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A Step in Time Saves Nine

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Run Time
0h 13m 19s
Mag Stripe
Date Produced
circa 1959
Industrial film detailing how Avon Cosmetics factory workers can be more productive.
Narrator Charles Nelson takes the viewer behind the scenes of the shipping department at Avon's Great Lakes branch in Morton Grove, Illinois. Nelson describes (and a chart illustrates) the “tremendous growth” the cosmetics company has experienced in the past twelve years as jaunty orchestral music plays. Due to this growth, Nelson explains, methods in the order processing unit were recently reviewed.

Footage of assemblers and checkers processing orders for Avon representatives in a warehouse is intercut with scenes of men in suits talking in an office. The narrator explains that these executives have been working to design and implement a new type of assembly line to eliminate the "non-productive elements" of the process — walking, pushing orders along the conveyor, and waiting for work. The narrator describes the changes that were made, illustrated by footage of women in blue dresses packing products into boxes to be shipped. A woman in a uniform poses next to an easel with signs reading “30% increase in department output,” “More accurate order, less distraction,” “Tried and accepted!” and “Everyone benefited.” The film ends with a triumphant scene of a UPS truck delivering an Avon box to a home, followed by footage of workers leaving the factory. The narrator declares, “The girls were not as tired at the end of the day” after the new process was implemented.
Main Credit
Perser, Donald (is director)
Avon Cosmetics (corporate name)
Additional Credit
Perser, Donald (sound)
Perser, Donald (camera)
Actors, Performers and Participants
Nelson, Charles (is narrator)
Related Place
Morton Grove (production location of)