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Metal Casting Technologies : December 2007
METAL Casting Technologies December 2007 63 Back to the Honesty in the Foundry Business --Part2 he foundry business is one business wherein the integrity and quality of its products cannot be immediately discerned by the usual ocular inspection. Oftentimes, even more sophisticated inspection procedures fail to determine the true quality of castings like resistance to corrosion and casting useful life. I know this from experience as I have made replacement parts that outlasted the original parts by as much as three times. Conversely, it could be done wherein the replacement parts would last only a fraction of the life of the original. This article is a sequel to a previous one published in the last issue of Metal Casting Technologies Magazine. The previous article discussed about "honesty" in the Production Department, the Technical Department, the Inspection Department, and in the overall Floor Operations of a foundry. But this factor doesn't stop there. As it affects the foundry floor, it also affects the "foundry walls" and the "foundry roof." This present article discusses the other relevant members of the foundry group; namely, Top Management, the Customer, and the Competition. THE SALES DEPARTMENT Let us turn from the operating end to the Sales Department. With this may be considered such positions as Service Engineers. These men meet the actual users of the product and theirs is often a difficult position -- between buyer and seller. If, however, the Service Engineer sticks to the facts and what he honestly believes to be the truth, no serious contretemps are likely to develop. To lie in an attempt to cover up a defect, or mistake, will ultimately bring serious trouble on the shoulders of the very person or organization that it was intended to protect, and at the same time lower the reputation of the Service Engineer for candid dealing. Salesmen, or anyone temporarily in the role of salesman, have in their keeping the reputation of the Company they represent. Such men must, above all else, be men of integrity. They must not accept an order covered by a specification they do not intend to have filled. How easy, when the Customer wants a reduction in price for the same quality, to give him the lower price with the unexpressed intention of giving him a second class product, one with lower priced ingredients; to promise delivery at a date he has every reason to believe his Company cannot fulfill, just to help secure the order; and to endeavor to secure the price submitted by his competitor with the view of bidding just below it. All these practices come under the antonyms of honesty, namely, deceit, fraud, and cheat, and all involve lying, either by speech or suggestion. Try to recall Alexander Pope's much quoted line: "An honest man is the noblest work of God." Thus, believe in probity and bear in mind what was said to one who remarked, "I do not believe that there is an honest man in the world," to which the reply could be, "It is impossible that any one man could know all the world, but it is quite possible that he might know himself, and quite well, too." SALES MANAGEMENT Heading the Sales Department is the Vice-President in Charge of Sales. Here again it is by precept, and still more by example, that he must discharge his responsibilities of inculcating fair dealing and right trading. The giving of presents to Customer's buyers is a custom as unethical as it is unprincipled. Advertising comes within the purview of the Sales Department and surely is a field for factual and trustworthy statements. To be powerful, advertising must, in the final analysis, be true, for its objective is to sell goods by getting the confidence of the potential Customer. As we have considered that which is honest is also honorable, advertising must not seek to sell by making derogatory statements regarding the competitor. It costs too much to take space or time that should be used for stating the qualities of one's own goods for the undignified purpose of discounting those of another. The Purchasing Agent is perhaps more open to attacks on his honesty than any other officer of the Company, and why? Frequently because of the dishonesty of some Supplier Salesmen! The acceptance of gifts, however small, may lead to the offer of more costly ones and, once such has been accepted, the door is closed to independent action and fair dealing between suppliers. T By Prof. John H. D. Bautista, Technical Consultant, PMAI (Philippine Metalcasting Association Inc)