Miracle man

When the chaps in the engineering department read about the buyout of their engineering company on the Internet they weren’t very happy.

“He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone.” – Jesus.

When the chaps in the engineering department read about the buyout of their engineering company on the Internet rather than directly from their Managing Director, they weren’t very happy. Especially considering the fact that they designed communications equipment!

But that wasn’t the worst of it. When the company finally did put out a Press Release, the engineers had no trouble reading between the lines. There was a great deal of talk about profitability and the synergies that would be achieved when the little outfit finally became part of the bigger group. And there was even greater discussion of the 20% increase in profits that could be expected in the two years following the acquisition.

The chaps in engineering weren’t marketers. But they were no dummies either. They knew it would take nothing short of a miracle to increase the profitability of their company by that much in that short period of time.

But sure enough, a miracle man turned up to make the miracle happen. And the old Managing Director was sidelined into an advisory capacity as the Armani-clad sun-tanned executive swung into action.

Over a six month period, the entire engineering department was shown the door. The miracle man saved the company £250,000 a year in salaries and administration in the engineering department alone. ‘Engineering’ was outsourced to a graduate who kept things ticking over for £20,000 a year.

And then he retired as many folks that he could over the age of 40. And there were quite a few of them too. In fact, another £250,000 was added to the bottom line by his brutal and swift actions.

On the sales side, the experienced old timers were replaced by inexpensive young turks – diplomas fresh in their hands – who were only too keen to make their mark on the world of ‘Engineering’.

With the engineering staff gone, and all the old folks out of the company, you might have thought the place would’ve crumbled. But it didn’t. The engineers had left behind them a legacy of engineering excellence. Communications products with a two-year life span with such cool features that that they could be sold by the most inexperienced of sales folks.

And so for the following two years, the miracle man shone in front of his bosses. As staff pay raises were halved and manufacturing moved overseas, the profits leapt up by 20%.

It couldn’t last. And it didn’t. But before the house of cards came crumbling down around him, the miracle man had moved off to pastures new. To another engineering company where he could work his magic all over again.

Dave Wilson


The Engineer Online