Boat Building Industry Management Desk

Recreational Boat Building Industry

Management Desk

The net contains a great deal of information that can help managers do a better job. We will try to point you toward those areas and let you apply them as you see fit.

Discussion of Links

We suggest you browse the front of our Other Useful Links Page and look through the headings and note the various kinds of information that is available. Some areas that should be of interest to all managers are the Benchmarking / Re-Engineering Segment, the Management Segment, the Travel and Food Segment, and the Quality Segment. Its job and labor section can help you fill technical positions at your plant. We suggest you browse these groups of links and any others groups of links that interest you. Especially check out those sites marked .


An interesting Case Study involving a historical boat and its design and management decisions is available on the net. It illustrates some of the problems encountered when managing innovation and large projects. The case is called "The Vasa Capsizes". It is interesting to find that many of the same problems that plague innovation management were present hundreds of years ago as well.

If you are interested in learning even a little more about the Vasa, it is in a Swedish museum being restored and they have a nice multi-language web site.

MCB Press

The MCB Press web site has over 100 management related journals with many sample articles. The site offers a current European viewpoint to many of the issues faced by managers today. Many of the journals have an online discussion page associated with them. We strongly suggest you wander this site, note the particular journals in your fields of interest, and read some of the articles available from them. You will need the .pdf Adobe Acrobat Reader which can be obtained from their web site. We have a link to their site in our Software Support Segment of our Other Useful Links Section.

Discussion of Other Areas of the Site

Weather Folder

28 August 1997
We added a Weather Folder to cover the importance of weather in the boating industry. Managers need to take that into account the effect El Nino weather patterns in sales forecasts and in preparing their facilities and employees for the coming year.

Europe's CE marking Program (Recreational Craft Directive)

16 June 1997
The European Commission's directive for boats sold in Europe goes into effect 16 June 1998. RBBI has created a large folder of information about the CE Mark Program and the Recreational Craft Directive. If you do business there and have not yet complied with the CE mark program, it is critical that you take immediate action to comply with the new Recreational Craft Directive.

How Toyota Recovered So Rapidly From the February Fire

8 May 1997
The weekend prior to their Tokyo Boat Show premier showing, a major fire at an automotive parts supplier in Japan shut down Toyota auto production lines. This Wall Street Journal article tells of the resources and methods Toyota brought to bear on the problem and how rapidly they were able to recover.

Toyota Motor Shows Its Mettle After Fire Destroys Parts Plant Wall Street Journal Article 8 May 1997.

Toyota Enters Boat Building Industry

21 February, 1997 Toyota's Japanese web site carries their December 18, 1997 press release of them joining with Kiwi of New Zealand to enter the boat building industry. They will design and market the boat, while Kiwi produces it. The boat has a new drive and Toyota will be selling two marine engines. The U.S. Division announced the formation of a U.S. Marine Division the same day. Extensive details are available on our Toyota Page.

Mangement and Engineering Use of the Web

The October 18th 1996 issue of Machine Design has a great landmark article titled, "The Web Ships Up Waves Of Change", that does a great job of illustrating some of the new uses of web technology by management and engineers.

Boating Newsgroups

Several on-line bulletin board type newsgroups discuss boating activities, problems, questions, etc. We have captured a few of the conversations and posted them in our FOLDER. We have a discussion at the Engineering Desk about the need to establish a procedure to respond to field problems and other situations in the newsgroups.

Invention of the Stern Drive

The Patent Folder has a great story in it about the Invention of the Stern Drive. The background includes an internal conspiracy, several managers rejecting the new technology, and is an example of how long it can take for an idea to flourish. Many feel the stern drive itself is now in the mature position and some "new technology" may be knocking on its door. Its a great time to be alive!

Chaos Theory and Complex Adaptive Systems (cas)

There are a number of articles and books being written right now on chaos theory and business. Chaos theory appears "poised" to establish the next set of management buzzwords and consultants.

The 18 October 1996 Wall Street Journal, Front Lines Segment by Thomas Petzinger Jr. was one of the first general public exposures of the concepts. The article titled, "How Creativity Can Take Wing At Edge of Chaos", goes on to report that many natural systems seem to thrive the best when they are poised on the edge of chaos. He likens large corporations to these systems and implies they too might do best "on the edge". We have a copy of the article posted as well as some e-mail comments from Mr. Petzinger and some ties to some other works we have posted.

For some additional information, the 21 October 1996 issue of Industry Week has an editorial type article on page 12 titled, "A New Science for Business Strategists:Complexity, chaos, and the 'natural laws' of business'" by John Mariotti. We have a report on his article on this site.

The December 13, 1996 Wall Street Journal "The Front Lines" column by Thomas Petzinger Jr. was titled, "Mexican Cement Firm Decides to Mix Chaos Into Company Strategy." It tells the problems of trying to deliver cement in Mexico with weather, traffic, labor disruptions, and unscheduled government inspections interfering with every truck load of cement that begins its life with only 90 minutes till spoiling. One huge firm, Cemex, in Monterrey was demanding orders 24 hours in advance and could only promise delivery within a 3 hour window in 1993. Builders were forced to maintain large crews on hand with nothing to do until the cement arrived. A Mr. Homero Resendez was assigned to merge information systems with another large producer they purchased. They were drawn to visit Federal Express by their well know on time guarantees. They visited the Federal Express operation again and then they spent some time with the 911 department of the Houston Fire Department. The revelation was that individual emergencies were unpredictable, but together emergencies display a rhythm that could be planned for.

They no acknowledged things were going to interfere with many loads.They were never quite sure what exactly would happen, but they could be sure that something would happen. Rather than penalize the customer, perhaps they could make last minute changes in their plans. They began a pilot program of putting dashboard computers in every truck in a city and putting the whole a pilot program of putting dashboard computers in every truck in a city and putting the whole city under the control of one switchboard. The truck reports their position and status by computer. An expert system is used to place incoming orders to the appropriate mixing plant or truck in the city based on traffic, anticipated orders, and pouring conditions. Now they are able to accept same day orders and deliver within a 20 minute window. The pilot program is now being expanded.

A related field, Genetic Algorithms, is covered in our Technology Folder in the Business Technology section on the Genetic Algorithms Page.

We discuss the relationship between some of the current chaos / CAS concepts and the Bright Field bulk cargo vessel crash on the Riverwalk in New Orleans on our Bright Field Web Site.

We have also established a group of links to Complex Adaptive Systems sites on the web. They are in our Other Useful Links section.

Miscellaneous Thoughts and Information

NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) to replace SIC codes

A new system is being prepared to replace the SIC (Standard Industry Classification) system. You might want to gain a basic understanding of it and make sure those who report your data or use SIC data in creating forecasts for your operation are aware of what is coming . We have a NAICS page on our sister site, The Manufacturing Industry Research Desk.

Demand Flow Technology (DFT)

The November 18,, 1996 issue of Business Week (pages 70-74) has a story titled, American Standard Wises Up", that talks about Emmanuel A. Kampouris and his use of a new technique called Demand Flow Technology or DFT to turn around American Standard. The process involves JIT combined with shortening manufacturing times to increase inventory turns.

Please Give Us Your Input

We can always use your input. If you have any comments at all, or would like to see anything on this site drop us a line. There is a feedback mailbox near the bottom of the "Home Page".

Do You Have Temps Working In Your Facility?

"Temps Win Full Time Benefits at Microsoft in Business Setback" was a 14 October 1996 Wall Street Journal article. The article describes the use of temps as a common practice in the technology industry. Portions of the article are reproduced below, more is available from the original source.

" The Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco earlier this month ruled in favor of plaintiffs in a class-action lawsuit alleging that Microsoft Corp. had wrongly classified them as independent contractors rather than direct Microsoft employees. The appeals court overturned a Seattle U.S. district court judge's ruling in favor of Microsoft."

"Microsoft said over the weekend that it is likely to appeal. But if the ruling stands Microsoft is certain to have to pay many millions of dollars in compensation."

"The Microsoft case turned on the definition of who is a temporary worker and which workers qualified for Microsoft's 401(k) retirement plan and its lucrative employee stock-purchase plan. Federal law contains a number of descriptions and tests for distinguishing between temporary and direct employees, and state law often adds to the list. The basic principle is know as "right to control," and refers to whether the company or the worker - or the worker's employment agency - really determines the worker's tasks, use of time, how the work is done, which tools are used, and other factors."

The boat building industry due to its seasonality and cyclical nature is a heavy user of temporary workers in both hand labor and technical positions. We encourage you to follow the development of this situation and to review your practices involving temporary workers.

On-Line Job Postings

November 19, 1996 we started posting boat building industry related jobs in a Jobs Folder on this website. If you are adding some people, go to our Jobs Folder to obtain information about how to post job openings there. This web site is being read daily by those in the industry and can provide great exposure of your needs to a very focused audience..

The 20 September 1996 Wall Street Journal carried an article titled, "Job Hunting Takes Off in Cyberspace". The article talks of the huge growth in job postings on the net. It says that postings for the 15 leading on-line job banks have jumped from about 15,000 on any given day in 1994 to over half-a-million now. The article goes on to tell several success stories of corporations hiring good people throughout the net. It also tells success stories of individuals who found good jobs through these postings.

We have listed the 3 largest job sites in our Jobs / Labor Links segment of our Other Useful Links page. America's Job Bank alone now has about 300,000 job postings. Several of the services allow you to post resumes as well. This could be a low cost avenue to find some good technical people for your firm and if the business cycles to "in the toilet" again, you might use it to find a job yourself.

The Year 2000 Computer Date Problem

This section was left in due to its historical significance
One topic making the rounds in the literature now is the potential for major computer disasters when the date changes to the year 2000. Most programs have been using a 2 digit date code and the 00 will cause them a lot of problems in calculating the difference between dates. We have a link to the Problems With the DATE/YEAR 2000 Page and to the U.S. Army Year 2000 Page in the Software Support Segment of our Other Useful Links Page.

The August 12, 1996 Business Week article, "Panic In The Year Zero Zero" on pages 72-73 discusses the problem of the major financial institutions computers and their inter-connectivity. There is special concern for Wall Street and the management of trades.

One recent article on the topic "Tick Tock 2000" is in the September 2 issue of Industry Week Magazine on pages 36-39. The article suggest an 8 step plan.

The September 18, 1996 Wall Street Journal carried an article titled, Even Some New Software Won't Work in 2000". The article tells of the year 2000 date problem and how most of the fears have involved mainframe systems. Now they are finding "tens of millions of PC owners will be affected." The article also reports that many of the currently popular PC software packages being sold today have still not been "fixed". Quicken says they are waiting on a fall release to address the problem. Access 95, File Maker Pro and others still haven't fixed the problems either. The companies are taking some heat from those who say they have been short sided in addressing the issue.

You might want to get somebody looking into this before its too late.

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