Let me toss something into the pot.... My first "Law" of Business:
"The more the help is paid- the more successful the company will be."
Not really original. I can name sources - incerdibly successful examples of those who reached the same conclusion.
Don't believe it? Great! - Only give me ONE example were this has proved to be false. I been looking (and challenging), for a while now, and so far, have not found ONE!!
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
I’m with you again, Ed. I have made great effort to get employees at the service organization where I volunteer higher wages. After much determined “lobbying” I was successful and now we have the highest paid staff of any organization in the area. The organization went from $1M to $2M (yearly flow) in one year. New clients apply daily. There are so many, we have to screen then carefully and accept those with the greatest need(s) first. It breaks my and everyone else’s hearts to have to turn away potential clients, especially those with big bucks, but that is the way of progress. We have several new homes and are planning expansion of the center.
Some board members argued that there was not sufficient funds in the budget for the increased salaries. True, but my argument was that we must pay to obtain the best staff (dedicated and motivated) to deal with developmentally challenged individuals. My outlook was, pay the help and then find the funding. It works!
I love the smell of fixer in the morning. It smells like...creativity!
Truly, dr bob.
Dr Bob, Proper pay is half of the battle the other half is having a 'great place to work.'
I suspect you have both managed well.
Sorry to take advantage of your wide-open challenge, but I can point to any number of incompetent, lazy, nonproductive hugely ovepaid tenured professors.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
Hmm. Well, I don't think I'd consider most universities as "businesses".
However, I can name one hugely successful business (in terms of lots of points of presentce, huge numbers of employees, and out-"competing" others in their markets) that gets that way by underpaying their employees to the point some qualify for state assistance while working full time (not to mention fostering unemployment by driving competitors out of their markets): Walmart.
Measure success by dollars, in almost any form (gross revenue, share price, dividends), they're one of the great success stories of the last fifty years, and one of the finest examples of what's wrong with measuring success only in dollars. Their success, however, is that of a parasite: they suck the blood out of their host communities in order to grow fat. One wonders what they'll do when they've killed the host...
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Just FYI, slide film sales overall has taken the biggest hit of all due to digital. Slide sales are down by a huge margin compared to negative film sales. Fuji has invested more heavily in slide films than Kodak, and has therefore borne the brunt of this decline, having posted some huge losses (unremarked here in this forum interestingly enough).
Fuji has stopped production of a number of products which were highly regarded in the market but which were dropped for the same reason Kodak dropped them. No sales. Again, due to digital and again unremarked here in this forum. (If you are going to throw stones at Kodak, please take note of Fuji's actions as well and perhaps layoffs and problems at Agfa, Ilford, Ferrania and the now almost vanished Konica.)
In Japan (Inc) as some people say, the government subsidizes some industries heavily and supports them through financical difficulties. Many times, they impose heavy trade restrictions on competitors to support ailing Japanese business.
In addition, they have pursued a heavy investment in photographic education in both conventional and digital at various Japanese universities. In Japan, many photographic engineers go on to teach their trade at a school, and much R&D is done with many scientists at the school doing original and innovative work.
Here in the US, try to find a job teaching photographic science! I laugh.
In addition, compared to the Japanese companies, Kodak was never known for being stingy with pay and benefits. They are quite generous and have been from the beginning. Kodak US is one of the largest non-union companies today, and it is largely due to their benevolent policy towards employees. This extends to layoffs in which they give very generous separation packages, including hefty bonuses for retraining in a new field of choice. Few companies match the Kodak model in that regard.
Lastly, doing business in NY State is a real hardship. Taxes are the highest in the US and getting good people to move to Rochester is a real pain. Digital imaging scientists prefer sunny California to gloomy cold damp Rochester with high taxes and high expenses. No wonder EK has moved some things to other areas.
But lastly, coating of film and paper is still done in Rochester and Colorado notwithstanding what others say. The machines still run. Maybe not as fast or as long, but they are still cranking out film and paper (color only now). Photochemicals are still produced in large quantities at Kodak Park, and full freight cars of bulk chemicals are shunted into the plant daily with empties leaving. Trucks full of products leave the Park every day.
I see Kodak doing 'strange' things every day, but lets be real, it is being done by other photo companies as well, and they are dropping off the radar completely or going bankrupt. Oh, BTW, Polariod, having won the lawsuit over Kodak is now advertizing that they have spare coating time. You can get them to custom coat photographic products for you. They are also in dire straits. Why not go there and get them to make you your favorite film or paper.
I don't - and WILL not deny their existence ... but I am talking about the COMPANY. Given the proper talent - and that includes LEADERSHIP, the overpaid slackers will not exist. They may still be there - but they will not be slackers.
Originally Posted by jjstafford
I seriously doubt - from experience - that anyone WANTS to be a slacker.
Consider Henry Ford (I am not defending his political views) when he decided to pay his Sweepers the outrageous wage of $5 per week. He was crucified by the general business community for such a stupid decision ... yet ... Ford Motor Company grew by leaps and bounds during that era.
The real originator of that idea was Andrew Carnegie - when he wrote, "I have seen thousands of businesses fail - I have yet to see ONE fail because they paid the help too much!".
Investigating the history of Businesses, the moment of death occurs when top management decides to reduce Labor costs, through layoffs, reduction or elimination of benefits, and an overall reduction in pay. I submit that that is the CAUSE - not effect - of the company's final demise.
I worked for Polaroid once (not directly). It went from a WONDERFUL place to work to a sweatshop... and the great slide downward began.
I think KODAK is on the same path.
Ed Sukach, FFP.
Someone pointed out about the government subsidies on Fuji and other companies earlier, and I wonder if applying for subsidies is the key answer to save Kodak and the existing analog photo market or not. I'm totally being sarcastic here, though.
Originally Posted by Ed Sukach
Because things like trade restrictions and government subsidy programs are everywhere, then where can we find better answers that are something justifiable at the core of a free market concept? Personally I'm opposed to the idea that any government interferes any market, but at the same time all the workers' rights have to be well practiced and respected.
When you look at other industries such as the agricultural industry in the U.S., they have been protected by their government for ages, and they are hardly making any progress to go without any financial aid. So, what do you think will be the solutions for saving the analog photo suppliers? I don't mean to offend or insult anyone here. I'm just simply hoping this will bring interesting discussions and more useful sources of information.
Kodak made money from ongoing operations for the quarter reported. It was not as high as Wall Street expected, so even without the one-time charges that swung them to a quarterly loss, it is certain the stock still would have suffered.
Ed Sukach: I completely agree. I worked for Xerox for a few years, and the pay scale I enjoyed was very nice. For the most part, it made for a good team of professionals in my group, and we did very good work. Then the hard times came and Xerox brass started making some bad moves. While Anne Mulcahey claims the company has "turned around", I'm not buying it.
PE: Very well written, thank you for your insight, obviously based on first hand experience. Depending on the prevailing winds, I can often smell the output from Kodak Park.