The principle of full utilization of available resources – labor, materials, energy – is a fundamental principle of modern enterprise. Wastage, loss, hoarding, carelessness in distribution are all acts of unconsciousness, lack of attention, ignorance of the inner divinity of those things which have come to us. What is not commonly realized is that proper usage of what one has generates a momentum of flow that keeps the supply uninterrupted.
At one time the manager of Mother Estates was finding it difficult to attract a sufficient labor supply for the work at hand. Despite all the usual inquiries and efforts no increase was possible. He decided to examine present usage of available labour and see if some lapse was apparent. During the meeting he found that the men had been working under poor supervision and sometimes without any supervision for the post week or so and that their work output had been very low by any standards. He decided to clamp down and require a full day’s work for a full day’s wage. After a single day the supervisor in charge reported over a 100% increase in work completed and the very next morning three new men appeared for work unsolicited. He continued his efforts and in the following days men continued to come until there was no longer a shortage.
This principle holds good even when the required resource is in general shortage. About the same time there was a nation-wide shortage of cement because power cuts had reduced factory production time. When the manager tried to obtain cement for building an irrigation system, the government officers told him there was a waiting list of 500 people for approximately six months. He decided to try another method. First he ordered a search of the entire garden for unused cement, anything from a handful to a bag, and gathered about three bags which he immediately used to begin the irrigation project. Then he reviewed the entire history of cement purchases and utilization at the garden and uncovered areas of wastage and misuse. He made an inner effort to arrive at a proper attitude and feelings towards the cement already used and that which was yet to come. Within three days a cousin of one of the staff called to offer 5 bags of cement at market rates. The cement was purchased and utilized. A few days later someone in town offered 15 more bags and a week later another man came forward with 50 bags which the manager purchased. Thus he could complete all the pending work.
During the power cut in 1973 there was not sufficient electricity for running water pumps at Mother Estates. Local officials appealed to the farmers not to raise the next crop. The current supply reached a minimum of four hours per day. Even when the current was on, often the voltage was below the level required for the larger motors. Besides this there were frequent shutdowns during the four hours so that each pump had to be restarted one or more times. Furthermore, the pumps were far apart and the responsibility for starting them was given to only a few responsible men wasting additional time in travel from one pump to the next. Between all these factors 30 or 40 minutes would be lost daily before all the pumps were commissioned. The staff made a collective resolution that minute of power must be utilized. New systems were employed to cut down on each of the sources of waste. On the first day all of the pumps were started within the first 5 minutes. Gradually the time was reduced to 15 seconds. The next day there was an announcement by the Government that 7 hours of electricity would be given. A few days later it was extended to 9 hours. Within two weeks it rose to 15 hours and finally to 20 hours during the hot season.
Besides these considerations, there is also a relationship between the availability of resources and the distribution of the final product. When the product is neglected for any reason, there may be difficulty in acquiring resources.