Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

demand is influenced by the necessity for its use and the ability to pay the price demanded.

To illustrate, there is a certain number of dairy cattle in this country. These cattle produce a certain amount of butter-fat which is available for the manufacture of butter. A certain expense is incurred in the operation.

Butter is regarded by many as one of the necessities of life. Time was when butter could be purchased for 10 cents a pound. To-day in metropolitan centers, butter commands a price ranging from 40 to 60 cents a pound, or more.

Disregarding the ethics of this increase, its effect has been to curtail the sale of butter.' The income of a considerable portion of our population will not permit the payment of such a price and as a result turn to substitutes, some of which are so satisfactory as to find immediate favor and to wean the purchaser forever from the idea of paying prohibitive prices for butter. As a consequence, a portion of the trade is lost.

A great many industries, commercial houses, and individual shippers may be likened to the egg merchants used in the illustration who fail to appreciate the force of transportation cost as applied to their offering.

Not long ago an automobile dealer was approached by a traffic expert who desired to interest him in establishing a traffic department.

No, sir,” the dealer said, “I do not need the services of a traffic man, since I buy and sell all my machines F.O.B. Chicago."

“Well, now," said the traffic man, “your remarks confirm my opinion that you do need a traffic man. As you deal in second-hand automobiles, I suppose you

have numerous inquiries from out-of-town prospects."

"If your

“Yes.'

And like any other business you sell only a comparatively few of the prospects who inquire."

“Yes."

Now, have you ever followed up these inquiries to ascertain why you did not make the sale?

“Yes, and in those cases where the inquiry was from a bona fide prospect who ultimately purchased a car, we found that in the western territory he had bought in St. Louis, Indianapolis, Milwaukee, or in some other place nearer to his residence."

“Precisely so," said the traffic man. price f.o.b. shipping point of a certain model or a given make of car is the same as that of a dealer in some other locality, the prospect is going to consider transportation costs in making his purchase. So you must be informed of the transportation costs and must shrink your selling price to offset the advantage of location and the contingent advantage in freight rates of your competitor. On a light car, for example, if the selling price in St. Louis and Chicago is the same, a customer in Kansas or Nebraska can purchase in St. Louis to advantage because his transportation charges will be from $4 to $20 per machine less than if he buys it in Chicago. The Chicago dealer is at a disadvantage and must shrink his selling price and his profits if he wishes to make the sale."

The purchase of automobiles, eggs, or any other commodity is governed by the same rule—the purchaser is going to buy in the market that will yield him the lowest aggregate cost. Only a competent traffic man will know how to meet such competition, how to prepare intelligent sales charts, and how to reduce transe

portation bills by the proper shipping of goods. In this way, he will increase sales and contribute generally to the success of the concern.

Intelligent traffic work necessitates some knowledge of the transportation laws of this country. Shippers and carriers incur obligations that may not be disregarded under penalty of heavy fine. Ignorance of the law excuses no one, and not infrequently reputable concerns have found that they were guilty of fraud in obtaining transportation for less than the legally established charges. As a consequence, they suffered penalties which made a considerable inroad in their profits.

CHAPTER II

ORGANIZATION

Industrial Organization-Definition-Factors Determining
Type-Organization Precedes Management-Efficiency Ap-
plied to Traffic Management-Principles of Efficiency-
Ideals—Common Sense-Counsel-Discipline The Fair
Deal-Records, Dispatching, and Schedules Standard-
Practice Instructions--Efficiency Rewards—Types of Or-
ganization-Military-Functional-Line and Staff-Charts.

The traffic department must find a place in every efficiently administered industrial organization that has any amount of shipping, either inbound or outbound.

The term “industrial organization" as here used applies in a broad sense to all concerns engaged in barter and trade. The commission merchants handling shipments on consignment and disposing of them for the consignor's account on a commission basis would be so construed. Wholesalers or jobbers acting as an intermediary between the manufacturer and the retail dealer would come in the same category. It would include also those concerns whose industrial function is the conversion of raw or unfinished products into finished articles or commodities.

The question of organization logically precedes the question of management. The rookies, or raw recruits, must be mustered before they can be drilled and trained to be fighting men.

The character or type of the department that is best adapted to the individual requirements of a given industry naturally rests to a large extent on the number of shipments, the volume of tonnage, and the character of goods.

A wholesale tailor, for instance, whose shipping for the most part consists of dry goods of light weight in and finished clothing of still lighter weight out has a somewhat elementary traffic problem. In an industry where the activities are many and varied and the items of transporation considerable, the problem is acute and requires the best efforts of a corps of practical and technically trained men to effect the best results.

The failure of many men to make good as traffic managers, or the inadequacy of the department itself, is due in a large measure to a lack of knowledge of the fundamental principles of organization.

EFFICIENCY

“Efficiency” is, to state it mildly, a somewhat regularly employed word. To many men it is a visionary's catch-a-penny" or "clap-trap," without real significance in the business world. This hazy conception of the term is reflected in the number of business failures in which the inefficient human element has played “the stellar rôle."

As applied to traffic work, “efficiency” has been quite tritely defined as the greatest result by the employee or employees engaged. By “result" is meant benefit to the concern. It implies the least effort, the elimination of lost motion, the avoidance of unnecessary detail and routine.

A certain office efficiency expert states that a wellconstructed office operates thru certain principles of efficiency which may or may not be conscientiously

« AnteriorContinuar »