AT&T Credit Corp.
Millions of clerical employees toil in the back offices of financial companies processing applications claims and customer accounts on what amounts to electronic assembly lines. The jobs are dull and repetitive and efficiency gains minuscule-s-when they come at all. That was the case with AT&T Credit Corp. (AITCC) when it opened shop in 1985 as a newly created subsidiary of American Telephone & Telegraph Corp. Based in Morris town newJersey. AITCC provides financing for customers who lease equipment from AT&T and other companies. A bank initially retained by AITCC to process lease applications couldn’t keep up with the volume of new business. AITCC President Thomas C. Wajnert saw that the fault lay in the bank’s method of dividing labor into narrow tasks and organizing work by function. One department handled applications and checked the customer’s credit standing a second drew up contracts and a third collected payments. So no one person or group had responsibility for providing full service to a customer. “The employees had no sense of how their jobs contributed to the final solution for the customer.