A Tale of Two Factories

1. Identify the differences in the processes of the 2 factories, addressing labor relations, safety, amount of automation, methods, costs, etc. Labor RelationsShanghai; Making changes and improvements is difficult since many workers are used to working for state-owned industries, and hence the employees are ferociously resistant to change. Relationships with supervisors and the employees are often bad-tempered, with neither side much interested in negotiations. Hiring and firing is difficult because employees have one- three year contracts, hence the employers have to wait until the contract is over or voluntary buyout. This reduces employee turnover. Litchfield, Mich, the atmosphere at the plant is business like; the workers are very professional, attentive, and careful, restrained and take active part in reducing bottlenecks. Employees are experienced they accept the changes made and adopt it. Employees are not bound by contract, hence hiring and firing takes place based on their performances. Process: Shanghai:  The plant employs 275 people in two eight-hour shifts, work for 160 hours a month, the plant is sparsely automated and machinery is scarce.  The plant uses low-tech techniques to build a medium-tech product. Welding machines help workers connect the tubes to the catalyst and the muffler, but they are simple rotating devices, numerically controlled machines.  A few forklifts, no automated material handlers, no robots to perform repetitive tasks, no lasers to guard against slips and falls. The factory is dependent on its 51 suppliers.  The employers prefer to use cheap human inspectors instead, this results in less quality products.

Safety: Shanghai: The Company is looking to provide protective glasses. shipping. six sigma. Any mistake appear immediate solution is found and the work is carried on. The labour costs are very cheap and in cost only 1% to the total costs. steeltoed shoes.  Constant checking and inspection takes place. methods and costs. Automation. Mich: the factory is highly automated or semi automated. Mich:  A total of 324 employees work on a three shift basis.  The day starts with a 30-minute production meeting. The goal is to reduce the amount of labor in its mufflers and automate as much as possible. The method use is labor intensive approach to production. Shanghai: the factory is scarcely automated. there is very few machinery in place. Employees are well experienced. Mich: They have a smarter approach to manufacturing. The labour costs are high. The workers wear jumpsuits which are very dirty. 2. material requirements for production. kaizen (Continuous Improvement). since the plant is fully automated it reduces accidents and increases employee safety. about deliveries. Discuss the differences in life circumstances of the workers. The place is clean but scuffed around the edges. Litchfield. . Their main goal in automation and reduce labour force. and earplugs. Workers take an active interest in reducing bottlenecks. Various workers from all departments meet together to discuss about the work done the previous day.Litchfield. Litchfield. it constitutes about 12% to the total costs.  They practice Lean manufacturing. but they have been slow to implement it.

4. What has been happening with how much people have been paid over the last few years in each location? . They believe that the future in not very bright for them and it may lead to worse. They earn about $30 an hour (plus benefits). company executives believe that Shanghai can become as profitable as its U. There know that there is a heavy competition in the market. Over the long term. Tenneco expects to spend an additional $30 million over the next three years. raised their own children. and Japanese and Korean transplants are located too far away for Litchfield to supply them. own a home. and workers are hungry for their next raise and promotion. Mich: The workers in Litchfield are worried and tensed about their future. enough to provide a comfortable living in this farming community. Its Big Three customers in the U. Litchfield. People are satisfied with what they earn and they think they have a much better and brighter future ahead. How do the workers view the future differently? Shanghai: The employees firmly believe that the company will bring in fortunes to them in the future and they would be better off. 3.56 an hour. Workers here are worried about their future though they earn a lot.S. are losing market share. tomorrow will be brighter than today. Litchfield. commute to work by bicycle. operations. Because of long working hour and lack of day care facility their children lack in parental care and proper education. and recently returned from a vacation to Hawaii. The most likely scenario is that work at the plant will continue to bump up and down. Litchfield is surviving hard just to stay in place.S. Tenneco is expanding into china. Tenneco clearly sees China as the growth market.Shanghai: Workers in shanghai factory earn about $1. They have already opened five plants and invested $21 million in China thus far. Mich: workers in Mich. they commute to work in two cars. They are confident that their wages will increase and bring in more fortunes. and live in a small one-bedroom rental apartment.

started at Tenneco 11 years ago when the average salary for her position was $8. Litchfield. it now averages $14. the factory would have been semi-automated. they wages for the employees would have risen three or four times what is now. . An hourly worker receives $900 for the plant's work plus another $480 for Tenneco's corporate achievements equivalent to about seven months' pay for their Chinese colleagues. Wages are going up 10% a year. A technician. There is also a possibility that the factory might have closed down or filed for bankruptcy due to heavy competition. If you had a crystal ball. Blue-collar workers make $210 to $250 for 160 hours of work a month.064 a month while the employees earn about $296 for every 28 hours of work.Shanghai: The workers each earn about $1. The factories infrastructure will be highly improved.50 an hour. Litchfield. what changes will have occurred? Shanghai: After 10 years.56 an hour. employees $225 for every 50 hours or work.880 . Mich: The factory will be highly automated. White-collar workers like engineers start at $625 a month. what do you think each site will look like in 10 years? That is.10. The blue collar employees are about $1. the workplace will be much more clean and hygienic.$4. 5. and the wages would have increased to a certain extent. more safety equipments will be provided. The employee’s standard of living would have risen. the labour force will be comparatively less. Mich: Litchfield workers make about ten times as much as their Chinese counterparts.

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