Engineers really know their stuff

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NP317
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by NP317 » Sat Mar 31, 2018 10:56 pm

warmstrong1955 wrote:
Sat Mar 31, 2018 5:50 pm
You make the call.

What caused 'em?
A: Opium
B: LSD
C: Cerebral flatulation

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D: Marketing Dept.
~RN

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BadDog
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by BadDog » Sat Mar 31, 2018 11:55 pm

With A, B, or C applied, so same list. Otherwise, who would ever think they could sell those things?
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mikeehlert
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by mikeehlert » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:29 am

Just finished manufacturing release on some new industrial products.... The comments made about Marketing driven, Cost Reduction, and Features are entirely true.

I can build product that lasts longer and works better but it will not sell because it would be bigger and more expensive.

I am pleased to have my name attached to these units because it more than meets the customers needs but it could be better if the market existed.

John Hasler
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by John Hasler » Tue Apr 03, 2018 11:47 am

mikeehlert writes:
> I can build product that lasts longer and works better but it will not sell because
> it would be bigger and more expensive.

Which implies that it is customer-driven. Thus we shouldn't blame marketing either.

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BadDog
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by BadDog » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:29 pm

I work in an related field, and I actually like marketing driven. One of my clients is currently experiencing a bit of a political turf war between "marketing" and "engineering". There are valid reasons for the position of both sides, but the relevant point is that without being Marketing (Customer) driven, companies just don't succeed. I know the technology and what is possible far better, but Marketing knows the customer, and are motivated by a keen self interest to get things out that customers want, and more importantly, will pay for. The independent Engineering efforts have been technically quite interesting in several ways, but customers either didn't really want what it would do, it was priced out of the market value assessment, or the customers just were not prepared to understand how to apply it to their needs. And so they fail. Of course the political climate dictates that marketing is less motivated in selling just for spite, but that's balanced somewhat because that's how they get paid, so that's a different issue. And marketing has to be constrained by realities of product development that they may (won't) like when it affects delivery of their next favorite goal. So, it gets complicated...

IMO, and experience, that's just a natural give and take balance of forces that (hopefully) leads to optimal results. The real overriding problem comes from 2 specific but related areas. The first is myopic Harvard formula MBAs (as evolved mostly during the 80s). Those whose long term planning extends no further than next quarters reports (they will say otherwise, but practical actions indicate otherwise), where capital investment is a sin to be delayed until the next quarter as long as is possible (note I did not say "as long as reasonable"). Those folks are only interested in their bonuses, and couldn't care less if a year later the entire company wll be tanked with all employees losing their jobs (or pensions, or degraded health insurance, or...). All that matters is they meet their quarterly goals and get their bonuses. After all, they'll have insider knowledge that things are falling apart and will cash out before going to gut the next company. They are then labeled a success in spite of gutting a successful company, and get hired by a Board composed of their peers at another company. They used to call the most evolved form "Corporate Raiders", but that mentality has become the norm for most companies (Danaher, IBM, etc). The other problem generally results from the first in that the MBAs put "bean counters" in key controlling positions to make sure that those quarterly goals are met by any means necessary. Including insisting that critical parts be sourced from the cheapest bidder (or generally outsourced) regardless of consequences (which won't impact the spreadsheets till next quarter or later!). Sometimes the bean counters exist on their own and for their own reasons, but the ones deserving of the name are usually motivated from above. But even though I feel mostly true, that's an over simplification as it's all much more complicated, and a successful company has to display some of those traits to be successful. The problem is that "enlightened self interest" combined with egos tends to produce outcomes that follow that pattern far too often.
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John Hasler
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by John Hasler » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:50 pm

Russ writes:
> The problem is that "enlightened self interest" combined with egos tends to produce outcomes
> that follow that pattern far too often.

That sort of behavior is strongly encouraged by Federal tax policy.

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BadDog
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by BadDog » Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:51 pm

Yeah, there are dozens of tangents off that general topic, but I figured I already typed more than the majority care to read. :oops:
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steamin10
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by steamin10 » Tue Apr 03, 2018 2:58 pm

My career has been maintenance. It is an unwanted expense from management that is myopic focused on breakdowns as a loss. Rarely have I worked for a company that understood a guy getting paid to grease bearings, saves down time. It was always and up hill fight to get the things that worked, instead of the cheapest. In my case, we managed to get into a 99%+ availability, until they 'did not need as much repair' and invoked the 'fix it when it breaks' mentality. I liked working on a schedule rather than being a fireman and putting out fires. And dont get me started on spare parts. Most managers look at them as dead money. Spares are insurance against major run losses. I lost 2 jobs by being vocal about direction, where their EGO wont allow you to be right. Big them, little you. And finally co-workers with no standard of excellence. Bailing wire and tape all the way, the 5 minute fix. Hour lunch and making the job wait.
Big Dave, former Millwright, Electrician, Environmental conditioning, and back yard Fixxit guy. Now retired, persuing boats, trains, and broken relics.
We have enough youth, how about a fountain of Smart. My computer beat me at chess, but not kickboxing
It is not getting caught in the rain, its learning to dance in it. People saying good morning, should have to prove it.

mikeehlert
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by mikeehlert » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:26 am

BadDog wrote:
Tue Apr 03, 2018 1:29 pm

.... overriding problem comes from 2 specific but related areas. The first is myopic Harvard formula MBAs (as evolved mostly during the 80s). Those whose long term planning extends no further than next quarters reports (they will say otherwise, but practical actions indicate otherwise), where capital investment is a sin to be delayed until the next quarter as long as is possible (note I did not say "as long as reasonable"). Those folks are only interested in their bonuses,.... The problem is that "enlightened self interest" combined with egos tends to produce outcomes that follow that pattern far too often.
Well said

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SteveHGraham
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by SteveHGraham » Wed Apr 04, 2018 8:48 am

You have to love capitalism. Worst system there is, except for all the other ones.
Every hard-fried egg began life sunny-side up.

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BadDog
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by BadDog » Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:20 am

Yep. Too bad that invisible hand doesn't work with MBA management.
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John Hasler
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Re: Engineers really know their stuff

Post by John Hasler » Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:29 am

BadDog wrote:
Wed Apr 04, 2018 10:20 am
Yep. Too bad that invisible hand doesn't work with MBA management.
It does, eventually.

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