All I could say was that seeing the things Achilles did and achieved increased how astounded I felt. Achilles was the first man to open a factory. In other words, he had no experience to reference. Complete modern factories were organised after countless experiences and designs. Achilles, however, literally organised a weaving factory that was exceptionally close to what I read in books without having prior experience.
Large machines with a large volume of threads at the top were neatly lined up, thereby creating a factory of machines for creating weaved goods. The employees stood next t the machines to adjust the threads and replenish the machines with more fabric when required. Notably, the factory had a somewhat peculiar smell.
Standing beside me, the factory director explained what was going on in the factory in a loud voice, but I didn’t pay attention for I was focused on counting the number of employees. According to the ledger, the main cost of the factory wasn’t for materials or upkeep but salaries for employees. In my opinion, they hired too many employees when they didn’t need so many. Furthermore, it wasn’t hard to operate the machines. The best part about factories was that they didn’t need lots of labour workers. That was why it was why there was a blatant major issue for salaries to be the factory’s main expense. In saying that, I didn’t see enough people for me to be surprised. Strictly speaking, the number of employees hired was reasonable.
“Why are salaries so high? If they’re commoners, I can’t see how they’d spend so much gold coins. There are only about a hundred employees here, so how can they be spending thousands of gold coins on salaries each month? Is there fraud going on here?” I wondered.
“Please bring me your salary payout records. I’m curious to know why so much of the factory’s expenses are employee salaries,” I demanded of the director. Once we got back to his office, I continued, “I’m of the opinion that they don’t need to be paid so much. They’re earning even more than people working by hand! That’s completely abnormal!”
“Sir… they… are usually children from noble families… Sir Achilles could not turn them down… Sir, this is the kingdom’s first factory. We cannot hire ordinary folk. We are also producing premium goods. How can we allow commoners to work here?”
I reacted as if the director spoke in a language I couldn’t understand; I was questioning if his brain functioned normally.
“Why does he think that way? Hiring children from noble families? No wonder why employee salaries are the highest expense. Of course they’d be paid high salaries! Machines are designed to replace human workers, so why the devil would workers be so important? Even commoners could operate the machines just as skilfully once they’ve learnt how to use them.” I blasted in my mind.
In that case, we had to hire commoners to reduce the expenses. The need for workers could be slashed drastically. The current wages paid were, at least, the wage paid annually to a commoner. I planned to drop the price down as low as I could. With the best quality and cheapest prices, I could wipe the floor with the entire market.
Performing a simple job for a fat pay check, it was hard to blame the nobles for happily sending their kids to work at the factory. Normally, the working class would be proletariats, yet they had turned it into a job only nobles were qualified to take on. Why did humanity push for technological developments? To allow everyone to work in material production, not to monopolise it!
If possible, I’d even go as far as hiring refugees. They would save me paying any salary at all. I’d just need to provide them with food and shelter. Marx was right: capital is bloody and filthy. Call me a heartless capitalist now.
“Sack them. Achilles has passed away. His rules are not my business. I’m not a noble, and I don’t know them. I have no need to consider their feelings. I want profit, understand? I want profit. To me, price is everything. I don’t need those nobles here leeching off me while twiddling their thumbs. Go and hire some commoners who’d be willing to work here. You have a rough idea of how much common folk should be paid per day, right? Pay them that much. Teach them how to operate the machines. There’s no way they can’t learn how to perform such a simple job. Then, drop our prices. If we’re selling large volumes, we only need to price our items twenty percent higher than our cost.”
“Wh-wh-why do we need to reduce the price? I-if we not maintain good relationships with the nobles, then they will not buy our products. H-how do w-”
“Why would nobles ever buy our stuff? The only time they’d buy our products would be to clothe their servants. How much do you think we’d be able to sell, then? Don’t mistake that this place is intended to serve the nobles just because Her Majesty started the factory, and Achilles was friendly with the nobles. The target audience for our productions are the common folk. The writing on the wall says that commonly commoners would be interested in our products. If we try to do business with nobles using what we have here, we won’t have any income, so how could we possibly sell our products to nobles? We are looking to earn from volume. We’re bound to only do business with commoners.”
“I can’t figure out what goes through their heads. Why would you think that the factory was supposed to serve nobles?” I inwardly slammed.
Our business was a commoners’ business. Maybe the commoners weren’t rich, but they compensated with sheer numbers. If I was the voice of the entire fabric market, then I would have enough income.
“Oh , you can hire some more people. Our production volume isn’t sufficient. I need to use our influence to attract more retailers,” I added. “… Hire three groups of people. Once you have done that, the factory will work around the clock, rotating shifts between the three groups. A large production volume will bring the price down. Wages will now be paid per item, instead. That will allow us to encourage production potential. Remember this: factories have never been nobles’ toys. This is a human-powered mill. I want to see donkeys, not nobles, understood?”
I couldn’t be discontent. Else, I could replace him. Factories aren’t nobles’ toys. Factories are about efficiency and high production rates. I needed to change the state of the factory to maximise my profits from the factory.
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