One World, One Team

Company slogans. Just can’t get enough of them around here.

The latest retarded corporate jingle to come from our CEO’s office is “One World, One Team.” It refers specifically to the increasing amount of infrastructure and growing number of employees in Malaysia. With thousands of American workers being laid off from the company throughout the US their jobs are transferred overseas. Malay step in to replace them for a fraction of the cost. Same jobs, same type of work. Naturally there has been a high amount of negativity and backlash from our people in divisions here about this. So to try to smooth things over a new company slogan was needed…

Here’s how One World, One Team is really working out.

Stateside, Mid level management is leary of dealing with their Malay counterparts. They have deliberately been withholding key information from the Malay so they have to depend on us for certain logistical aspects of production. Managers here have also been trying to overwhelm portions of our Malaysia division by forcing them to accept an excessive amount of orders. Their plan is to bury them in so much work they can’t possibly handle it and meet critical shipment deadlines. Hoping that they will fail consistently for months in a row US production managers can then raise the issue with corporate and say, “see Malay can’t handle it so we have to bring work back immediately.” This could easily backfire. If by some miracle the Malay pull it off more work might be sent offshore rapidly causing further rounds of layoffs here.

Over in Malaysia clever managers there have found an effective way to cripple production lines in the US. What they have been doing is order every kind of part and supply available even if they have no use for the items any time soon. All of their PC boards, components, hardware, etc. are stocked in American divisions. When they place an order our warehouse guys have to pack it up and ship them out. From a cost of shipping standpoint it doesn’t seem to make much sense. Especially when you consider freight is traveling halfway around the world daily instead of between divisions in the same county. Whatever. Anyway the Malay will clean us out of parts and then instrument production lines here run out. Everything comes to a screeching halt. Ordering systems have been implemented to prevent the Malay from swiping everything but they either don’t work properly or the Malay have already figured out work-arounds to get what they want.

When we force them to send back stuff like circuitboards, the parts we receive are broken. For example all of the boards they return are what we refer to as dogboards. Those are PC boards that have damaged circuit traces and or defective components. Since Malaysian technicians are having severe difficulties troubleshooting problem circuitry they order fresh boards from us and then ship back wrecked replacements as brand new stock. It’s fucked up. Not only are US instrument lines shut down due to lack of parts but then when we get those out of stock parts they’re junk. It’s been driving technicians here to the brink of sanity.

Here’s another neato trick the Malay have been pulling lately. Flood the inside of microcircuits with nail polish. There are no company microcircuit lines left in the US. Every single American worker in those departments was wiped out. Now that we depend exclusively upon the Malay for our microcircuits we have no recourse or alternate supplier available. Part of the manufacturing process for microcircuits requires that hardware in the outer case must be secured with an adhesive like Loc-Tite. A single drop on each screw thread is enough. Malay employees have been using nail polish that looks like Loc-Tite. Then they proceed to flood the entire microcircuit cavity with that crap which totally ruins them. Frequently we don’t discover this until after an instrument has been built and failed somewhere in the test process. Too late.

Obviously there are ongoing training issues in Malaysia which is directly contributing to some of the mayhem. A solid argument could be made that the substandard level of training Malay have been given is our fault. After all, that is a large part of our responsibility. Corporate has been treating our Malaysian workforce very poorly in my opinion. This is what we get as a result. Not entirely surprising to me.

So there you have it. One World, One Team. Pretty cool, ain’t it?


~ by factorypeasant on September 18, 2006.

6 Responses to “One World, One Team”

  1. yuck!

    i remember those fucktardian
    slogans. geez whatta crock!
    “our CEO is an asian hoe”…
    now thats a slogan

  2. Loving the nail polish trick. Hey, it looks just like Loctite! And if a little is good, a whole bunch must be fantastic.

  3. Yeah FP you could say that corporate was treating the Malay folk poorly by forcing a lot of work quickly with out sufficient training, but you could also say the corporate gave it’s US workers the shaft too. First they force US workers into training them to take their job then they only give them a small time frame to do it before corporate starts wondering why they have not got it yet.

    As far as little tricks the Malay personnel worked out one of my favorites was a trick they thought up to make it appear as though their fail rate was considerably lower than their US counter parts while doing twice as much work.

    During product development there are these little software tools that are being developed to help control, develop, and troubleshoot the instruments. When the product reaches production these tools are sent to the production lines at the same time strictly for troubleshooting purposes. You see there is no real control over these tools and they are not really protected especially if you know where the master file is located.

    Well the Malay engineers and managers got together and using both the US and Malaysian failure data discovered where the majority of the failures were coming from. Their solution to this was to manipulate and use the troubleshooting tools as a means of pre-testing the instrument. Locating failures then troubleshooting and repairing them before sending them down the test line. You see these tools I speak of were developed for troubleshooting as I stated earlier and they were not developed to be used for providing any failure info to the instrument tracking site. So when they sent their instruments on down the line it appeared to not have any problems.

    This wasn’t really obvious in management after all what did they care? People in the know or that have been there to witness it were the only ones oblivious to it. Hell I only figured it out on accident when I was looking at some turn on info. I noticed a long period of time from final assembly to the start of test on every instrument.

    Pretty slick huh!


  4. Boomer- you’re right of course and i am not ignoring how corporate badly handled it’s US workforce during the layoffs etc. i think we can say our corporate office is no friend to any of it’s employees no matter where in the world they happen to be from or are located.

    Malay were also manipulating instrument failed data in Sources. between Turn On and Cal1 we had the most electrical failures in the test process. that’s the way it works. you’re taking raw assembled units untested untuned and powering them up for the first time. you know how it is. shit goes haywire and sometimes you see smoke rise upwards out of the chassis.

    management was measuring our performnace by collecting the failed data from Turn On and Cal1. our fail rates were high. the Malay keyed into this and created a second set of Turn On and Cal1 stations in their department. the first set was not visible in shop floor control, the second set was. so what they’d do was test their newly assembled boxes on the covert test racks and catch the failures there. once the instruments were fixed and verified they would then test them on the shop floor control visible stations. hardly anything failed there.

    management noticed that Malaysia’s Turn On and Cal1 fail rates were much lower than ours. when they came down on us and asked why we couldn’t do better and be like the Malay we started to look into it because we smelled a rat… and that’s how we discovered their little sneaky operation.

  5. Yep, this is the kind of thing that is bound to happen when you give a huge job to under trained people and then only hold them to a few red-letter metrics while having virtually no oversight of what they are actually doing…

    One World, One Team? Bullshit

    This reminds me of the root cause failure analysis problems we had with micro in Malaysia. Every time production would find a bad u-circuit the root cause failure analysis from micro in Malaysia would be “no trouble found”

    So Dave C. got the idea to crack these u-circuits open and do our own failure analysis. We ran it by management and they told us no. We were not allowed to open the u-circuits.

    After more of this ongoing bullshit we decided to risk our necks a bit and crack them open anyways. We scrounged up enough scrap parts to make some test sets and we did our own failure analysis (with photos) then we would seal them back up and send them of to Malaysia for official root cause failure analysis.

    Micro in Malaysia would report them as NTF and send them back. (As always)

    When we saw those same serial number NTF microcircuits showing back up on the line we would open them up again and see clear evidence that they had been repaired while in Malaysia.

    We had caught them in the act, and we went to our managers to tell them what we had done and what we had found. While our managers didn’t tell us to stop, they also didn’t seem to have enough balls to point the finger at their Malaysia counterparts.

    Instead they decided to send a spy. The next time they needed to hire an instrument test programmer in Malaysia they sent one of our guys over there to train him. (Normally the new Malaysian guy would have come over here to be trained) The spy was over there for a long time, but those guys aren’t dumb. They made sure that he didn’t see anything they didn’t want him to see.

    (Though he did notice that no one over there seemed to have a legitimate software license for anything)

    This was still an issue when Dave C. asked for the package and I got let go (for the 2nd time, I’m back again now but no longer in CTD)

  6. zz- wow. i didn’t realize you are another veteran of the company. very cool. i thought you were just a random commenter.

    interesting story from micro. i’m not surprised. there were clear warnings years in advance from Malaysia that this kind of underhanded workmanship would be a serious problem. one of the first clear danger signs was when we were forced out of the disc drive business.

    part of the problem is cultural. they are over concerned with their perceived image, being thought of as excellent workers and regarded as very smart. but when you are only concerned with saving face and are afraid to ask questions because you don’t want to be thought of as stupid you start doing really dumb shit that gets you into trouble.

    Bill and Dave sent a massive portion of the disc drive manufacturing operation from the Boise, Idaho plant to Malaysia. not long after that major transition many of our customers hard drives were mysteriously crapping out or were completely defective right out of the box.

    turns out the Malay in charge of the operation wanted to look good to their superiors and the way to do that was to claim a very high production rate while showing they had a remarkably low amount of failures. no matter how tight your disc drive manufacturing process is you’re going to have a certain percentage of defective units. it was so important to the Malay to ‘look good’ that they shipped 100% of the drives they built including the defective ones that didn’t meet specifications.

    you can see where this is going. a rash of bad drives were discovered by customers, word got out that Bill and Dave’s quality was terrible, and people stopped buying them. we gained a reputation for making crap. sales plummeted to the point of forcing the company out of the business entirely. when you lose your reputation for doing good work it’s nearly impossible to regain it.

    this should have served as an example that offshoring to Malaysia may not be very successful but few if any in upper management paid much attention to this.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: