The Goal – Chapter 30 – Bucky Burnside’s Helicopter

[The fastest way to read The Goal, and the absolute fastest way to learn The Theory of Constraints.][Watch a video summary of Chapter 30.]

Rogo hosts a surprise corporate walk through of his robots, which leads to another vanity metrics discussion.  A big account, Bucky Burnside, flies in on a helicopter to thank his team.  Alex and Julie reflect on life and lament past poor communication.


“Throughput is going up as marketing spreads the word about us to other customers.”

The world cheers on a winner.  Your team, your vendors and others around you will work with a winner to help continue the winning.

Page by Page

P247 – “Throughput is going up as marketing spreads the word about us to other customers. Inventories are a fraction of what they were and still falling. With more business and more parts over which to spread the costs, operating expense is down. We’re making money.”

P248 – “That was killed,” I say.

UniCo had planned to promote the robots, but then stopped.  Now it is back!  This is a personal corporate pet peeve. ‘Decision Impermanence’ is never healthy!

P249 – “I feel my stomach twisting.”

With the NCX-10 running, but following the smaller batch sizes, Rogo knows that the utilization will not be as high.  Corporate’s vanity metrics will be out of whack!

P250 – “Is that a helicopter?” I ask.

Bucky Burnside returns in a helicopter to say a gracious “Thank you” to the team.

P251 – “What’s the status on Burnside’s Model 12’ s?” I ask her.

Rogo is concerned that Burnside is upset – he has never experienced the other side of the equation.

P252 – “Rogo, I came down here because I want to shake the hand of every employee in your whole plant,” growls Burnside.

This is how you thank a vendor!

P253 – “We’re going to do a new campaign pushing everything you make down here, because this is the only plant we’ve got in this damn division that can ship a quality product on time.”

The marketing team, led by Johnny Jons, is thrilled to have a plant that can delight customers.

P254 – “Even with screwed-up measurements, we’re making money.”

Even vanity metrics can look good with robust financials.

P255 – “When all those crises were occurring, I just kept thinking you must know how important they were,” I tell her.

Rogo assumed his wife knew what was going on, even when he did not communicate.  He had avoided that trap with this employees but failed personally.

P256 – “But then there were babies,” says Julie.

At age 19 when I asked my university adviser, Dr. Fred Diehl what his guidance was for the following years, I had expected him to recommend courses or the pursuit of specific internships.  His reply instead was, “Don’t have kids.  Don’t have them until you are comfortable in what you are doing, because the obligations they create remove flexibility from your life.”

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