Innovation

Fletcher Jones and Staff Pty Ltd was noted for its innovation in production, marketing and management.  

'Management by consultation' was one of the 6 basic objectives of the Fletcher Jones and Staff company.  Fletcher considered participation in decison making a key marker for job satisfacton. This principle also proved to be extremely productive of good ideas and finding better and innovative ways to do things in all aspects of the business. It also eased the way for the introduction of labour and cost-saving ideas and the new technology that was a continuing feature of the company's operations.  

"A large section of the Warrnambool factory for example, houses a computer system where skilled operators plan cutting patterns that guide the automated cutters with speed, precision and minimal waste.  Systems engineering in the tailoring section means that one operator can comfortably control several machines simultaneously. Individually tailored men's suits are cut by a computer-controlled laser beam, which ensures accuracy and reduced cutting time.  

The people operating this sophisticated plant, as well as most of the company's senior managers, have come from positions on the shop floor and have learned to handle more skilled and specialised work through the company's retraining programs.  

New technology has been introduced into Fletcher Jones without industrial unrest. Although staff members are trade unionists, the company has had few serious labour problems on any issues.  

Mr Symons says the company's share ownership and staff consultancy philosophy was never aimed at producing 'contented cows'.  Good industrial relations, he says, will flow only from good management, particularly at section level. The company's section leaders (the word foreman is avoided) receive special training in this field."

From an article by Rex Scambary, (Evening Post reporter) titled F.J's. and the 'Quality Circles'. The article, loaned to the FJ Stories project, is undated but appears to have been written in the mid 1980s.  

 

 

 

 

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