Saturday, August 7, 2010

Adam Smith would be proud of this English Muffin...And I'm not talking about Mrs. Smith

Who would have thought making an English Muffin would require so much and be so technical in nature, and at the same time permit a relevant reference to Adam Smith?  Gotta LOVE Social Science!

NYTIMES: A Man With Muffin Secrets, but No Job With Them
""According to Bimbo’s filings, the secret of the nooks and crannies was split into several pieces to make it more secure, and to protect the approximately $500 million in yearly muffin sales. They included the basic recipe, the moisture level of the muffin mixture, the equipment used and the way the product was baked. While many Bimbo employees may have known one or more pieces of the puzzle, only seven knew every step.

“Most employees possess information only directly relevant to their assigned task,” Daniel P. Babin, a Bimbo senior vice president, said in a written court declaration, “and very few employees, such as Botticella, possess all of the knowledge necessary to produce a finished product.” ""
I was immediately reminded that I have heard this before---In so many words, Mr Babin is channeling the following quote from "The Wealth of Nations" by Adam Smith in regards to his famous Pin Factory analogy. 
""But in the way in which this business is now carried on, not only the whole work is a peculiar trade, but it is divided into a number of branches, of which the greater part are likewise peculiar trades. One man draws out the wire, another straights it, a third cuts it, a fourth points it, a fifth grinds it at the top for receiving the head; to make the head requires two or three distinct operations; to put it on, is a peculiar business, to whiten the pins is another; it is even a trade by itself to put them into the paper; and the important business of making a pin is, in this manner, divided into about eighteen distinct operations, which, in some manufactories, are all performed by distinct hands, though in others the same man will sometimes perform two or three of them.""
View My Stats