Friday, July 12: Philadelphia, PA 4:15pm - At Netroots Nation
Location: PA Convention Center, 1101 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA
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You stated that the CEO of Honeywell David Cote commented that the reason for outsourcing jobs to India was not cheap labor but superior engineering. I agree 100%, but....read between the lines. Engineers are people. Engineering is a process. India's engineers are not superior (just check with the IEEE, the largest professional society in the world) but in many cases their engineering process may be vastly superior. This is because developing nations operate in an environment that is unfettered by the American business model. The American business model, like Honeywell's, includes multiple layers of non-contributing management structure. These "decision makers" and "superiors" burden the creative process with their inefficiency and unjustified costs. These people contribute so little to the bottom line and yet take the lions share of the reward.
You will find that in many developing countries, that the technical companies are run by highly educated technical engineers and scientists who in addition to their duties of running the corporation are still contributing at a detailed technical level. They have a superset of skills. They are businessmen and scientists, not just plain businessmen. This is unlike many US companies like Honeywell whose executives largely attend meetings and reward themselves for just showing up.
In fact it is the responsibility and job of these executives to create and maintain a highly efficient process in which the staff can produce goods and services. If Honeywell's on-shore operations are so inefficient that they cannot compete in the world-wide market, then I maintain that is a management failure of the highest order and those executives should be removed from their positions by the stock holders due to gross incompetence.
I've been a practicing engineer and scientist in the aerospace, defense, industrial, medical and commercial sectors of the market. My role is more often than not to bail these poor decision makers out of business dilemas which they themselves create by teaching them (the few that can actually be taught) what good process and decision making is. What I find more often than not is that folks like Honeywell's David Cote simply can't do their job and so they try and change the game by going elsewhere. It's an age old dodge. It's the supervisor who convinces his boss that the internal situation is so untenable, but if we just go to these outside experts everything will be better. Of course since the problem has always been poor executive decisions making then nothing has changed. Sometimes they delay their own inevitable failure, sometimes not. But who get's hurt in the process by these incapable executives? The American worker and by extension our American society as a whole.