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Rogo is the plant manager at UniWare, a subsidiary of UniCo Limited that is a large manufacturing enterprise. He reports to work one day but finds a car occupying his parking lot and thus has to use the plant controller’s site. As he rushes to finalize the yesterday backlog of work, he meets the shift supervisor, the union steward, and the plant foreman – all of them look disturbed. They tell Rogo that Bill, the division vice president, is enquiring about an order placed by Bucky Bunkside, the president of the leading UniCo’s customers, as the order is late for seven weeks and no one has a clue about it. Consequently, Bill decides to expedite the order. The plant classifies orders as Hot, Very Hot, Red Hot, and Do it NOW! Bill shouts at the machinist who has another urgent order and threatens to fire him if they do not work on Bucky’s order first. The operator declines this and threatens walking out of the company. Rogo gets into the office and finds his furious boss (Bill); he tries to explain the boss that the previous layoffs have made the plant delay orders and then begs for more workers. Bill declines this instead telling him to increase his efficiency and revive the plant in three months or it shall be closed, and he loses his job. Bill also demands that Rogo dispatches Bucky's order that day. Rogo meets Bob, the production manager, who tells him that the machinist left the job afterBill shouted at him. Furthermore, he ruined the machine before quitting, and thus Bucky's order will be again delayed as the machine is crucial in the assembly of some parts.
Rogo goes home at 6.30 PM; however, after an argument with his wife over dinner, he goes back to the plant. The couples argues frequently over residing in Barrington Town as his wife hates the place while he likes it. Several firms have left the town to escape the wrath of labor unions. Rogo arrives at the plant and finds technicians struggling to fix the machine. Eventually, they succeed and hurriedly make and dispatch Bucky's order shortly after 11.00 PM. What disturbs Rogo is that his plant produces high-quality goods as compared to the Japanese competitors, but he cannot beat them in prices and timely delivery.
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The following day, Bill summons all the plant managers to the headquarters. Upon arrival at the venue, Rogo receives a word from Nathan that the proprietor gave Bill a year to tame loss in the division or he will fire him and sell the business. The meeting begins with the agenda being the monetary shortfall; Bill insists on efficiency.
Rogo remembers that he had earlier explained Jonah, a physicist, how his plant is leading in robotics but upon interrogating hhim, Jonah told Rogo that he runs an inefficient firm just like many other managers who lack a clear goal. The reason is that robots neither bring inventories down nor reduce the expenditure.
The memories of Jonah sway Rogo from the meeting, and he realizes that Jonah's claim was valid. In the meeting, Bill dwells on economic terms such as efficiency but does not mention the goal. Rogo leaves the meeting halfway and sits on a hill facing his plant to take snacks as he meditates what could be the aim of the manufacturing firm. It dawns on him that his plant has been losing money hence making the current trouble. He realizes that the manufacturer's goal is to make money; thus, he decides to save UniCo by making money.
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Rogo goes to the plant for an evening tour, and he finds three men sitting, but they disperse upon seeing him. He talks with the supervisor and tells him that he must make people work. All people get busy in the plant, but he ponders whether all work has positive results. He sits in the office and thinks of measuring and evaluating performance. Lou, the firm controller, comes in, and they agree that cash flow, returns on investment and net profits indicate whether the firm makes money. Rogo, therefore, sets his plant's goal as making money through the increased cash flow, return on investment, and net profit.
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