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Archive through April 30, 2014

IH Cub Cadet Tractor Forum

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I work at a very small company. I do engineering, purchasing, production/test, sales, customer support, shipping/receiving, building maintenance and other stuff. I usually get along OK with myself, if not, I just change which hat I'm wearing...

Dang it's been raining a LOT this spring. I want to get this out and play!

Dennis, sorry you can't read what I'm saying!

It's all conjecture in any event, I'm sure all the ideas we have were had by those inside IH and it failed in any event!

They made some great tractors and we are still enjoying them so many years later!

I'll bow out at this point.. I need to finish scraping / painting the mower deck anyhow.
Dennis, Mike, and Kraig Oh Great One - Keeper of the Photos -

I work at a company where I hear alot of the same things every week or month or so. Someone came up with this idea, change, wigit, thing-a-ma-jig, and it saved the company 1/2 million, few hundred thousand, over a MILLION!!!! Every time I hear it I wonder what the company would have done if they had spent that money. Would we have made more money because we charged more? Would we have lost money instead of making money that year? I actually sorta like Kraig's idea on switchin' hats - but with a twist on the brim - I think the company should go out an hire all these guys with whizz-bang ideas on saving money, and put all that savings into the bank. The company would be rich!!! Every company needs a Cost Savings Dept. (did I miss something?)
Great pic, Kraig! Why couldn't the plow point assembly be removed from the framework, a chisel point be fabbed on and it could be called a subsoiler?
BILL J. - I got along GREAT with all my engineers and QA people. They were ALL my Customer's in the Deming way of running a mfg company. It was just REALLY hard to keep in mind they were my customers and the Best and brightest in their chosen discipline when they could not make a decision to save their soul, right or wrong. Then 3-4 months later after they finally made a decision, we find out they were WRONG anyhow.

Reason I left my last job, not by choice, was the fact I was paid too much because I was magnetudes better than the other 5-6 people in the dept. I never got less than $300,000 cost savings per year, most years between $500,000 and a Million Dollars, reduced non-comforming parts to less than 5% of first year's total in about three-four years, was chosen by the QA mgr to be purchasing's ISO 9000 internal auditor, had fewer hot parts on a day-to-day basis than anyone else, so yes, the three metric, Price, Deliver, and Quality were ALL met. I also stood in for the Purchasing Mgr. in most of his weekly meetings when he was unable to attend, and frankly, most of the rest of the people would have rather had me there ALL the time. And just for the record BILL, the last co-worker in purchasing that I worked with LEFT within 2-1/2 years of when I was let go, the new management group sucked. One guy retired, the rest were fired or quit. A total of 50 people left our little plant, plus two other larger plants were shuttered all due to a joint venture that didn't go at all well.

KRAIG - I had that job too for several years... I wore every "hat" in the company except 2, maybe three.

MIKE F. - I hear exactly what you're saying, the fact your forgetting is IH built CC's in a different time, "off-shore" wasn't an option, more business with a customer like IH was highly sought after. The added volume of business with IH off-set a LOT of over-head at many of our suppliers. Yes, you do eventually run up against things like raw material price increases that you absolutely can not avoid. The last 5 yrs I worked at my last job the copper content in my brass machine screw parts and castings went from 80 cents/# to over $4/pound. Record high copper price on the LME. Same thing happened on the nickel content of 304 stainless steel. The wrought metal cost $1.25/pound, the nickel surcharge was $1.30/pound. The mills & service centers won't negotiate on the surcharge, pay it or they won't ship and shut you down.

If Kohler was going to stop using the S/G and they came in to tell the buyer that, that purchasing person better darn well have someone in an engineering management position in that meeting and somebody from marketing too. Or the buyer will be labeled a "Fire Bomb thrower" like Bill says.

Even if the change to a Bendix style starter was the ONLY change IH made, it would have taken IH thousands of engineering hours to prototype, then pilot, then do all the eng. change notices, routings, prints, etc. required. Back then IH followed an ISO 9000 compliant mfg. system, but NOTHING in engineering was computerized... all the documents were hard copies.
Frank, thanks.
I suppose someone could do that. Probably wouldn't require much fab work either. I say go for it and report back.
Dennis - sounds like someone in that company joint venture established a Cost Savings Dept like I mentioned. Once they took ALL the costs out and didn't spend any money there was nothing left to sell. I don't know how those guys figure a company can keep operating. Truth is, whenever I see this (and it's more often than you think) I know there is a BIGGER picture unknown to those directly involved. Someone is making money someplace by having this happen. Most of the time these companies come in, suck all the money out, virtually shut down any R&D effort, then sell the company off based on their original reputation of who they were before everything was sucked out. Someone ends up buying a shell and usually doesn't know it for several years.

So, on changes from the S/G to bendix starter, and the manual PTO to electro-magnetic version. I have to assume Kohler came in the door with the change to the bendix. IH did come out with the blade/brake PTO on the late 1x8/9 production. I would think it could have been used on an AQS engine in the Quiet Line series - but they went to the outside and got the electric PTOs from 2 vendors (Werner and that other 2word company). I wonder if the electric version actually stops any quicker than the blade/brake version. When I do some comparison thinking of the parts involved in each one it seems to me the blade/brake version would certainly be less costly than an electric.
HARRY - I take it your NOT an accountant. Every company I've worked for has used a "Standard Cost" based pricing system for determining next years selling price. Basically, it requires Purchasing to predict by reviewing and confirming the next year's price on EVERY single part about October of the prior year. The Buyer performance on cost savings is measured off purchase price variance, either favorable or unfavorable, to the "standard cost". Buyers will habitually be beat over the head with ANY unfavorable variance... BT--Have the bruises and back-stabbing scars. Monthly review meetings, plus annual merit review meetings a buyer will surely hear about unfavorable PPV. Marketing uses purchase price for material & components plus assembly costs & overhead plus their profit mark-up to determine selling price. Unfavorable PPV erodes sales margins.

The one supplier who switched metals on two of his three parts that saved us $400,000 the one year had a small, less than 1 percent increase in steel cost the next year he had to pass on, that supplier was my most VOCAL supplier on a nation-wide basis, the owner who called on me was on Good Morning America speaking against the tarrifs imposed on imported steel on behalf of the Precision Metal Formers Assoc. back around 2005 or '06. Our Corp. Purchasing Mgmt was ready to Kick that supplier to the curb, they had forgotten the $400,000 or 35% cost savings of the prior year already. I guess my constant reminder to the Corp. people of that fact may have irritated them somewhat. That supplier was even cheaper than a prior source in Taiwan on one part... by 50%, plus 50% of the Taiwanese parts were non-conforming. Cost savings AND quality improvement in one sweep.

In spite of Bill J implying that I was a "Fire Bomb throwing" person, whatever THAT is... maybe he's thinking of people who "Throw stuff over the wall and disappear".... but there's a GOOD reason I made 50% MORE than anyone else in the purchasing dept except for the Purch Mgr.
HARRY - Your scenario is EXACTLY right! My Wife has fallen victim to buy-outs & joint ventures 2-3 times, I've had it happen twice... funny but the same parent co. was the guilty party on one of mine and the wife's. HUGE diverse company... also owns a national TV broadcastng co. too.

The very upper level managers bonus's is determined by how well these mergers & buy-outs are recieved by the stock market, which actually has NOTHING at all to do with how well the companies are actually managed & run. But these bonuses are six & seven figure sized, plus stock options. So appearances mean everything when dealing with nationally traded stocks.

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