many shops half the things are everybody's business and never
done; the others are nobody's business and half done.
Law without execution is no law,
and in the shop we find empty law adds to illegal work.
Many shops let their system drop during the hard times, and when
things are picking up they wonder why their capacity is so
I know one excellent shop which had
a tip-top pattern system, in which there was a fixed
responsibility for everything, and no dependence placed on the
memory of any man. A stranger could enter the place and
receive five minutes instruction which would enable him to find
any pattern of any piece of three hundred machines.
Those instructions would be : "Each
machine has a short symbol as shown on its drawings, and every
piece has a number also shown. Each pattern or piece or scrap is
stamped with the symbol and number. The pattern storeroom
contains all patterns not in use or being repaired, and shelves
are symbolized to correspond with their symbols. The
pattern storeroom has a sign on the door."
With such instructions, a stranger
could be given any drawing and asked for a piece shown thereon.
He could bring it in ten minutes, even if totally unacquainted
with the premises, providing the piece was at home. If he didn't
find the pattern, he would find a slate telling him to call at
foundry, or pattern shop, or at some malleable foundry a hundred
A simple arrangement this, and it
did not cost ten cents a year, and saved many dollars.