This character finds academic achievement quite easy. He is not usually found on
the shop floor, but in glass company management, often in the computer department.
There can be two extremes of this character type and what differentiates between
them is common sense. Roughly one in three of these characters have common sense
and the other two of the three do not. The common sense characters can be a great
help when installing a new system, because as well as understanding their company,
they understand the marrying up of the features in Trimloss with the practical application
on the shop floor.
The non common sense characters however will have either leadership or organizational
failings and will often try to make up for this by demanding that they have a fingertip
management information system, with all sorts of tracking methods. This is because,
having NO ability to prioritise, they cannot differentiate between product features
and product benefits, so to be safe, they go for every feature on offer instead of
being able to home in on the features that matter for profitability. The fact remains
that they could not organize a p*** up in a brewery, so no feature rich information
system is going to make up for their failings. Their quest for features rather than
benefits can be evidenced on the street when they queue up all night for the opening
of a new mobile phone store, or for the release of the latest mobile phone, even
when its new features are not yet known. So sad!
We were once trying to sell Trimloss to one such character and he was impressed with
everything that Trimloss did, even the features which reduce the end of batch off
cuts to less than a square metre. What he would not be shifted on however, was his
insistence that this tiny amount of off cuts, be fully integrated into his main computer
system so that he could view them in his management information system to be in better
control of his company. We came to the conclusion that his head was in the wrong
place and so we decided to withdraw from the sale. When the economic climate declined
substantially, his company went into receivership.
Such characters are common in company management in larger companies because their
academic background is one of the reasons they were appointed. When choosing an
optimiser supplier, these people have been known to make the remark “You are not
big enough for us”. Such an inane comment says everything about their lack of common
sense and nothing about the reliability of the optimiser supplier, because all optimisers
that have ever been developed, irrespective of the number of peripheral support staff,
are all written by just one person. Optimisers are usually works of genius and in
common with great works of art (like those from Leonardo da Vinci), or great engineering
designs (like those from Isambard Kingdom Brunel), are essentially the work of just
More than 25 years ago, this character type was almost unknown in all glass companies
because nearly all bosses had grown up learning their craft from the bottom up. This
meant that they could usually differentiate between the con merchants and those software
vendors whose products gave them the greatest benefits on the shop floor and in waste
reduction. Sadly academia men rarely have this ability.