Friday, April 11, 2008

McDonalds - Starbucks Round Three

In my previous post on this topic, I highlighted the investors' desire to get companies to expand their businesses so that they can make more and more and more money and grow and grow and grow.

But simultaneously with this growth, businesses are preaching the mantra of cost reduction, right sizing, or whatever you want to call it.

I have a couple of local examples that I want to touch on, but for now I'll stick to one from Matt Munson, a local politico who is also a working stiff. And he's about to say "take this job and shove it." It probably wasn't the brightest move on his part to call out his employer by name, but what's done is done. I won't repeat his mistake, but here's some of what he said about his current employer.

[The company] no longer offers classes...saying that they want to standardize their process and streamline the stores. However, these classes also boost the purchase of related products.

After talking about job consolidation (a/k/a elimination), Munson looks at the philosophy of the new private owners of the company:

[The company] was bought out for a few billion dollars and the private equity firms want to turnaround the company to make a profit, but it seems they are trimming too much fat, despite introducing new reforms to improve efficiency. Customers do demand a reasonable amount of service and they are not getting that at my store. I am stuck at the register, I would love to help the customer unlock the security cabinet or do other tasks. However my sales associates are busy helping other customers. I just hate feeling helpless and tell them they need to wait another 5 or 10 minutes.

More here. And if Matt just Karled himself by that post, perhaps someone wants an employee who cares about the customers.

P.S. Matt's a Republican.

P.P.S. He's not necessarily liked by the Republican establishment.

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