Tuesday, June 09, 2009

NCR

Pardon, oh Citizens of the World who read this, while I go regional for a moment and speak as a Dayton-area resident on news almost certainly irrelevant to you.

The big news here last week was NCR's decision to leave Dayton. Basically, three reasons have been given:The funny thing about the first reason is... NCR doesn't hire people. (Their manufacturing plants may hire, but I'm speaking of their HQ here in Dayton). Since I came to the Dayton area, I've had IT friends in NCR and have tried to keep up with them. The news from them has always been the same: "We just went through another round of downsizing. We keep wondering when our turn will come." For a company in continual contraction, the benefit of a larger pool of people to not hire seems... um, not clear.

That leaves shorter plane flights for those who fly to Europe - seems a strange reason to move 1,300 people - and a large amount of cash. Many people think Ohio should have tried to outbid Georgia, but that would have to come at the expense of companies that don't threaten relocation - and it begins to blur the line between "private company" and "state-funded entity", anyway.

Moving itself, of course, gets rid of those employees who choose not to relocate. I predict that most Ohioans who choose not to move with NCR will not be replaced; the company will use the natural contraction in place of one of its periodic downsizings.

Anyway, it's sad for Dayton, since the company had such a history here, but that's pretty much what NCR has been about here for years - history. For decades now, growth for Dayton - as for most cities - hasn't come from big, stable, traditional companies but from small companies, appearing and disappearing quickly as new opportunities appear and change and dry up. It's a less predictable business world, but that's the century we're in. No amount of sighing will prolong the 20th century

2 comments:

Kay Stephenson said...

Interesting blog post and Dayton Daily News article. As a formerly single NCR professional who spent 22 months in Dayton, I can tell you that even back in the early 90s we called it "Dayton Duty". I always felt Dayton was a great place to raise kids, but a poor place to be single. Had I not known it was temporary and necessary for career advancement, I never would have moved there at all. Where do I live now? Well Atlanta, of course :-)

andy47 said...

Would there be any correlation between this relocation and the appointment of a new CEO? I think it was Philip Greenspun who alerted me to this interesting trend where within a year or two of a new CEO starting the firm's HQ for all sorts of interesting reasons ends up moving to the city where he previously worked.