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Establishing Your Non-Fungibility

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Stanley Bing is a columnist for FORTUNE Magazine and may also be read on a daily basis at www.stanleybing.com

Word comes today that Macy's (M) is going to focus more on its local operations, whatever that means, and in so doing will probably be cutting some 2300 management-level jobs.

We're seeing a lot more of this lately. In the old days, when I was a kid, management moved swiftly and decisively to cut mostly low-level and support jobs in its periodic effort to cut costs. Many is the cutback season I recall in which the executive class received its bonuses and continued to dine on fine silver while the tuna-in-a-baggie set was shown the door. Since it often took more than ten such workers to equal the cost of one mid-level vice president, this was a bloody process indeed.

Today, things may be moving in the area of increasing efficiency. While a decline in management will perforce entail a reduction in its support staff as well, the overall decruitment of those who cost the corporation more will, in the end, I think, mean a lower body count with increased bottom-line impact.

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