Essential to any business is good management. Generally speaking, good
management has two main ingredients. First is a competent, dedicated
group of people. Second-and equally important-is the alignment of
duties in such a way that people can work efficiently to get the overall job
What about a nationwide business like Long Lines? What is its organizational
structure? What are the responsibilities of its main groups and how
do they fit together?
Board and Staff
Although Long Lines in many ways operates like an individual company,
it is a department within the corporate structure of AT&T. The authority
for any Long Lines undertaking stems from AT&T proper. That authority
is delegated by the chairman of the AT&T Board of Directors to the Long
Lines Department Board.
The Long Lines Department Board is the governing body for Long Lines.
Its chairman is the AT&T vice president in charge of Long Lines. Subject
to approval by AT&T's board chairman, the vice president of Long Lines
selects one member of his staff--usually the director of operations -- to
serve on the Long Lines board. Other members are designated by the
AT&T board chairman.
An executive staff, which reports to the vice president in charge of Long
Lines, is responsible for basic functions essential to running the business.
(See next page for information on executive staff responsibilities.)
The Executive Staff
Composed of executives who report to
the vice president of Long Lines: the assistant vice presidents for accounts
and finance, international services, personnel, public relations, and
regulatory matters; the general attorney; the director of operations; and
the vice president-- government communications. Shown below are their major
Legal - Advises management on
legal aspects of Long Lines operations on a day-to-day basis. Represents
Long Lines in all legal matters affecting company property and service.
Appears for the company in formal proceedings before the Federal
Communications Commission. Represents Long Lines before state tax
commissions and local tax officials in connection with all tax matters.
Operations - Supervises the planning, engineering, construction,
maintenance and operation of Long Lines services and plant. Determines
through market research the new instrumentalities required to keep pace with
changes in the way customers manage their businesses. Establishes or
recommends rates and regulations for Long Lines services; promotes and sells
these services; coordinates this work with other Bell System units.
International Services -
Negotiates with foreign companies and government administrations to
establish or extend telephone service. Represents interests of Long Lines in
subsidiary companies concerned with overseas services. Acts as coordinator
in negotiations on communications matters with U.S. government departments
and agencies (other than the Federal Communications Commission).
Regulatory Matters - Determines policy on regulatory matters and
serves as liaison between Long Lines and the Federal Communications
Commission. Formulates policy and practices on division of interstate
revenues with associated companies, Develops economic studies to determine
costs and earnings requirements.
Government Communications -
Makes sure the federal government gets communications that are reliable,
survivable, fast and economical. Acts as coordinator for the Bell System in
providing these services. Sees to it that Long Lines and associated
companies are responsive to all government communications requirements--from
immediate needs to long-range development of new communications ideas.
Personnel - Plans programs for
recruiting and training employees; establishes wage and working practices;
conducts labor negotiations. Administers programs concerned with employee
welfare benefit, pension, insurance and medical plans. Coordinates Long
Lines activities in Telephone Pioneers of America, an organization of
telephone people with 21 years or more service.
Public Relations - Studies environmental trends and reports their
potential impact on the business. Helps gain public and employee
understanding of Long Lines policies, plans and goals. Provides information
about the business to employees and the public. Carries out advertising
program with other Bell System units to promote services and let customers
know how to get the most out of them.
Accounts and Finance -
Administers accounting system which records Long Lines assets, revenues and
expenses; prepares financial, statistical and administrative reports to meet
requirements of government and of management. Maintains system of audits and
controls to protect company assets and insure that management policies are
carried out. Handles Long Lines payroll; renders bills to private line
customers and others; pays employee vouchers and bills from others. Programs
and operates all Long Lines data processing equipment; coordinates planning
for all company computer systems. Handles Long Lines funds and banking
Key Administrative Groups -
These groups make a major contribution to the smooth
functioning and future progress of the business:
Education Assistance Committee
(Part of Personnel):
• Chairman: assistant vice president--personnel.
• Encourages development of employees' talents and abilities.
• Determines policy and supervises administration of Tuition Aid Plan. This
plan helps defray tuition costs of employees who take courses at accredited
Advertising Council (Part of Public Relations):
• Chairman: assistant vice president public relations.
• Determines advertising needs of the business.
• Develops balanced advertising program and coordinates it with other Bell
Budget Council (Part of Accounts and Finance):
• Chairman: assistant vice president--accounts and finance.
• Supervises development of procedures to help control employment and
expense. From estimates turned in by each department, it prepares balanced
budget that takes into account the earnings requirements of the business.
• Responsible for seeing the budget is adhered to throughout Long Lines.
Business Procedures Steering Committee (Part of Accounts and Finance):
• Chairman: assistant vice president--accounts and finance.
• Concerned mainly with use of computers and other data processing machines
in helping to run the business efficiently.
• Approves or recommends projects, priorities and project assignments
associated with data processing equipment.
Operations - In the organization of the director of operations, the
engineering, marketing, overseas operations and operating staff groups are
headed by assistant vice presidents, the Areas by general managers.
Makes long-range plans for plant construction, Prepares long-range
studies on future needs for new developments and techniques such as
satellites and their introduction in the plant. Sets technical standards for
engineering, construction and maintenance. Assists in development of new
services and instrumentalities for private line customers. Makes or
supervises economic studies concerning such matters as revenue requirements
and depreciation rates.
Plans most effective way to use new and existing facilities; operates a
center for management of the continent-wide public telephone network and a
center for keeping close watch on status of facilities in the network.
Consolidates force and expense budgets for the entire operating
organization. Coordinates Long Lines efforts to promote safety on and off
Coordinates construction program processes estimates and undertakings
requiring Long Lines Department Board approval; files applications with the
Federal Communications Commission; prepares engineering practices and
procedures. Develops system designs for mechanized data processing to
help carry out construction programs and coordinates their implementation.
Prepares, reproduces, distributes and schedules the many circuit order items
needed to get message circuits and broadband facilities into service.
Keeps eye on existing services to make sure they are doing best possible
job for customers. Develops new service offerings and modifies existing ones
to meet changing needs of the market. Establishes rates and regulations for
services. Coordinates promotion and sale of services with other Bell units.
Develops methods and reviews results with communications agencies abroad to
assure smooth operation of joint overseas telephone service. Engineers,
constructs and maintains deep-sea telephone cable systems. Supervises
operation of C.S. Long Lines and other ships used for construction or repair
of ocean cable systems.
Each of these self-contained units handles operations within its own
boundaries and works closely with associated companies in whose territories
it operates. Reporting to the general manager are heads of engineering,
sales, and operating groups in the Area. The general manager also is
responsible for budget, personnel, public and employee relations, general
service and other Area staff functions.
Why the Areas
Long Lines is divided into six territorial areas for efficient handling
of its complex, widespread operations.
Each Area takes care of engineering,
sales, maintenance and network operations in its territory; each is managed
by people with a high degree of experience and authority. With upper level
supervision close to field activities, all phases of the business get
responsible attention when and where needed.
The arrangement also strengthens
team-work between field groups, and-equally important-makes for close
coordination with other Bell units which help Long Lines provide nationwide
Running the Business
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