Posted October 31, 2012 Twitter: @PaperlinXsuX
suX is winding down for the present, certainly not retiring but will remain ever vigilant. This post is a thank you and a few long overdue explanations and responses. No apologies, merely explanations.
It had an impact. Some say the style was abrasive. Good, because that was the intention. suX is tabloid without a page 3 girl, not broadsheet.
What I do know is that there were many regular loyal readers and contributors and we got the job done.
To my critics within PPX. There was a common misconception, particularly in the UK, that suX was praising certain independent UK merchants to the detriment of PaperlinX. I was accused of "giving air" to the opposition.
This is nonsense, but understandable from an individual's point of view. Others with flash titles did that for you years ago. It started in 2006 to be precise. Now think about who was ascending to power at PPX then.
By August 2012, EBB had completed its expansion North arriving at Glasgow, see EBB about to open in Hillington, Scotland.
Concurrently Premier Paper was doing something similar, see Premier fills another UK leadership vacuum. It suX. For years Premier Paper only had a sales operation in Scotland then in early 2009, so soon after the acquisition of Premier by Beswick in March 2008, Premier opened a warehouse in Glasgow.
Most people, including successive "blue chip" boards of PPX, couldn't see reality for the clouds of bulldust billowing out of Northampton and then Milton Keynes. Premier and EBB didn't pay one dollar of goodwill while pinching former PPX strongholds. Don't blame suX for that.
In doing so I acknowledged industry veterans who "stuck to their knitting" and ran their businesses with prudence not ego. It's worth noting that Messrs Elliott and Griffiths are both accountants by profession - bean counters, cost managers ... hello, anyone paying attention out there.
It may have caused some regrettable short term angst but in the absence of a better alternative it's worked. If you disagree, kindly advise me of a polite way to get rid of an entrenched incompetent senior management structure rife with nepotism. Saying "please" doesn't work.
There were many armchair critics yet none were moved to act; which says more about them than me.
Thank you whistle-blowers. They came in all shapes and sizes. They hailed from UK, Europe including CEE, Canada, North America, NZ and OZ.
After a while suX developed trustworthy sources and often spoke at length with them on the telephone.
The main PPX defence was denial or lies. Several lies were published. Eventually the sordid truth came out. Unfortunately a lot of material could never be published as it was just too incriminating. Problematic lifestyle habits and extra marital stuff was outside my brief.
The most rewarding breaks came when suX was able to correlate seemingly uncorrelated information provided by two or more sources. Eureka!
This process confirmed the Loch Lomond scandal after this priceless entry was found in the East Kilbride News (Glasgow).
|East Kilbride News - April 6, 2011. |
Thank you whistle-blowers.
The best leak ever? The person who sent me the entire UK & Ireland Contacts Directory maintained by Felicity Addis, HR Data Administrator - PPX UK.
It wasn't the most sensational leak, was unsolicited and could never be published; but it was ever so thoughtful of the whistle-blower and helpful to suX. I never abused it.
Probably the most sensational leaks were Toby Marchant's "Dear PLG" letters; February 3, 2012 and March 9, 2012
which the awesome company secretary couldn't verify as being authentic. Gee, somebody must have really hated PPX management to leak those from within the PaperlinX Leadership Group (PLG).
These two leaks and their denial by Orrsome gave suX the confidence to bat on.
To those very stupid persons in senior management who prated about my sources - you were wrong and are no longer in office. Mission accomplished.
My most enjoyable posting was undoubtedly Scotland the Brave complete with music and lyrics adapted for PaperlinX.
Hark when profit is falling
Hear, hear the clients are calling,
Loudly and proudly calling,
Down thro' the glen.
There where the board are sleeping,
Now feel the will a-weeping,
Oh for the spirits of the old paper men.
I love the Scots, used to learn the pipes as a schoolboy and would like to see the recently painted PPX facilities in Glasgow made ready for the directors' tour to Loch Lomond (via Glasgow) in late 2010. Toby, you have a lot to answer for.
To those who remain, carpe diem. I Received this email from an respected person in the UK paper industry and now belatedly publish it with his/her consent:
“30 Sep 2012
Hi Graham, heard last week that John Turner, Divisional Director - Graphic & Carton Board at PaperlinX UK had just resigned to join independent board specialist Warren Board.
John is a well respected and experienced person in the industry and is another high quality loss for PaperlinX. When will they steady the ship?
People like John and recently departed Paul French create a double problem; they no longer bring in business but actively, with their new companies, take it away from PaperlinX!”
The writer's concerns are well intentioned and respected. My view is more sanguine.
No one is indispensable; "what is, is"; and regardless of their position all employees fall into three classes at times like this:
- Those who desire to leave, and resign. We wish them well;
- Those who desire to leave, and cannot. They are a serious problem; and
- Those who wish to stay. Management then needs to decide if they deserve a seat on the bus, see Is this your bus?
suX poses this question for serious consideration. Why would talented engaged persons elect to leave PaperlinX now? Genuine new management devoid of nepotism is the dawn of opportunity for good people at PPX. It's probably the best "real" opportunity they've had in years. It must also scare the living daylights out of many others.
The biggest problem for Andrew Price is non-performers who have no where to go and nothing to contribute by staying; and I get the impression there are still plenty of those still employed in key positions within PPX UK and Europe. This problem dwarfs any concerns about the future careers of Messrs Turner and French.
I expect the ship will lurch and skew, then steady but cannot tell you how or when. One day we'll wake up and see that PPX looks and walks differently. Everyone will then look back and think: "how easy was that!"
He also quotes Peter Drucker: "Management is doing things right, leadership is doing the right things." I hope he works at PPX UK.
Finally, with respect to my correspondent's closing comment; he/she is making assumptions. They are "glass half-empty" styled assumptions made out of genuine concern. suX could easily mount "glass half-full" styled counter arguments.