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    I am now using this blog to re-post some comments I make other blogs. For my full management blog see the Curious Cat Management Blog

    Monday, June 26, 2006

    Employee Ownership

    H.C. Miller workers to earn ownership by Richard Ryman.

    I have always liked the idea of employee ownership. To me this can be a great help in creating a system where employees, owners, customers, suppliers work together. Alone an ESOP does little. But as part of a system of management it is something I think can be beneficial.

    Employees of H.C. Miller Co. have learned to look at their company differently. And because they did, on July 31 they will become its owners.

    The 120 or so employees of the 118-year-old company will implement an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. An ESOP is a retirement plan in which employees are assigned shares in the company annually. Those shares accumulate in a retirement account.


    Employees shouldn't allow too much of their savings to be tied to the company (see Enron). Of course those ignoring this advice that worked for Microsoft, Walmart... in their early days did quite well. But the risk of your paycheck and too large a percentage of your savings being tied to the success of the same company is not wise.

    Roberts said the company has used elements of several efficiency programs and under Hayes' oversight will adopt the Lean manufacturing process in the next year. Lean manufacturing leads to a more efficiently organized manufacturing process and allows employees to quickly make changes at the floor level.


    Hopefully HC Miller can successfully adopt lean manufacturing methods. Thousands of similar small manufacturers are part of the reason the United States manufacturing output continues to rise (of course the additional Toyota production is a big factor).

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