Thanks for the info! I'd be interested in seeing just how fast it takes an Allen Edmonds shoemaker to put a shoe together. If I remember correctly they changed their processes so that one person puts one entire shoe together, whereas before, it was more of an assembly line type thing (one person is responsible for one part of the shoe). I wonder what effect this change in methods has on the final product of the shoes if any.
I don't remember hearing that. Any idea where you read it? That sounds counterintuitive to me for what would make a better product coming from a company of their size. Given their output, I'd expect an assembly line to be far more efficient.
If they have changed their methods, I think that may have a lot to do with prevalence of flaws. At least until the person has several years of experience under their belt, and they can perform all the tasks will equal skill, they would end up being a "jack of all trades" rather than a master of one.
Otherwise, I just ascribe most of the flaws to expediency. They are trying to make so many shoes during a work day that they just rush through each process.
I think the employees are probably more trained than one may think, and most shoe companies (AE included) have a very loyal employee population. AE pays very well for a blue collar company from what I've read, and they treat their employees very well. Like any company, I'm sure their turnover rate is an issue to deal with, but they also have many "lifers" who complete an entire career and retire from the company.