Actually, I don't have an issue with repair or replacement of stuff. We've been building airplanes for a long time and I fully understand that it takes money to make money. Likewise, I'm good with spending money on safety improvements. But trust me, you guys don't always win. When I'm told that that a project will save us thousands of manhours, I ask what jobs can be eliminated because of it and then tell them that their future budgets will be predicted on their savings forecast. It's amazing how many projects wind up being withdrawn when I do that.
Ah, so you must be one of those smart finance guys.
Oh, and it's not a matter of winning. It's a matter of ensuring that when we spend money, we get a reasonable chance of a good ROI. When you're doing R&D, you have to take a lot of risks, especially when you're doing something no one else has ever done before. But when you're on a mature program, it's all about getting leaner, especially as the program nears the end of its life.
Yes, I completely agree. I've been in senior management and have been in the position of putting the squeeze on the engineers. I'm just sparring with you.
Ironically, since you mentioned building airplanes, when I was in senior management I reported directly to our CEO who was a former SVP for the Boeing company. Assuming that's the airplane company you are referring to, I got a good indoctrination to their way of thinking. (Though this was several years ago when, I am told, the Mcdonnell Douglas management philosophy was spreading through the company so things may have changed.)
I'll tell you from experience, I have a lot more freedom as an engineer/engineering manager than I did in senior management. I also work far fewer hours, travel much less, and get paid about the same. I'll take being an engineer most days!