Jul 2, 2010

E-ZSmile


E-ZSmile Cunningham even brought a smirk to my stern face the other morning. I was reading about the press conference over at the new Bennett Toyota site on Lehigh Street. Although the dealership will be simply moving from Hanover Avenue to Lehigh Street, supposedly the workforce will increase from 100 employees to 250, that's a 150% increase. Bennett also claimed that although national Toyota sales are down 16%, his are up 22%. I suppose if you're doing 38% better than your competitors, you could hire 150% more employees. Anyway, the frozen grin never left Don's face. Cunningham can even talk while he's grinning; He called the move "economic growth." Nothing was said about was what to become of the large existing facility on Hanover Avenue when it closes.

11 comments:

gary ledebur said...

Michael, your post reminds me of one of my favorite Toyota stories:
-----------------------------------
Toyota and General Motors decided to have a canoe race on the Delaware River. Both teams practised long and hard to reach their peak performance before the race.

On the big day, the Japanese won by a mile.

The Americans, very discouraged and depressed, decided to investigate the reason for the crushing defeat. A management team made up of senior management was formed to investigate and recommend appropriate action.

Their conclusion was the Japanese had 8 people rowing and 1 person steering, while the American team had 7 people steering and 2 people rowing.

Feeling a deeper study was in order; American management hired a consulting company and paid them a large amount of money for a second opinion.

They advised, of course, that too many people were steering the boat, while not enough people were rowing.

Not sure of how to utilize that information, but wanting to prevent another loss to the Japanese, the rowing team's management structure was totally reorganized to 4 steering supervisors, 2 area steering superintendents and 1 assistant superintendent steering manager.

They also implemented a new performance system that would give the 2 people rowing the boat greater incentive to work harder. It was called the 'Rowing Team Quality First Program,' with meetings, dinners and free pens for the rowers. There was discussion of getting new paddles, canoes and other equipment, extra vacation days for practices and bonuses. The pension program was trimmed to 'equal the competition' and some of the resultant savings were channeled into morale boosting programs and teamwork posters.





The next year the Japanese won by two miles.

Humiliated, the American management laid-off one rower, halted development of a new canoe, sold all the paddles, and canceled all capital investments for new equipment. The money saved was distributed to the Senior Executives as bonuses.

The next year, try as he might, the lone designated rower was unable to even finish the race (having no paddles,) so he was laid off for unacceptable performance, all canoe equipment was sold and the next year's racing team was out-sourced to India.

Anonymous said...

For the record, Over 50% of the "Hanover Ave" site is in Bethlehem thus much of it is really on W. Broad St, not Hanover.

Anonymous said...

For what it's worth...that smile looks a lot like Gov. Arnold's in California!

VOR

Anonymous said...

Well to get those 15,000 new jobs (100 x 150% = 15,000 Michael - c'mon man, do the math right) we're going to have to give them the land and structures for $1 (plus take Mike Rosenfeld out to lunch), apply the KOEEEEEEZ (it may be KO EEEEEEEEEE Z by now, lost track of just how many E's we're up to) treatment for 900 years, invest $7,000,000 in public housing funds in the facility (without any repayment guarantees, of course), and supply each of the 15,000 new employees with a business development grant (secretly approved by "The Mayor") just in case they may want to open a hot dog cart on Hamilton Street or a booth at Joyce's farmer's market. We won't track those grants though because that's none of your business that's why. And, for the next 20 years, The City of Hamilton Street (previously known as The City of Allentown) will sponsor weekly parties for these 15,000 new employees at BrewWerks.

Anonymous said...

Ding Dong. Bennett's future Lehigh Street site's existing exit/entrance is directly across the street from an extremely busy 24-hour medical operation that requires constant automobile involvement. One can only imagine a few head-ons in the future. Conveniently for all, the Mack Fire Station and Medic crews are feet away. That Cunningham thinks of everything!

Anonymous said...

The Lehigh Street site was a brown field before this development. (not sure, but the ex-battery manufacturing site --- vacant for yars -- was probably toxic). You naysayers can't see anything positive beyond the personalities. Jeez.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

The Lehigh Street site was a brown field before this development. (not sure, but the ex-battery manufacturing site --- vacant for yars -- was probably toxic). You naysayers can't see anything positive beyond the personalities. Jeez.

July 5, 2010 8:57 AM

Naysayers. Hardly. Wait till tragically some Bennett future employees become ill.

michael molovinsky said...

i will assume the site was "cleaned" properly and would not expect illness. my issues with all the hoopla was that the business was simply moving from one spot to another, and some statements made at the press conference strain credibility.

i find use of the "naysayer" tag designed to limit discussion and dissent over public policy.

Anonymous said...

One business moves onward and upward to a beter site (the Lehigh Street automile) and the old facility will be used for something else. That's called progress. The existing Toytota dealership is hidden away. I'm not in the car business, but even a civilian like me assumes Bennett will get more traffic, more buyers, more customers, and then hire more people with the new location.
Head-ons? C'mon, the nearby WaWa generates more traffic than anything on that street. No head-ons there.
It's not stifling dissent to argue that some people will ignore reality to take a shot at a personality, or someone's smile.

michael molovinsky said...

anon 9:09, i doubt that you're in any business from your comment. buyers interested in toyota will drive to hanover ave, just as buyers interested in subaru drive out hamilton blvd. is the auto mile a better location? yes, but would they need 250 employee's instead of the current 100?

Anonymous said...

All of the other car dealers moved out of Allentown. Bennett moves from 1/2 in Allentown to 100% in Allentown and you complain.

I think that they deserve kudos. That they are redeveloping a property that was a black eye to the city and toxic is really great news. If they are smart enough to take advantage of tax incentives, good for them. This property on Lehigh Street is exactly the type of property that those tax incentives were designed for, NOT the green field sites in the suburbs.

Personally, I hope that more businesses will move back into Allentown under similar programs. It's time to reuse those vacant industrial buildings.