Tuesday, October 16, 2012

One Must Cultivate One's Garden

Today also turned out to be busier than I expected.  So I'll let the web do my work for me today and pass along this very interesting article about an experiment in South Korean industry that might become a trend.
The workplace has gotten safer, too. The number of accidents at the Pohang Works amounted to three or four per year in the past. For the past year, there hasn’t been one. Meanwhile, per worker crude steel production is up by 31.8% from 1,052 tons in 2009 to 1,387 tons in the first half of 2012.

In 2010, the percentage of products produced that were found to be faulty was 3.07, which declined to 2.33 in 2011. Production costs have also dropped. As recently as 2010, yearly production costs at the Pohang Works were falling on the order of 200 billion to 300 billion won (US$180 million to US$270 million) per year. In 2011, they dropped by 730 billion won (US$660 million); so far in 2012, the number has been 900 billion won (US$890 million). Observers are pointing the new shift system as the secret to POSCO’s success at keeping solidly in the black while other steel makers around the world are languishing in or near the red.
Fewer accidents (though I must say that three or four accidents per year in a steelworks sounds pretty low to begin with), better productivity, fewer flaws, lower production costs, and improved quality of life for the employees.  Now all that's needed is to turn it over to workers' ownership.