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Moderation to eating
and drinking Ambitioa
Ambition for mental Rebiability
Additional Points Brought Out by Dean Schneider,
Are you mental or manual directive or dependent, original or imitative, social or self-centered?
FIG. 4.-Points to Consider When Hiring an Employee
the principles of correct traffic procedure, reducing to a minimum the industry's transportation costs, both on inbound and outbound tonnage.
The traffic manager must be broad enough to meet with the manager and heads of other departments in his business and to counsel with and advise them of transportation matters concerning the business. He must keep in close touch particularly with the managers of the order department, the purchasing department, the sales department, the production department, and the stock department, informing them of adverse transportation conditions, such as slow movement, congestions, etc.
The National Cash Register Company has an Advisory Board made up of thirty-three members, consisting of heads of various departments and the officers of the company, which meets every Monday morning to discuss matters concerning the respective departments and, in this meeting, all difficulties are ironed out and one is permitted to discuss his problem without fear of antagonism or prejudice in any way.
This is a service that is far above the comprehension of the average shipping clerk, the man to whom a great many of our so-called “progressive" concerns intrust their shipping. There is just as much logic in assuming that a shipping clerk can undertake a work of this kind as there is in assuming that a bookkeeper would be able to act as a certified public accountant, or that an elementary law student could preside on the bench without the necessary technical training that precedes elevation to this station.
One concern that prided itself on its general efficiency was quite chagrined when confronted with the fact that its shipping clerk had for years been packing a certain line of its products in boxes when it could have been shipped in bundles just as well. The boxed articles carried a much higher transportation rate than the articles in bundles wired together, to say nothing of the expense of furnishing the boxes. It was estimated that thru this one instance alone the concern had lost something in the neighborhood of $40,000 in providing the containers and paying the higher transportation rate.
EARLY CONCEPTION OF TRAFFIC WORK
It is true that long prior to 1906 industrial concerns were in the habit of having someone to look after their transportation affairs. Mr. B. H. O'Meara, in writing to a traffic publication, stated that in 1878 Mr. Wm. F. Merritt left the employ of the Chicago & North-Western Railway Company to handle the transportation work of the Best Brewing Company (now, the Pabst Brewing Company). That Mr. Merritt's work at that time was very superficial compared with the work of the modern traffic manager is clearly shown by one statement made by Mr. O'Meara to the effect that he (Mr. Merritt) frequently spoke of the system of shipping, routing, checking expense bills, and the like that he introduced.
Until it is appreciated that the traffic manager must not only know how to pack and route shipments, file claims, and trace shipments, audit freight bills, and arrange for equipment, but must also be of assistance to the selling department, to the credit department, to the advertising department, to the purchasing department, and to the manufacturing department—in fact to all other departments of a well-organized concernhis real place has not been comprehended.
EXPERIENCE VERSUS TECHNICAL TRAINING
It is perhaps well at this point to introduce a word or so concerning the merits of practical experience versus technical training. A great many prospective employers of traffic help use the word “experienced” or the phrase "with railroad experience" with little or no conception of what the term may imply, and at the same time discount the training that a man may receive thru vocational study.
One of the leading transportation companies of the country issues periodically a leaflet showing the names of the men that have been in their service for a sufficient length of time to warrant them in pensioning these employees and transferring them to their "roll of honor." These men in many cases have had fifty years' experience with the road and as a consequence they have "railroad experience to burn." It is doubtful whether the services of such men would be acceptable in any progressive traffic department.
There are many men engaged in railroad service whose training has been along departmental or divisional lines with a result that they have become quite competent in the discharge of their duties in that field, but they are uninformed on matters coming within some other field of transportation work with which they have not been connected.
It is not uncommon to find unusually bright men acting as loss and damage claim investigators for the common carriers; likewise exceptionally well-informed quotation clerks who have an extensive knowledge of
tariff publications, their application, and of rates in general; but these men know little outside of these specific fields.
The traffic man must know all the details surrounding such work and he has been very aptly likened unto the ship's cook, in that “he is in everyone's mess and in no man's watch."
Where the activities of a department are such as to require the services of a number of men, the specialist may then be brought into the department and may perform his function under the direction of a competent traffic manager. Naturally the number of men required to administer efficiently to the needs of the department varies according to the volume of shipping done by the respective concern.
As in the case of other individuals, there is a limit to the amount of work that the traffic manager can perform. Each order of goods or each selling transaction presents a transportation study that must be analyzed to determine the most advantageous and economical way of shipping and the agencies to employ.
One of the foremost railroads conducted an exhaustive test as to the time required in ascertaining the rates applicable on the shipments offered them for transportation; it was found that in determining those rates of ordinary difficulty, over fifteen minutes was consumed as an average by intelligent rate men.
When it is understood that railroad employees at