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expense could undoubtedly be reduced by at least onethird after the first year or eighteen months.

In conclusion, I wish to express the opinion of one individual not connected in any way with the household furniture industry, that this matter is of such vital importance

to you as manufacturers that regardless of what action you take in regard to creating a permanent organization, you should take the necessary action to place this matter in the proper hands-in other words, do this if you do nothing else, and do it now.


Side Lights on Ford Motor Co.'s Profit Sharing Scheme---What Employe's
Compensation Law
Law of Michigan and Other States Has Accomplished



T WAS expected that Leslie B. Robertson, general counsel of the Ford Motor Co., of Detroit, would be one of the speakers at the banquet of furniture manufacturers held in Chicago, and that he would outline the Ford profit-sharing plan, as was done by Mr. Lee at a recent meeting of the Grand Rapids Ad club and the Grand Rapids Association of Commerce. But this plan did not materialize, and the place of Mr. Robertson on the program was filled by Hal H. Smith, who was largely instrumental in securing the passage of the workmen's compensation act. After touching on the subject assigned to Mr. Robertson, "The Ford Profit-Sharing Plan," and drawing from it some interesting reflections and original conclusions, he proceeded:

This lesson, that cheapness is not value, is a lesson the manufacturer is learning in many other ways-this lesson is that it is better to purchase efficiency at a high cost than to purchase slovenliness and inefficiency at any cost. He is learning it in Michigan in another branch of his business, that of the problem of payment for injuries and prevention of accidents. He is just awakening to the fact that he might better pay for every injury a reasonable amount and have his labor satisfied than to contest every damage claim to his own great expense and the exasperation of his workmen. He is enthusiastic over workmen's compensation in spite of the high cost, because he is convinced of its justice and its efficiency. Since its adoption there has been no more expensive litigation, no repeated appeals for charity for the injured workmen, no vicarious medical assistance to the maimed laborer, no extortionate judgments. The workman receives his compensation as a matter of right. He receives his medical attention as a matter of justice and industrial economy. He actually receives the amount of his award without division with his lawyers and without the law's delay. His widow revises it in weekly payments that it may not be wasted. He is encouraged to return to his work, and every effort is made to prevent his being discarded as an earning factor in industrial life,

The Old Quarrel

But the most astonishing result of this effort to readjust this old quarrel between the employer and employe se the stimulation of accident prevention. It is not a compliment to employers to discover that as soon as they malize they must pay for every accident they find new Guards appear upon wod many ways to prevent accidents. machines, rails on stairways, matting on slippery floors, dar you signals are everywhere,

kerammere appeare the new word in industrial life, that frẻ bomb, unmaimed worker is worth his price as much we fue esbanken machines, The satisfied, healthy worker wide anglerruptedly, every finger efficient. He deserves

***** 441.varad at the banquet of Furniture Manufacturers held at **** $1/mm), Cekage, Wednesday, May 13, 1914.

accident protection and repays a hundred times the expense of the compensation.

It is safe to say that not only is the employer delighted with this new theory of liability for accidents, but the workmen and societies as well are giving it their approval. Society at large finds that its courts have less to do, that the poor fund is not so often called upon and that the compensation is spread equally and reasonably among all the injured and not unreasonably and accidentally to only the fortunate few.

The Pleased Employe

The workman is pleased because his compensation is assured and because it comes to him promptly and easily. and he is likewise pleased, though he may not always admit it, that it comes to him without friction and leaves him and his employer upon the friendliest terms. I recently heard the president of the Michigan Federation of Labor assert that nothing had ever occurred in that State which helped so much to bridge the gulf between capital and labor as this workmen's compensation act. I submit that that result alone justifies its expense and its existence. Of course, the result of this law, just as of the Ford scheme, will be the elimination of the inefficient, the drone and the drunkard. If we are to pay for every injury, we want in the shop neither the sick, the maimed nor the careless. We certainly do not want the drunken and the vicious. Ultimately by a preliminary examination we will eliminate them. We will declare that we pay for service and protection, but we will demand sane, healthy, whole, careful, industrious workers. We have set a new premium on efficiency and sobriety. The standard shall no longer be so many hours; it will be the best that a healthy man has, and that best shall have its reward. Society Assumes the Burden

mum wage.

I do not minimize the difficult problems which this encourages the problem of the unemployed and the miniBut if the unemployed must be cared for it is better that they do not hamper the efficient. It is better that society at large assume the burden than that the incompetent shall clog the wheels of progress.

Nor do I blind my eyes to the ultimate message all this brings to the manufacturer. He, too, must justify by service. He, too, must do a real work. He, too, must not be inefficient, slovenly or dishonest. He cannot exist if he scalps a living by the difference between low wages and a shoddy product. He must produce with economy and honesty an article of service. He can stand only by rendering honest service, just as his workmen can remain only by honest labor.

There is one other avenue into which we can pursue this doctrine of demanding real service and paying its value. And perhaps a word upon it may not be out of place. We have developed it as it applies to some phases of the manufacture of our product. Let us apply it to

that important factor, the distribution of our wares and their transportation. There is but little quarrel with the railroads as to their charges if the service be equal and efficient and the charges without discrimination. There are not many industries where the cost of transportation, within certain limits, is of great importance if that cost be applied to the whole industry equally. The burdens, if any, are burdens of discrimination. The thing, then, to demand of the carriers is not lower rates, but equal and reasonable service and equal and non-discriminatory charges. The whole public may be concerned with watered stock and inflated capital, but the individual manufacturer is more concerned in the car supply, the promptness of movement and equality of charges. He is concerned, too, with the general prosperity. He realizes the effect upon his business of continued disasters in any great branch of our industrial activities. He needs efficient service. He is today learning that to secure it he must concede a fair compensation and a just reward.

I can only briefly indicate to you, in the time allotted to me tonight, the application of this old theory of fair high pay for honest service; of this old theory of "penny wise and pound foolish." I apply it to the producing end of the business and to its relation to transportation because I am in closer touch with those activities. It applies as well to the merchandising of your product. But it should not be there applied by any who have not made use of it in their production. When you have demonstrated that you pay the high price for the best service from others you can exact from the public a high price for the honest and efficient service you perform for it. And it is difficult to set a limit within reason to the maximum price for the honest, durable, beautiful product, whether it be a picture, a statue or a table.

I commend, therefore, for your earnest consideration this new application of the old doctrine of honest service and high reward.

A School of Furniture Design

I cannot refrain, in closing, from saying a word which may have especial application to the furniture manufacturers from Grand Rapids whom I see here in force and whose friendship has been one of the privileges of my life. Several years ago I heard John Patton, than whom Michigan never produced a more brilliant man, say that it was one of his ambitions that the furniture industry of Grand Rapids might do its part in establishing upon this side of the Atlantic a distinct and individual American school of furniture design and manufacture. I have no doubt many of you, when giving thought to the artistic part of your business, have dreamed of American furniture to be recognized as we now recognize Chippendale and Adam and Sheraton and Louis Quinze. But, however that may be, and whether or not that ideal shall ever be realized, I exhort you never to forget that you are not only manufacturers, you are artists. Whether you build durable furniture or fancy furniture, the artistic factor is present in your work. The usefulness of a chair is not inconsistent with its artistic value. Set, then, before you a lofty ideal. Establish a product of utility and art. Embellish our homes; promote our comfort; fashion out of the uncouth log a thing both durable and beautiful. So shall you maintain among all the industries a place both high and honorable and reap the reward which always comes to honest and efficient service to mankind.

Commercial Fixture Manufacturers

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and what the association is doing and hopes to accomplish was gone into very thoroughly. The association expressed its interest in the federation proposition, so that when the name of the new organization came up for consideration Mr. Young, of the Grand Rapids Show Case Co., saw to it that the word "fixture" was put into the name of the federation. Several new members were added to the association.


Metal and Spring Bed Men ECLARING that there is nothing alarming in the present temporary trade slump, Commissioner M. Wulpi, who read the comprehensive report of a trade condition canvas before the members of the National Bureau of Metal and Spring Bed Manufacturers, assembled in eleventh mass conference in the Auditorium Hotel, Chicago, May 15, urged the delegates of that organization to conserve production and watch credits. As indicated by the canvas results, a majority of the metal bed manufacturers experienced a varying per cent. of increase of business during the first three months of the present year over the corresponding period of 1913. In spite of a general pessimistic tendency, actual conditions were portrayed in a better light than had been anticipated.

Every member of the bed manufacturers' association went on record as favoring the introduction of one furniture exhibition and one line a year and a resolution to that effect was unanimously passed. Through Commissioner Wulpi, the views of absent members of the organization will be obtained and conferences will be arranged with other bed manufacturers.

In his opening address, President A. O. Foster expressed his hearty sympathy with the proposed endeavors of the new Federated Furniture and Fixture Association, in the banquet and organization meeting of which the bed manufacturers participated on May 13 and 14. President Foster emphasized the marked difference in market conditions between those industrial districts in which the manufacturers failed to coöperate and those in which coöperation is the rule. Particular recognition was paid the value of the work being accomplished by the central bureau for the bed industry.

The report of Commissioner Wulpi on the work of the past six months indicated the enthusiastic support of all members and the report of the commissioner on the work of the credit and collection department was followed by a discussion in which many members testified to the individual benefits enjoyed. A healthy condition of bureau finances was reported by the treasurer.

The recent change reported by the audit board, through which the control of the central bureau office passed into the hands of the furniture bureau and casket manufacturers, was declared to be satisfactory from a financial standpoint.

During the afternoon session the delegates were addressed by Charles C. Wilmot on "Hooking Up Factory Costs and Office Accounting," and by John Lind, field secretary of the United States Chamber of Commerce, who outlined the work of that organization, in which the commissioner was instructed to make application for membership.

The Federated Furniture and Fixture Association was endorsed by the conference delegates who approved the resolution to join that organization, electing President A. O. Foster, of Utica, N. Y., and H. N. Davis, of St. Louis, to represent the bed bureau on the federated board. The bureau directors were empowered at once to join with the table bureau and to install a joint bureau costing and consulting department in the employment of an

expert cost man.

Various Associations of Furniture Manufacturers Brought Together in a Federation---R. W. Irwin, of Grand Rapids, President---Plans of Federation


HE events which led up to the organization of the Federated Association of Furniture and Fixture manufacturers, of which this is to be the formal report, began with the banquet which was served to more than 400 furniture manufacturers in the gold room of the Congress hotel, in Chicago, on the evening of May 13th, and which is splendidly illustrated in the frontispiece of this issue. During the two days preceding, there had been meetings of the National Furniture Manufacturers associations, the National Association of Manufacturers of Upholstered Furniture, a conference of the manufacturers of commercial fixtures, and meetings of the manufacturers of kitchen cabinets, and of the National Association of Extension Table Manufacturers. The plans contemplated meetings of the Chair Manufacturers association, and the Association of Metal and Spring Bed manufacturers on the day following. These gatherings are all reported briefly elsewhere. But interest centered in the banquet preceding the announced mass convention, and at which was undoubtedly assembled the largest number of furniture manufacturers ever brought together. While the banquet was entirely informal, it was splendidly staged. The local committee had provided, besides an excellent menu, music by a first-class orchestra with a liberal interjection of vocal music led by a male chorus which sang with spirit as well as taste. There was a printed card with the words of many familiar songs, and in these led by the male chorus, the assembled furniture men joined with spirit.

Robert W. Irwin, of the Royal Furniture Co., of Grand Rapids, who had been largely instrumental in bringing about the movement which has now been crystallized in the federation, presided and opened the post prandial portion of the program with a strong statement of the work which the federation might accomplish. This was along the lines of some previous addresses of Mr. Irwin on the same subject, which have been printed in these pages. Mr. Irwin never appeared to better advantage and his logic was as effective as has been his enthusiasm in the cause.

Mr. Irwin was followed by Forrest Crissey, of the Saturday Evening Post, whose articles on organized effort among manufacturers, recently printed, have attracted attention. Mr. Crissey's brief and effective speech is printed elsewhere.

After Mr. Campbell it was expected that Leslie B. Robertson, the general counsel of the Ford Motor Co., would speak on the Ford profit sharing plan, but Mr. Robertson was unable to be present and his place on the program was filled by Hal H. Smith, of Detroit, who was largely instrumental in the enactment of the Employes' Compensation act, and who delivered the brief and effective address which is elsewhere published.

The last speaker was Hon. Milo D. Campbell, who delivered a brilliant address on the "Square Deal in Business," which is reserved for later publication.

The banquet was promptly served, the speeches were brief and timely, and it was scarcely half past 10 when Mr. Irwin, who had presided with grace and efficiency, announced the meeting to be held in the Florentine room of the Congress hotel on the following morning, and

urged the attendance of as many of those present as could possibly be in attendance.

The Meeting for Organization

It was about 10 o'clock on the following morning when Chairman Irwin called the assembled furniture manufacturers to order in the Florentine room of the Congress hotel and announced briefly the purpose of the meeting. He appointed a committee on nominations of which J. A. Conrey, of Shelbyville, was made chairman; a committee on constitution and by-laws, and named Frank Upham, of Marshfield, as sergeant-at-arms. There were fully three hundred furniture manufacturers in attendance at this meeting. Signs had been placed indicating that sections had been set apart for the representatives of the different associations, and to these sections the representatives had found their way. Just as the places are indicated in a great political convention for the delegates from the different states, places were designated for the chair men, the case goods makers, the upholstered furniture makers, the spring bed manufacturers, and so on to the finish.

Geo. A. Buckstaff, of the Buckstaff Co., of Oshkosh, born and bred a lumberman, but by chance a manufacturer of chairs and caskets, then made a very able and comprehensive address on the grading of hardwood lumber, in which he protested against the constant changes which have been made in the rules of the National Hardwood Lumbermen's association, and particularly the changes made in the 1912 rules. He made a thorough comparison between the 1912 and 1913 rules, and pointed out that if the manufacturers of furniture through the federation would put up a united front, that their objecAt tions which had been voiced might find recognition. the conclusion of Mr. Buckstaff's talk a resolution was adopted pledging the manufacturers to buy only on the 1912 rules of inspection.

A. O. Foster, of Utica, N. Y., followed with an exposition of results which have been obtained in association costing, drawing his experience largely from that which the members of the Metal and Spring Bed Manufacturers have enjoyed. He presented forms which are being used, and pointed out that uniformity in practice by the men within a common industry was important.

Mr. Foster was followed by Frederick B. Smith, president of the Wolverine Mfg. Co., who spoke on the subject: "What Can be Accomplished by Federating all Efforts in Cost Accounting in the Furniture Industry. Mr. Smith's paper is published on another page.

A. C. Brown, who was the first secretary of the Upholstered Furniture Manufacturers association, and was largely responsible for the plan of that successful association, followed in an important speech, in the course of which he said: "There was a time when we started our costing at the wrong end of the factory. We started with forms, which we handed to the foreman, and the foreman said, 'I'm not a bookkeeper.' He was right. The place to start a cost system is in the office. The loss in the furniture business is in the non-productive burden -the sales burden. This furniture business is cursed by selling articles at less than they cost to market. I know where cost systems are kept out of factories because the managers are afraid to find out what their product costs.

Many a manufacturer couldn't sleep at night if he knew. We are still studying the cost of productive labor and material. That's where we're wrong. We are omitting the real stem where danger lies-the third item, the nonproductive burdens. Don't use anybody else's standard— use your own. Use uniform methods, but apply them to your own individual case. Averages won't do. I know cases where the average profits, after applying the lessons of uniform cost-finding, have increased 3 per cent., 4 per cent., yes, 10 per cent. The thing to do is for all to use the same method to ascertain the non-productive burden." Charles R. Sligh, of the Sligh Furniture Co., Grand Rapids, presented the cause of the Manufacturers Protective association, which is a movement apart from and outside of the federation movement, and launched on a previous occasion. As the result of his address many signatures were received to the agreement, and it is expected that the proposed association will be formally organized in the very near future.

C. F. E. Luce, secretary of the National Association of Manufacturers of Commercial Fixtures, followed with the address on "Freight Classification for Furniture," which is printed in this issue.

M. Wulpi, commissioner of several of the associations among the manufacturers, showed what had been done through the Central Bureau in the matter of credits and collections, demonstrating that loses had been decreased, that a successful collection business had been done and long strides made towards unifying the terms and discounts. He urged that the federation, by the adoption of a similar program, might be even more successful. Mr. Wulpi illustrated his talk with a series of charts. The committee on Constitution and By-Laws then reported the following draft as a basis for the organization of the federation:

Constitution and By-Laws as Adopted

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The officers of this organization shall be a president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary.

The president and vice-president shall be elected by ballot at the annual meeting of the organization and shall hold office for one year or until their successors are elected. A majority of the votes cast shall be necessary for a choice.

The officers shall assume their duties after the adjournment of the annual meeting. The treasurer shall be elected by ballot by the governing board and shall hold office for one year or until his successor is elected. The secretary shall be appointed by the governing board.


The business management and control of this organization shall be vested in a governing board. This board


shall consist of two members from each of the affiliated associations, one of whom shall be the president of the association he represents, and the other shall be named by the affiliated association. The president and vicepresident shall be ex-officio members of the governing board.

Each of the affiliated associations may select alternates to represent them at any meeting of the governing board providing their regular representatives are unable to attend. Alternates shall be furnished proper credentials signed by the president of the affiliated association.


Funds of this organization shall be provided by a pro rata assessment of the several affiliated associations in proportion to the number of members in each.


It shall be the duty of the president and vice-president to perform such duties as usually fall to the lot of such officers in similar organizations.

It shall be the duty of the treasurer to receive all funds, to keep an account of the same and to pay out such amounts as he shall receive vouchers for signed by the secretary and countersigned by the president. The treasurer shall give such bond and for such amount as shall be desired by the governing board. The expense of the bond shall be paid by the organization.

It shall be the duty of the secretary to take charge of the correspondence, books and records of the organization, and to perform such other duties as shall be required of him by the governing board.


Unless otherwise provided for in these articles all questions before meetings of the organization shall be decided by a majority of the votes cast.


One representative from each of five or more of the affiliated associations shall constitute a quorum at any meeting of the governing board.


The expense incurred by the officers and members of the governing board at any board meeting, such as railroad fare, hotel bills, shall be paid by the organization.


The governing board shall prepare a budget covering six months' expense twice a year.


These articles may be amended by a two-thirds vote of members present at any regular meeting of the organization, or at any special meeting, provided thirty days' notice of the proposed amendment shall have been mailed to the last known address of each member.

The report was promptly adopted and Mr. Conrey, on the part of the committee on nomination, stated that but one man had been even taken in consideration for the position of president, and that was Robert W. Irwin, whose enthusiasm and persistence was largely instrumental in bringing together the manufacturers in the federation just effected. Mr. Irwin was promptly elected amid considerable enthusiasm.

For the position of vice-president, H. H. Marcusson, of the Haggard & Marcusson Co., of Chicago, was placed in nomination and as promptly elected.

Under the constitution it will be seen that the remaining members of the governing board are to be chosen by the constituent or affiliated associations, and that when these have been chosen, which will in all probability be in the near future, the other officers, a secretary and a treasurer will be elected.

Before adjourning there was presented by the National Association of Upholstered Furniture Manufacturers the resolution adopted in their meeting in approval of one exposition a year.

President Irwin, in receiving the resolution, said: "Here is where my trouble begins."

H. N. Davis, of the Metal and Spring Bed Manufac

turers association, in support of the resolution, said that a leading manufacturer who had a business which extended from ocean to ocean, and from Minnesota to the gulf, had sent out 600 letters to retailers asking if they preferred one exposition a year or two, and if one at what time in the year, and had thus far received about 500 replies to these letters. Of this total 85 per cent.

were in favor of one exposition a year, this exposition to be held beginning some time in May.

It was at first proposed that the resolution of the Upholstered Furniture Manufacturers association be referred to a special committee of three, but upon motion it was referred to the board of governors of the federation for early action. The federation then adjourned.


Report on Trade Conditions---Approved Proposed Advance in Rail Rates--Price Maintenance and Stevens Bill Approved---Other Recommendations


HE National Association of Furniture Manufacturers, the case goods makers, held their semi-annual meeting at the Auditorium hotel, in Chicago, on May 13th. The meeting was very largely attended. In pursuance to the practice, the executive committee of the association met on the preceding day, had an all-day session, and continued their deliberations far into the evening. The result of these sessions is set forth in the report of the committee to the association proper, which assembled on the morning of the 13th. At that session Secretary Linton made his usual report.

In that report he dwelt upon the appearance of the association in the Pacific coast rate case, reported the attempt to prevent the appearance of the association on the ground that it was a local association, and called attention to the fact that the official classification committee was attempting to eliminate Rule 10, which would prevent mixed carload shipments. He suggested that for these and similar cases a traffic or transportation committee be appointed. The secretary's report included paragraphs in support of the proposition for the federation of the several associations among the furniture manufacturers, and that the association upon the agreement of the board of directors had joined the National Chamber of Commerce. Some attention was given to the problem of cost accounting, and the secretary made the following report on trade conditions:

We do not need to tell you that general trade conditions for the spring season have been very bad. Outside of the few factories that secured some special work or took on some jobbing accounts, our correspondents universally report a restricted and disappointing business. Reports indicate that stocks in the warehouses of onehalf of the factories answering the inquiries are considerably above normal, and while it appears that the greater portion of the factories are operating with reduced crews, yet it is to be noted that at least one-third of those reporting are running 60 hours per week. This course if continued can but lead to trouble later on, for while close-out offerings, to date, appear to be less than usual, the time must come when stocks now accumulating must, if not retrenched, eventually go on the market at bargain prices.

If stocks can be held within the demands for goods, and close-outs and forced sales held within reasonable limits, it will clear the stream and allow free and natural flow through the channels of trade when business again begins to take on life and activity.

Naturally, our manufacturers are anxious regarding the future, and impatient for a more active demand. Business hinges very largely upon three things: First: A free flow of our medium of exchange and the credit accommodations accompanying same.

Second: The full employment of labor at fair wages. Third: Good crops.

The business of a nation was slowed down last fall through restricted bank credits-men were laid off early and in larger numbers than usual, thus impairing the purchasing power of a vast army of working people, a condition continuing through the winter and which is still upon us. This condition has been augmented by the withholding of orders for steel, iron and other supplies by the railways pending an effort to secure a 5 per cent. increase in freight rates.

In addition to these causes of restricted business it might not be out of place to say that the automobile and the catalog house is not helping the furniture business


The executive committee made a report that it was impractical to make a joint exhibit at the Anglo-American exposition, to be held in London, and in support of the following resolutions, which were adopted:

Whereas, The unfair practice of cutting prices of standard goods is being generally used as a means of destroying the independent merchants of the country and creating great trading monopolies, thus seriously injur ing the prosperity of the towns and smaller cities, and

Whereas, The claim that price cutting is in the interest of the consumer is wholly unfounded, since the loss on standard goods is always offset by the higher prices charged for unknown goods of doubtful quality, and

Whereas, House Bill 13305, introduced in congress by Representative Stevens, of New Hampshire, is a measure that will aid in establishing fair, free and honest competition, relieved from cut-throat methods, and give the independent merchant an opportunity to do business under legitimate conditions,

Resolved: That the National Association of Furniture Manufacturers heartily endorses the Stevens Bill, and calls on the United States senators from this state, and the congressmen from this district, to favor that measure, and to use their influence in having it enacted at the present session of congress.

Resolved: That we commend the utterance of President Wilson, at Philadelphia, on October 29, 1912, when in defining his policy he said:

"Safeguard American men against unfair
competition, and they will take care of them-
If you make the processes

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by which small men are undersold in particular markets, criminal; if you penalize in the same way those discriminations by which retail dealers are punished, if they deal in the goods of anybody except the big manufacturers; if you see to it that raw materials are sold upon the same terms to everybody; if you see that the closed market for credit is opened up by a very different banking system, then you have freed America, and I for my part am willing to stop there and see who has the best brains;" and we pledge him our earnest support in any effort he may make to enforce the principles of equal rights and

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