  has  been infiltrated with Union - members ? "

or that,

" - The rank-and-file  of Hitachi union has been  polluted by future managers masquerading as union-members ? "

And for  my unionised friends who  will receive  this note,  I would  like  to quote  MR.  MISU  (in  1977, Executive  Vice-President and Director of  Hitachi Ltd., - and now Advisor  to the  Board   of Hitachi   Ltd.)  from  "Management  of  Human Resources in Japan",

"The Japanese  workers do not necessarily  work only for money  and  it   is  customary  for  us   not  to  raise complaints about monetary matters.

If we  think of the total benefit of  the country, there is  no doubt  that we  would be  better off  without any strike,  and the  economic growth  of Japan  was largely accelerated  by this  moderate  behaviour of  the Union. The fact that the labour union exists, does not mean that  it has to fight every  time.  Reaching an amicable solution  is the  best way  for both  the Union  and the company.   We know  that  frequent strikes  endanger the base  of the country  as is  observed in United Kingdom. I have  an impression that when both  parties persist in their  opinion at the sacrifice of national  interest, it is a  wrong choice."—

       H.C. PAREKH

HITACHI – 26 FACTORIES

Synopsis: Communication For Productivity
Letters written to some 7500 Workers / Managers / Union Leaders, following a period of strike / Go slow / Murders (1979 - 1987), at Mumbai factory of Larsen & Toubro Ltd. This direct / open / honest communication led to a remarkable atmosphere of trust between Workers and Management, which, in turn, increased productivity at 3% per year (ave). 

12 Dec 1984

Dear Colleague :

The enclosed article was distributed at a recent seminar on “Japanese Management” which I attended.
One session was devoted to “small Group Activities” It was conducted by Mr. Sekijima who has been with Hitachi Ltd. For last 17 years and currently designated ‘Manager – International personal Relations Section’.
The article describes the small group activity at just one of the factories of Hitachi Ltd. But Hitachi has 26 factories in all. And Mr. Sekijima gave the following statistics for the entire Hitachi organisation.
__________________________________________________
HITACHI – 26 FACTORIES
1983 DATA
__________________________________________________
1.  Total no. of suggestions                       58,77,000
                                                         (58.77 lakhs)
__________________________________________________
2.  No. of employees who sent suggestions  57,617
                                                         (62,000 employees 
                                                         have joined SGA)*
__________________________________________________
3.  Average no. of suggestions per person    102.6/year
                                                          (All-Japan 
                                                          average is 70/year)
__________________________________________________
4.  Average saving per suggestion               $ 31
__________________________________________________
5.  Average saving per each suggester         $ 3145
__________________________________________________
6.  Total saving during the year                  $ 182 million
                                                           (Rs. 218 crores)
__________________________________________________
7.  Hitachi’s sales turnover                        $ 19.4 Billion
__________________________________________________
8.  6/7 = Saving /Sales Turnover                 1% (approx)
__________________________________________________
9.  Best suggestion saved                          $ 4000 per month
                                                          Approx
__________________________________________________
Other things which Mr. Sekijima told me are :
1.  Hitachi have a total of 6205 small-groups (of 8-10 employees each) of which half are of “blue-collar” workers and half belong to “white-collar” worker.
2.  In many Japanese companies, the small group activity is know as “Quality-circles”.
3.  Suggestions must relate to the “Goal/Objective” set by the Section/Unit/Department for the itself and must be job-related.
4.  The suggestions are distributed amongst various ‘topics as follows: 
________________________________________________
                              HITACHI          JAPAN
__________________________________________________
1)  Improvement of Quality          36%              31%
__________________________________________________
2)  Improvement of Mgt.              7%               5%
or Control
__________________________________________________
3)  ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Cost – Reduction                   36%               42%
__________________________________________________
4)  Safety                                  11%               3%
__________________________________________________
5)  Improvement of Equipment     10%               6%
__________________________________________________
6)  Miscellaneous                        -                   13%
__________________________________________________

5.  “Meeting –time” for the small-group meetings is as follows :
_________________________________________________
 Meeting –Time                         % of meeting held
                                              In Hitachi       In Japan
_________________________________________________
          
              During Rest-time       
During     Morning or Evening         54%               80%
working   During Idel-time
Hours      Actual working –time
_________________________________________________
Outside    After Shift-end
Working                                     46%               20%
Hours      Before Shift-start
__________________________________________________
TOTAL                100%             100%
==========================================
6.  There are no monetary rewards for the suggestions given! The foreman or manager gives to the suggestors small token gifts such as a ball-pen or a diary – never exceeding Rs. 400/- in value.

I could not quite appreciate why each Hitachi employee sent in, over a hundred suggestions every year, when there was no monetary reward! So I posed this problem to Mr. Sekijima.
Here is his answer :-

a.  The single biggest factor motivating a Japanese employee to send in a suggestion for improvement is the RECOGNITION  he receives through acceptance and implementation of HIS suggestion. Nearly 70% of all suggestions are accepted and implemented.

b.  Then there are other ways of recognition such as
-     Publishing photograph in factory or company newsletter.
-    Requesting the worker (or the group) to make a presentation before colleagues & managers.
-    Accepting a particular suggestion for inter-dept, inter-unit or inter-factory competition.
-    Organising a lunch with the General Manager of the plant.

7.  Introduction of “small group” activities is a pain-staking process.  In Hitachi, it took nearly 8 years as follows :-
1968-1971
-    Improvement of relations between the employees and the Managers.
-    Orientation & Training of Managers.
1972-1976
-    Training of worker-leaders
-    Introduction of program at worker-level.
1977-
-    Small-group activity becomes an ordinary event for employees.

8.  Every 6 months, there is an intensive training program for “worker-leaders”. The program is conducted by engineers from quality-control, production and industrial engineering functions. The curriculum includes, Methods-study and time standards, Preventive Maintenance, Quality-control techniques and Industrial Engineering techniques.

In conclusion Mr. Sekijima added,

“If you wish to introduce such an activity in your company, everybody, starting at the top, must transplantable in your country than other Japanese techniques, because it was born in the West”.
The only way we can find out if Mr. Sekijima is right or wrong, is by trying!   


H.C. PAREKH