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Old 05-08-2013, 08:22 PM   #141
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I wonder what Henry Ford would have said to a bean counter who tried to tell him how to run his business.
I think it would have been one of Donald Trump's lines.
YOU'RE FIRED!!
Having worked on the line and in management of very large corporations. From my point of view. It is the bean counters that have ruined American business, not the workers or even management. When bean counters got their claws in the management structure. That's when things started going down hill.
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Old 05-09-2013, 04:16 AM   #142
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I wonder what Henry Ford would have said to a bean counter who tried to tell him how to run his business.
I think it would have been one of Donald Trump's lines.
YOU'RE FIRED!!
Having worked on the line and in management of very large corporations. From my point of view. It is the bean counters that have ruined American business, not the workers or even management. When bean counters got their claws in the management structure. That's when things started going down hill.
Bean counters are IMHO a necessary evil. I think what has ruined many a corporation has been the fact many have "gone public" and the expectation that the shareholders receive profits every year. I know and work with and for a couple of privately held companies and the difference is staggering. Yes profits are still a concern, but if the owners choose to plow the profits back into the company the results can be spectacular. In a company like Airstream/Thor the expectation is that their will be profits generated regardless, so corners get cut to meet those expectations. FWIW Thor does better with it's companies than Fleetwood has ever done in terms of quality.

Aaron
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Old 05-11-2013, 09:33 AM   #143
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Somebody's got to count the beans, but when you put that first and demand constant cost cutting to make sure the bosses get paid even more, eventually the products suffer.

Shareholders, unless they own 5 or 10% or more of the company, have no voice in management (workers have less and less say in anything either as they get squeezed more and more). Decent dividends are hard to find for investors as companies pile up profits and pay the bosses a lot, so there is little pressure on corporations to change anything. The bosses will move on with millions in the bank and golden parachutes if the company starts looking bad. A new group will take over and may improve quality a little, advertise changes a lot and start the cycle over again. Or the new guys may pile on debt, pay themselves big consultant fees, and then cash out in a few years leaving the company in worse shape. In our current way of business thinking, this system works and brings poor quality, a group of oligarchs and a declining country.

I guess this is what they teach in business school.

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Old 05-11-2013, 10:01 AM   #144
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So how does this PC status (profitability correctness) work out?

Look, ever read about T.J. Watson of IBM and his writings on the responsibilities of American Corporations about their impact on society?
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:22 AM   #145
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Its all about the Benjamin's. Investment bankers control these companies, its the price they pay for the privilege of being listed on the exchange. After having spent most of my adult life in business, I have concluded that we need a complete overhaul of our countries business structure. There is no earthly reason why most of the companies even need to be public. It only breeds mediocrity and high earnings for the chosen few. Ever try to buy preferred stock on a first round IPO? You and I can't. Privatizing Airstream would regain focus on the product, and pride in workmanship instead of roi and profits, and shareholder value. Let the bankers determine Wal-Mart's fate, not yet another American icon like AS. Wallstreet is for expansion activities, not a funding strategy for a stable business like our beloved AS. Look at Kodak, same story there. Too much stability leads to stagnation and a cancerous wallstreet induced death.
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Old 05-11-2013, 10:39 AM   #146
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Question

If Airstream is an "icon", what does it represent?

"icon..• a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something."

I submit...."representative of current American Corporate Practices."

WWWD?...get rid of the guy with the big hammer I bet.

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Old 05-11-2013, 10:41 AM   #147
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That Ponzi scheme aka Wall Street is supposed to give industry the cash to develop their products with public offerings, but instead has become the major industry in itself. I assume Thor is public; it's stockholders probably don't even know they manufacture Airstreams and could care less.

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Old 05-11-2013, 10:54 AM   #148
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If Airstream is an "icon", what does it represent?

"icon..• a person or thing regarded as a representative symbol of something."

I submit...."representative of current American Corporate Practices."

WWWD?...get rid of the guy with the big hammer I bet.

Bob
3 : an object of uncritical devotion : idol 4 : emblem, symbol <the house became an icon of 1960's residential architecture &mdash; Paul Goldberger>

Ergo...Airstream became an icon of the 1940's "tin can tourist" for the house trailer industry. Its status has remained unchanged for over a half century.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:08 AM   #149
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3 : an object of uncritical devotion : idol 4 : emblem, symbol <the house became an icon of 1960's residential architecture &mdash; Paul Goldberger>

Ergo...Airstream became an icon of the 1940's "tin can tourist" for the house trailer industry. Its status has remained unchanged for over a half century.


The operative words being "uncritical" & "unchanged", the status has remained the same, it's the Airstream and corporate mindset that's changed.

Criticaling is frowned upon in the modern airstream forum environment.

Bob
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:34 AM   #150
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Bob,
So true - Unfortunately.
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Old 05-11-2013, 04:27 PM   #151
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There are good companies that are owned by many shareholders. That's not the problem. It is devotion to greed at the top and a belief in the zero sum game—there are limited financial resources and you'd better get as much as you can before someone else sticks it to you. Outfits that take companies private and then loot them and then do an IPO are corrupting the business community. It is a world market now and the tendency is to go to the lowest common denominator. There's an arrogance at the top that hasn't been seen since the days of the Robber Barons and up to the Great Depression. If they bankrupt most of the middle class, it only means cheap labor for them and they see markets in other countries anyway.

Shareholders have no real control. You only vote for or against a director and they hardly ever lose. These are not real elections. If they lose, the rest of the directors can appoint them to the vacant seat—and they have in some of the rare cases when someone loses. You can cast an advisory vote against executive compensation, but it is rare a majority votes against and it has no force. Institutions hold a lot of stock in companies and don't rock the boat—they almost always vote for the same directors and for excessive executive compensation. I almost always vote against anything the directors want and for anything they are against—sending them a message is a good idea.

But the internet gives power to individuals. We can tell our truth and advise people of the shortcomings of certain products—we can if those who control and monitor websites, forums and blogs allow it. We don't have to rely on Consumer Reports only for product reviews. Reviews can be wrong or sloppy, but if you can find lots of them, you can get a pretty good idea of whether to buy something. And companies do monitor websites to see what people are saying nd sometimes it even makes them change.

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Old 05-11-2013, 07:12 PM   #152
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The most important man in history said, "The truth will set you free!"

The least important man in history (me) says, "Yes, but first the truth makes me miserable."
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:08 PM   #153
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More "candy wrappers" with photos.

We're spending a couple weeks at my folks place in Michigan. My dad is a retired machinist, welder, and mechanic so his shop is very well equipped to work on some projects. Our trip here took us through winter weather last week in Minneapolis and Wisconsin. First winter driving we've encountered. I new there were some problems with the dash air system and it was on the short list of projects. No heat or defrost when we needed it.

Here we're the issues that implicate poor workmanship. The A/C drier was mounted right up against wire bundle pushing it into the diverter actuator causing the cable to detach at the control head. So the cold-hot lever was nonfunctional and stuck half way. A 1/4 inch barbed fitting was used on the vacuum pump. A 1/8 inch hose was jammed on as far as it would go. 1/4 inch at best. Worked for a while but became the source of a leak. The vacuum lines to the control head were calked in too short and prevented the vacuum multi port connector from seating causing another source or vacuum leaks. None of the actuators on the heater worked. A poorly crimped terminal on the vacuum pressure switch prevented the pump from running. Good thing or it probably would have worn out due to the leaks.

The only way to service the control head was to remove the backup monitor. Another future project was to fix the broken dash due to the crappy way the monitor was mounted. 4 sheet metal screws through the plastic dash. Guaranteed to fair. It had been repaired with a couple pieces of pipe strap that was really ugly.

I had to build up a temporary fix until I build a new panel. Another low priority project.

The condenser fan was also mis-wired so the fan ran anytime the ignition was turned on. It was wired per documentation which was incorrect. The fan motor was worn out and had to be replaced.
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Old 05-11-2013, 08:12 PM   #154
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Here's the dash repair! This winter I'll build up a new dash.
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