Engineers quantify costs of managerial neglect

WORKING DIGEST

May 03, 2006

It's easy to label a manager as weak or underperforming. Measuring the cost of a given person's neglect, however, can be nearly impossible. Now, two industrial engineers from the University of Buffalo think they might have formulated a method to quantify "managerial neglect."

Alfred Guiffrida, an adjunct instructor of industrial and systems engineering, and Rakesh Nagi, a professor of industrial and systems engineering, describe the method in the current issue of The Engineering Economist. The method determines the value of improvements that could be completed over a set time, but are not. It factors in the rate by which a process would improve naturally through repetition. The cost of managerial neglect is found by calculating the difference between returns from learning by repetition and the cost of not making improvements over time.

In the example of a hypothetical two-stage supply chain - manufacturer to customer - the Buffalo, N.Y., engineers showed that managerial neglect over three years would double costs incurred from untimely delivery of goods, inventory holding, production stoppage or other inefficiency.

In theory, Nagi said, a manager's efforts to improve a company's supply chain over 36 months would save 50 percent in costs incurred by inefficiencies in that chain, Nagi said.

Associated Press

Networking

Some tend contacts in unlikely places

A January poll of 1,000 women suggests that networking is creeping into every facet of life. A party remained the most popular schmoozing venue, noted by 81 percent. That was followed by travel by 53 percent, and the gym, by 41 percent. More than a third, 36 percent, said they have talked business in the ladies room, and more than 10 percent said they had done so while on a date. One woman even did her networking while having surgery. "When do you get three doctors together?" she said. The poll was conducted by DowntownWomensClub.com, a site run by DWC Services Inc., based in Brookline, Mass.

Tardiness

20% in survey made up excuses

You're an hour late for work, and the traffic excuse is wearing thin. What do you do? If you're like about 20 percent of those polled in a recent online survey, you lie. Thirteen percent of workers said they show up late at least once a week and 24 percent at least monthly, according to the survey by CareerBuilder.com, a job search site owned by Gannett Co., Tribune Co. and Knight Ridder Inc.

Associated Press

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