Saturday, March 26, 2011

Column # 58 - Take a breather…for now

Ok let’s take a short break from the tale specifics of the disastrous, so-called “merger” of Porter-Cable and Delta International. I think it’s time to re-affirm that my story does not necessarily cast a bad light on all aspects of this fiasco. Yes, the overall event was indeed, a fiasco and it hurt many, many employees; it ran off our customers and killed two very well-fed cash cow companies. On the other hand, it brought some new life into a few stagnant careers (mine included) and brought some folks together, that would have never otherwise met. In my case, my new boss at P-C/D turned out to be an outstanding friend and mentor. One of my new co-workers was friendly enough to strike up a conversation with the ‘new guy’ when we were on a sales meeting trip to Las Vegas and we became golfing buddies and remain very good friends until this day. Lastly, but absolutely not “least”, I met my wife when I relocated to Jackson and had this “merger” not happened I’m sure that would not have occurred. God does indeed work in mysterious ways.
I was telling one of the guys who used to work for me about my series of stories and he told me about an event that I was unaware of. It seems that the CEO of the new “Pentair Tools Group” (and this guy was one of the MAJOR architects of this “merger” – he also lost his job because of the results…or lack thereof) was in the new-fangled PC-D warehouse one day and he was standing at the bottom of one of the slides that I told you about- remember those, they started at the top of the warehouse and slid down 25 feet below, ending at a pack-out table- well, there he was, with his back to the slide and a 50lb box of nailgun nails started coming down the slide…gaining speed and momentum all the way. Just like those 80lb motors I told you about, the box of nails hit the rubber surface of the pack-out table…and…not just ‘went tumbling’…it literally exploded! Blew apart… and threw 2.5 inch-long nails EVERYWHERE…including all over the back of the head honcho. It wasn’t long after that until the slides got a conveyor-belt covering and everything just kind of moseyed down the slides...aww shoot, no more lunchtime entertainment.
I guess the main point of this week’s column is that while there were some honest-to-goodness cost savings and logistical benefits that could have been realized from combining SOME aspects of the two companies, the method of how it was ultimately done and the personal motives behind the way it was done shot most all of the positive possibilities down the tubes.

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