Whistle-blowers HERE

Updated September 14, 2012
Updated July 21, 2012
Updated March 28, 2012                                                             Twitter: @PaperlinXsuX

EMAIL
paperlinxsux@gmail.com
SKYPE 
graham.critchley
TEL 
61 (0) 3 9055 5969
TWITTER 
@PaperlinXsuX

________________________________________________________________________

Upgraded guidelines for whistle-blowers - July 21, 2012

How to become a protected whistle-blower in times of change and survival.

Any topic is acceptable. Some suggestions below.

You'll need to provide your full details, as I don't have time to 
chase down anonymous material.

  • Full Name
  • Email address
  • A Contact phone number
  • Your place of work, Company and Role - eg Northampton, RHG and Inside Sales/Accounts Payable / Warehouse

Briefly describe

  • What is the problem as you see it
  • What is your proposed solution
  • If your whistle-blowing involves a person, please provide their Their place of work, Company and Role

Topics of Interest to suX:

  • Travel and accommodation expenses of middle and senior management, particularly those attending Melbourne from interstate or overseas - see Snouts in the trough at PPX
       
  • Nepotism
       
  • Waste of money, time, effort or product anywhere from purchasing, warehousing, delivery and credit collection.
       
  • Duplication, particularly in sales and delivery (DeliveryCo)
       
  • Excessive meetings, form filling , reporting etc - ie anything that doesn't directly relate to being a super efficient wholesaler
       
  • Club memberships   
  • Questionable practices of any type.

Send by email to paperlinxsux@gmail.com

PS Would the recent anonymous whistle blower about DeliveryCo please adhere to the above guidelines.


________________________________________________________________________

Outstanding general matters

  1. Who do you expect to be the next CEO, and why?
         
  2. Any news on Chris Creighton post PPX?
         
  3. a golf villa in Marbella anyone? Or is this a spoof?
We'd like to know on a confidential basis.

People always know more than is being released by the Company. A leading finance journalist posted this prominently on his newspaper’s website on December 23, 2011.Click here for original.

Whistle blowers are protected by Australian law. 

Anonymity guaranteed. Contact details above.


If you smell a rat, let us know. We'll publish anything within reason; i.e. provided I don’t go to gaol. We also publish continuously, not just once per day like a newspaper.


The best leaks come from real people who we always protect. Consider using a bogus email address from google.com or hotmail.com That way we can respond to you confidentially.



Guidelines

1. What you cannot say. Please don't submit grossly defamatory statements like "Joe Blow is a drunk" unless you can prove it.

2. What we like are names, places and dates. Concrete examples.

3. We like things that demonstrate waste, lost income, gross stupidity, fraud, breach of standards.

4. Any observation, no matter how trivial, is valuable as often it collaborates another piece of intelligence we already hold, or activates another blogger to report. 

For example, a simple observation from Scoresby Victoria about visiting senior executives staying at different hotels in Melbourne led to Loch Lomond Golf Club which led to Toby Marchant being exposed. It's called the "butterfly effect". It led to this! See fifth paragraph from end, which proved conclusively that PaperlinX had a membership at Loch Lomond Golf Club. Very telling embarrassment for Toby Marchant.

5. People at all levels are whistle blowers; see these examples from the PaperlinX Leadership Group, leak number 1 and leak number 2.

6. Our main targets are Toby Marchant and Senior Management.


Help us help you. Anonymity guaranteed. Contact details above.


Examples of whistle-blowers’ support taken direct from Comments here. Subjects or people covered include:

Toby Marchant
Toby Marchant's indulgences and nepotism
Loch Lomond Golf Club
Wasteful business practices
Milton Keynes
Amsterdam Office 
Alleged misrepresentations
Nepotism
YoYo
Spicers
PaperlinX USA
Chris Creighton & Seattle
James Ore (sic James ORR)
Sequana
Antalis vs PaperlinX
Recent paper volumes in the UK and Europe
CPI


Date
Unedited Posting
23/12/11
One must really question what is going on in the North American market. Why was the President of Spicers removed from his position but still remains employed at Spicers in a minor role (Disruptive to the employees), and is trying to undermine the New President. Why does the President of Paperlinx North America (Chris Creighton)continue to remain resident in Seattle, when clearly leadership should be centered in the key Los Angeles market??? It is because his wife refuses to live in California!!!!!!!! on Hubris, Hope ... Humilation
23/12/11
Winding up the business will be no good. There is not much to sell and the market is exceptionally soft. After administrators and employees rights, primary debtors, there will be almost nil left for hybrid holders. The biggest shock in 23 Dec announcement is further losses. I have a gut feeling, the directors have been dealing with the takeover bidder for quite awhile. The directors seem to be acting for the ordinary shareholders, whilst hybrid holders should have the legal right to $100 per unit. Everything has be long programmed .... Imparement valuations (which should not be used on hybrid units), ceasing distributions ... Takeover bid, few more steps to go. Maybe in future months we will find ourselves collectively taking legal action against James Ore and PaperlinX on Hubris, Hope ... Humilation
23/12/11
Good luck with this. I held Great Southern hybrids - got out before the end but management lies and denials are part and parcel of corporate life. on Hubris, Hope ... Humilation
23/12/11
the timing of the asx release is deeply suspect - how long have they had this? why 23 December 2011 - these guys are joking. beware of the incentives in this game - management will be captured by pe - just look at Alinta etc - you have to play this game well if you want to get value for the PXUPA on Hubris, Hope ... Humilation
13/12/11
Hi Ed, If the French paper distributor Antalis being a subsidiary of Sequana is in direct competition to Paperlinx in the European market, who are the main competitors to PaperlinX in the UK??? Keep us informed of any more closures. on Act Now
11/12/11
ACCC are watching. I won't go on, but I can say don't accept anything less than the prospectus terms in a remarketing of terms due in 2012. There are no big hybrid holders and they are not the same as the ordinary shareholders. So it will be difficult to push adverse changes to the hybrid terms through. Let's just say PaperlinX will have to pay the face value of the PXUPA plus the likely 2 missed distributions AND NO LESS. The biggest issue for all shareholders is for profitability to finally return. I think PaperlinX directors have now begun to treat hybrid holders with respect. PaperlinX won't try anything dirty or misleading with the hybrids. They dont wont legal issues, bad publicity, and the directors probably don't won't to go to jail. on ASIC warns on hybrids


10/12/11
RIP 1 - excellent research. Very disturbing thus waning paper industry. I think PaperlibX will get through. The Total Print Supply is proving to be a winner, and getting rid of sales reps is a step to the future. Would be great to get feedback on the UK paper market and PaperlinX. Feb 2012 will be the next big PPX announcement. By the way the 13 May 2011 announcement to conduct an impairment valuation is what scared off the large investors. It is unjustified to later write off $188 m from the $250 m PXUPA. ACCC were soon involved. So the directors now known they are on thin ice; potentially they could have gone to jail if certain misleading efforts could be proven. The industry is sick so witholding the distributions is probably justied for now. It's a high risk share or unit to buy, but the rewards, if the company can survive and prosper, are also there to justify the high risk. I think the new management are doing the right things on Independent Research
1/12/11
Nov and Dec are the two busiest months for paper. Relationship between economic activity and paper volumes is strong. October paper volume have already been confirmed as being down. Uk and Europe Gomes are expecting low paper volumes in 4Q in 2011. These few months and following 4 months will be very trying times for PaperlinX and both PPX and PXUPA. If UK and European economies gets worse over the next 6 months, i think we can kiss a further 50% of our PPX and PXUPA share price goodnight. At least pAperlinX has low debt, so insolvency will be held off. We need to hope the new higher pricing and market share for PaperlinX holds. Hopefully their competitors roll over and die. So yep, extremely high risk. Act Now       
30/11/11
I see a corner turning for paperlinx and good riddance of Tom park. He has a history of stuffing up companys and walking away with huge payouts. Goodman fielder and Southcorp and Paperlinx to name a few. I have seen first had the change in paperlinx since he has gone and all for the better. PPX decided to start buying higher margin paper, froze pay rises. Added new growth measurements, had cost cutting around the board. Got rid of unessential employees and just not replaced some lost through natural attrition. They are also turning into a one stop shop for printers instead of just paper which is keeping them ahead of the competiton. And speaking of which the main rival was saved by a nz firm but is looking to offload it and wind it up. So that will leave ppx in a huge position. CPI is winding up and leaving a lot of printers out of pocket. Act Now
25/11/11
Some basic research on the financial performance of Modo's UK merchant, Robert Horne, PPX UK, PPX Europe and PPX Global, when each was under the leadership of TM, will show a consistent performance trend, unfortunately not a positive one. Major shareholders should be holding the CEO accountable for consistently failing to achieve stated objectives. on PXUPA holders being cheated
30/11/11
Approx 70% of PaperlinX business is from the UK and Europe.

The market capitalisation is less than $50 million. But even if someone wanted to takeover the business, they need to pay out the existing debt, plus hybrids at $285 million. So a buy out, is out of the question.

At some point PaperlinX would be better listed on the London Exchange,but they need to be profitable. Hybrids would be realised. 

I think the company will survive, but it is touch and go. Certainly closure of other paper merchants is good news, be it NZ or elsewhere. Internet selling of paper to the printers could become preferred to dealing with sales reps etc. Dealing direct with paper manufacturers can be difficult in small volumes.
I think there is a roll for middleman, like PaperlinX, and the profits could be good once the new pricing kicks in.

I do feel the directors, on request from the institutional ordinary shareholders, were planning to rip off hybrid holders via a low bid off market buy back, but that's now been exposed and is now off the table.

Someone should ask James Ore about competitor merchants going out of business over the past 18 months. PaperlinX is said to have increased their market share, so other paper merchants should be hurting depending on the overheads and debt servicing. Not sure James would be out to date on UK or European competitors.
 Act Now

55 comments:

  1. Tom Park and David Mikeljohn should be flogged for what THEY did to this company.. the current management is doing the best it could with what they inherited

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uk staff in Horne's had volunteered to give up their bonuses to help prop up the company only to find later that it all went on paying Tom Park his golden parachute bonus! Staff were so disgusted that management offered extra 3 days holiday for every employee!

      Delete
    2. Sounds very suspect..to clarify...Management didn't OFFER 3 extra day holiday (sounds great!) what they enforced! was three days unpaid holidays, but so few got them (like me) because middle management where frowned upon for taking these days off..

      Delete
  2. Ed: Interesting but irrelevant unless you can add "value". Confidentiality guaranteed if you email to paperlinxsux@gmail.com

    COME ON - tell us something interesting

    ReplyDelete
  3. The current management are dogshit. Try working for these clowns in the UK. If the same calibre of clueless individuals are running amok in Australia too, it's little surprise Paperlinx are the laughing stock of the paper merchant trade at the moment.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Love it or leave it... you sound like one of the employees this company does not need.. happy to whine like a little girl but not commited enough to bend your back and dig in !!.. people like you a a blight on society

      regards from one of the clueless PROUD employees in Australia

      Delete
  4. Ed: We have a lot of followers from the UK, and this isn't the first such comment. It is publishable but of little value because the allegations are unsubstantiated.

    How about something that is publishable (polite) but factual, citing something that doesn't necessarily incriminate you.

    OR add real value by accepting the challenge. Confidentiality guaranteed if you email to paperlinxsux@gmail.com

    COME ON - tell us something interesting

    ReplyDelete
  5. It's not just the staff that don't like senior management. There's heaps of them coming and going here at HO in Melbourne. Funny thing is the fleet of taxis in the afternoon lined up in the car park. They are all staying at different Hotels!
    It's pretty obvious the senior guys don't get on with each other. Yes, we are being monitored, but they can't stop me posting from home. This is our future too.
    By the looks on the faces of the guys running around upstairs, things aren't going well for them. Lots of serious faces and threats of being fired if we talk to anyone outside the company.
    Thinking their days are numbered and then we can get back to selling paper.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I'm not so sure normal is something we will ever see again.

    ReplyDelete
  7. While working for Spicers Paper I have witness many tactical business errors. I would like to point out two.

    1. Spicers has never aggressively worked to gain market share. Instead, working with a commissioned sales force they have attempted to maintain margins by excessively loading the computer cost thus eliminating the salespersons ability to gain new business. Furthermore, whenever mills have given price concessions to to stay competitive or have a market edge Spicers has elected not to take those concessions to the street. Spicers has the sales force,the products and the infrastructure to grow their business. What they need is a change in business philosophy.
    2. In an attempt to diversify the existing core paper business,Spicers ventured into packaging and graphics. Areas in which they had no expertise, no sales force, no inventory and had done no real market research to see if Spicers could be successful in these arenas. This endeavor took place while the U.S. was entering the worst economy since the great depression. Because of these errors money was siphoned from a profitable core business to finance a start up with know clear time frame for profitability. The result is now the whole business is struggling to remain profitable.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Couldn't agree more with both observations. I have also spent a good number of years as a Spicers employee here in the states. It's almost comical watching things unfold, the current management group couldn't communicate it's way out of a wet paper bag so it's no wonder they can't figure out how change the strategy to match new market conditions. Oh....and what the hell is the deal with the Whitaker move...If he couldn't figure out how to fix the company with biggest stick in the bag then what the hell is he going to do from his new position. You have to wonder about that move, I know the employees do. Sorry I am signing Anonymous but I still need to feed the family.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Part 1 I find it most amusing that the senior management have told a blatant pack of lies with reference to Loch Lomond and the membership.
    First of all Martin Fothergill authorised the debenture when it WAS PaperlinX as he was UK MD when it was done. It was after Mr Mason left as he was not prepared to work under Fothergill. Enter Toby as the top man at Horne. (Job by default again). Fothergill then left to wreck the business in Australia. The membership and the embedded $100000 dollars continued somewhere in the member company who had the membership accounts until LL went bust in 2008.
    Where is that amount now on the balance sheet who knows? Clearly the management don’t know as they say it was lost before PPX bought the company. DMP was part of the group sold to Amcor PPX in 2003 was it not Toby. So how did the money go before the company was bought? That is real smoke and mirrors. The fact is that is a complete and utter lie..
    To say it was before PPX is a complete fabrication and lie on behalf of the whole board. That shows the integrity or on the other hand how little they actually know about the business they are supposed to be running. Membership fees another lie. They did pay the whole lot. Suppliers may contribute to the cost now but they did not in the old days of Fothergill and pre going bust. If they continue to lie about this I will set the record straight with names dates and sworn statements from senior people who have left PPX and who are well aware of the truth.
    Suppliers may now contribute towards the membership but that is simply a reduction in buying power or rebate or part of a marketing spend that PPX do not get as it is spent on LL to disguise the true cost of membership for the member who works for the company. There is no free lunch and at £175 per round per guest it is a lot of money for entertaining. That does not include the lunch or drinks at the 10th.

    A day out with three guests is about £1000

    ReplyDelete
  10. Part 2 To say Price has no European business experience is a real Joke. Buhrmann bought the Bunzl Fine Paper European Business which Peter Dick was running following Herr Seillers departure. After a strategic review following his new role as MD of BFP Europe Peter Dick advised the PLC board the business was going to take years to turn round and that re structuring costs were going to be enormous because of the errors past management had made over expanding and taking on onerous leases coupled to high severance costs in Germany. The decision was taken to sell the business. Along came George Dean CEO of Buhrmann paper division (another of Toby’s drinking pals) and with a large cheque book they bought the European loss maker from Bunzl. Bunzl could not believe the price they paid for what was a huge loss maker. They did that so they thought to shore up the loss maker Buhrmann already had in Germany and Italy. Thinking 2+3 would make 5. Wrong it made about 2.5 and was a complete disaster as well Toby knows as he was at Horne and was a pal of George Dean and Michael Barstow’s tell me what have Toby and Boon got that Price does not have in terms of Europe. I tell you nothing. The fact is common sense applies. The local people on the ground are what matters. Fiscal situation. That is really really funny. Toby and the words Fiscal knowledge in the same sentence. Amusing. That’s why you have accountant’s guys and that is why you have local country accountants. That is just scare tactics talking about banks and foreign currency. Absolute smoke screen. Suppliers. Well that is really amusing.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Part 3 Toby it might be helpful when you go as the suppliers will not have to pay your trips and lunches anymore or for that matter of your UK buyer’s freebies and trips. Your buying strategy is flawed. You have removed the autonomy of the people on the ground to do business with people on the ground. That is what every day trading is about. Fine, rebates and settlement terms can be done by country with a Central rebate based on volume. I am sure Price knows his way round that circle. The European operations cannot take much more downsizing as the last one who leaves will have to turn the lights out. The missing element in all this is leadership and team spirit. It does not exist and the guys at middle management are about as much use as a chocolate watch. They have made it their job to be Toby’s pals and to look after themselves. I could go on and on but for sure what this group needs is a leader and a board who lead from the front and carry the people with them. Not some stupid PLG group and team building razzmatazz "one vision one group". Who are they trying to fool? They into believing the people who do the work think they are doing a good job. They are not and everybody who matters and works at the sharp end knows that.
    As an ex owner and part of this group for over 20 years. I have witnessed the systematic destruction of the business by ineffective managers in the middle and the top.
    I just hope this gets published before the EGM.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Change the names and this could be Spicers North America.
      "Why not us Why not now ". Team building razzmatazz. Maybe we all need another trip to Boulder.

      Delete
  12. A few slogans are the total contributions made by Charlie Whitaker while President of Spicers NA, (he is now heading up "strategic customer solutions" , whatever that means !!) .. "Why not us Why not now" and "leaders leaning forwards"...as you would gather , they made a huge difference to the business

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nepatism all over. The Australian business is now building up it's team of mates nicely, whilst long serving, loyal employees get left behind, forgotten or gently squeezed out due to the fact they weren't mates and part of Chris Creighton's fan club at the right time in the past. Gone are the days when employees could feel they could suggest initiatives and common sense ideas. If the idea does not get conceived by Creighton's mates, it's not considered. There is no point of middle management now if you are free thinking passionate individual with ambtion or drive....forget it, you are surplus to requirements. Act like sheep and follow these unqualified fools into oblivion, and you have a future; at least until doomsday! It is disappointing to see old names such as the Logistics General Manager raise their heads again when they contribute nothing of any worth. Why go the expense of relocating yet another employee who had already relocated to the USA to where he started in Aus? Crazy...there are plenty of other 'more' professional, knowledgable, presentable and qualified people on the job market within Australia who could turn this around much more affectively than members of the 'gang', who, let's face it are qualified in being 'yes men' and nothing else. There is no incentive to progress your career with this company. It your face doesn't fit, regardless of how qualified or valuable you are to company it game over I'm afraid, if not now, it will be soon. Mr Price - sort this 'ship of fools' out and give the staff a fair and honest chance to follow your vision and make a success of this once successful company so we can all value our careers once more.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Alot of what I have read on PPX Sux is true and relevant. In the UK the staff know all about Toby's nepotism. The head office expenditure to re-decorate a brand new office in Milton Keynes to incorportae Toby's own private bathroom. Its a sour joke when the company has removed valueable years of experience from the ground troops, but they call it "Toby Towers" where he invites his nice but dim friends to the party. Jobs for the boys and yes men are rife. Senior directors enjoying new expensive cars, such as in the Northampton Car Park. Consultants called Footprint and Opus have been paid for the last three years telling the management what to do. Other geriatric consultants that are friends of friends are still there when permanant employees were made redundant.

    ReplyDelete
  15. During restructure in UK last Sept-Oct, staff were made cut in Commercial Print, losing years of experience, at the same time Paperlinx senior directors received large pay increases. Where's the saving? Its gone into management's wallets.

    ReplyDelete
  16. PaperlinX have some great employees that are very capable and as a group has the potential to be a very viable operation.

    Reading on here there are many comments about nepotism, this is very well known. Here are some interesting things that may need some explaining;

    People in manager roles that are not qualified to hold these roles both by experience and qualification, Toby has surrounded himself with spineless yes men out for their own personal gain, and alleged dubious relations with others.

    Following a poorly executed restructure, PaperlinX is finding itself on the wrong foot with UK employment law and a potential large legal and compensation bill.

    It may also be work checked pension deficits running in to their hundreds of thousands for senior directors, how have these shortfalls been covered.

    While majorly experienced people have been let go from the business they are still offering, ordering and taking receipt of top of the range Executive Cars with the UK marketing director taking delivery of a brand new Audi A7, several new mercs for the HR team and new cars for the personal assistants that have moved to Milton Keynes.

    The UK business is carry a lot of dead wood within its Director population following the recent restructure people are demonstrating that they have been over promoted, over paid and now there is nothing left to hide behind feel exteremly exposed and the MD's are sitting pretty waiting for a major payout.

    One other concern is the apparent ineffective investment in two consultancies that have slashed head count without planning out new revenue channels.

    Other profitable organisations with the group have been compromise for the benefit of the Robert Horne Group, where savour plans are failing to deliver.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Audi A7's retail at around £50,000 and its not the only one in the car park. The HR Manager of RHG had an all expenses paid weekend trip to London and theatre to make up for the "stress" of getting rid of Commercial Print staff. HR Dept then had the gall to hand the expenses to accounts payable (who were being made cut) asking them to pay the bill! All this pales into insignificance when considering the decision to outsource the IT function to BT. A project worthy of a Fortune 500 business, and costing millions, with penalty clauses for PPX for failure to deliver transfers on time. What happened to the PPX IT Director? No savings so far, but what are the costs of this?

      Delete
  17. I was interested to see Toby's comment concerning senior staff who had been paid off and should go quietly. - I think the vast amjority of UK staff who left were paid the bare minimum.
    Also regardless of the directors pension deficit, what about the UK operating companies pension deficit. Ask why the UK companies can not be merged in to a single leagal entity as they are doing in Benelux -

    ReplyDelete
  18. There was a subject covered with each FD/MD by Toby and Paul when they did there travels around PPX group late last year. It was made very clear that if you wish to earn any bounus/ car replacement or generally move up the ladder you WILL start (love this word! REVIEWING) your current employee numbers. Within a week, RHG MD was on site to check your list and add his own names, disgraceful treatment..I can say this because I was there..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What they should be checking is the names of all their consultant friends still operating out of PaperCo & Robert Horne.
      John Holmes, Barry Fowler, Gary Marsh, Freddie Guilmard, Footprint - Ian Hunt ( his wife Linda Taffe is now a permanant employee), fellow Footprint Director David Allison is now interim director in Commercial Print. There a £1m saving for Price!

      Delete
  19. Recently there were presentations to all Aus staff. They were asked to acheive a efficiencies in everything they do to help get the business back on track. Shortly after this, I witnessed a senior manager call an ex PPX colleague from his mobile phone whilst sitting next to his desk phone. No big deal I hear you say....trouble was this ex colleague was in the US and the phone call lasted over an hour. $$$$ Complete madness and such a bad look of contradiction. Get the basic facade right if you expect the staff to support these initiatives!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Interesting reading the comment about Paul Wiggins being a Global HR director following Toby Marchant from job to job. Friends v's qualifications. Which is better? Global HR Director Paul Wiggins must be very disappointed since his expertise per the PPX website lies in “strategic human resource development”. Just exactly what is that? It’s such a grand title for someone who has followed Toby from Horne’s to Europe to the top! Christmas parties were banned, but that did not stop several staff living in the UK to travel to Amsterdam for their Christmas party when Toby and Paul were based there. Other underlings also hold titles including “global” this and that, but they haven’t ever travelled outside Europe. They must think the world is their oyster. Paperlinx Newsletter issue November 2011, the UK HR Director Louise Gordon’s message is clear about the restructure. Quote: “Well guess what? We don’t have all the answers right now”. Having been in the role for over a year does she know what the HR team is meant to be doing? Quote: “Since taking up my role in January 2011 this is something I have seen the HR Team struggling with themselves”. Which ones, there aren’t that many left are there in the HR management team?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Best thing they ever did was pay me off as the idiot of a Director who was my line manager was as useful as a chocolate watch. His idea of being a boss was to take the inside sales teams out for a few beers or lunch when all the rest of us had to man the phones!! He was the most invisible boss I have ever had. Anyway glad I'm away from it, I now run my own business successfully and know what profit is, unlike RHG!! Sounds like its even harder work for all the people still there.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I joined rhg at the end of the 90's when it was burhmann owned. Rhg had always had a reputation as a good employer. Whilst paying in the upper quartile, it didn't pay top dollar but there was a reasonable benefits package that was enjoyed by all staff, not just senior management. Over the years , with the robbery of pensions and other benefits by the labour government, many of these benefits were reduced because of the cost and changing economic climate. The other operating companies in the uk surely stood and fell on their own staff welfare and it was only after 2003 when the ideas of shared resources did the gulf between rhg and the others become apparent.
    It always did cause paper company employees to look around them in wonder when visiting Northampton, not because it is plush, but because the staff were treated like humans not cattle. Perhaps the tales of the state of the offices at Ipswich could be repeated, where Tom park was so incensed that the office staff in one department couldnt get out of the chairs unless others moved and forced the management to spend money to provide adequate and suitable accommodation. Or the state of the facilities available to warehouse staff where toilet seats were taped using gaffer tape rather than replaced and outsiders we're discouraged from going near them so they would be discovered.
    I think it was Abraham Lincoln who remarked that you can't make people equal by lowering the standards of those at the top, you should raise the standards of those at the bottom.
    Still, with the economic climate and the poor financial performance of ppx, it should be a familiar landscape to those people who have spent their working life in squalor and making do with stick tape and string.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Does anyone know where Chris Creighton went to college. Most of us talk about our school days; not Chris. Maybe, he went to the school of hard knocks. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. not that I know the answer to the question above but,how is this relivant to anything, maybe this poster is still living in his "school days" as he has acheived very little in life since then and probably dissapoints his parents on a daily basis. Most of us "grown-ups" have moved on from talking about college

      Delete
  24. American Heritage Dictionary:
    Hero " Any man noted for feats of courage or nobility of purpose, especially, one who has risked or sacrificed his
    life."

    ReplyDelete
  25. Great article about the Company being run for the banks rather than the shareholders. While you fight over your investment the element that drives value is how the EMPLOYEES work for CUSTOMERS. Maybe you will succeed one day and reduce your losses but sadly the reality is you will be fighting over a dead body as the customers are starting to desert us now also.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Sorry, SUX, but i have to correct you. Bunzl Fine Paper after the purchase by PPX achieved 15% ROFE (this includes the value of goodwill also, yes you had to pay for your own acquisition before recognition of success was allowed) and at that time an exciting Company to work for. It all started to go wrong in November 2003 when we got 'Buhrmanised'. Essentially what PPX bought in Europe included the same 2 poorly performing businesses that Bunzl couldn't make any money out of in Germany and Italy. Germany had good debtor days of about 15 but small margins and Italy had 120+ debtor days and double accounting.The successful business of BFP suddenly got landed with a load of European management layers and costs they didn't need and if that wasn't bad enough they got saddled with another load of corporate costs in Australia. Take a leaf out of Tony Habgood's book (then Bunzl CEO) and have a small head office with minimal cost, and stop playing at big boys, paper merchanting is a simple game and the very best of them have always been run by ordinary people that know how to trade, not guys who live in a corporate bubble.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Toby Merchant resigns at PPX today!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Toby Marchant is leaving ! Yippee

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  29. And now Dave Allen must go!

    He cost PPX millions when running Sign & Display UK,
    He continued the decline of RHG following Toby's disastrous period
    He has failed to recognise and act on what was needed 4 years ago to ensure the success of PPX UK
    He set up Purple Packaging that is also a total failure and has again cost millions

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  30. We must have saved some big salaries with the departure of French and Lane-Ley but who will now drive our business forward? It feels like we have been left at the mercy of Dave Allen's consultants who continue to rack up massive fees without question, I'm sure they must do some good somehow but they don't take the helm and steer the ship which is what we need. I worry about my future having to rely on these people, we need some leadership please Mr Boon. or should i say Price?

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  31. The business requires a total clear out of all the senior people at the top. Small head office. De centralised and decisions on the ground. Put control where it belongs. At the sharp end. Big is not beautiful. Business is like war. As the famous Lord King once said. His definition of business is elimination of your competitor. In war it takes several miles for an aircraft carrier to turn. It takes far less for several destroyers to change course. Lose the aircraft carrier and nothing is left. One destroyer lost out of ten you carry on. RHG and Bunzl Fine Paper were two very different businesses. Putting them all together and creating layers and layers of management and appointing a buyer (now promoted again) is simply

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  32. Part 2

    The companies should never ever have been put together.

    Get back to basics and let the Managers at the sharp end do what they are paid for manage. They have good people and all this negative stuff is playing into the hands of Ebbs etc as good people leave as they fear the next round of cuts. The new MD must act fast and get back to basics. If what I have read about BT and IT is correct I am shocked. It cost Bunzl £6 million to write off the last disaster that was the IT programme in 2000 to 2002 to link all the companies.
    For goodness sake I hope they don't go down that road.

    Back to basics and low cost overhead at head office and no fancy titles or European buyers with big salaries and inflated egos. That guy has had more mill trips than everyone in the industry put together.
    Not to mention the freebies.

    Be brave new MD and clear out the senior management they have ALL proven they are either yes men or too frightened to speak out. They all need to go. The sooner the better.

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  33. I'm sure EBB's will get a foothold in Scotland over time because DMP has always been about service to customers. We used to offer great service in Glasgow and surrounding area, the jobbing printers loved us and we got most of their business, now we have DELCO and we turn orders down for same day delivery because they charge us so much we would rather not have the order, sometimes there are drivers just sitting around doing nothing and we have to use a courier because its more responsive. Mr Murray would turn in his grave if he knew EBB was going to do what he did all those years ago and look after customers as a responsive merchant.
    Perhaps Dave Allen's response will be to save some more costs and chop out all the remaining reps, at least we know there will be a job at EBB for us.

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  34. it would appear that paperlinx are now being run in the uk by consultancy firm footprint who after wrecking robert horne are now about to embarck on a similar exercise with the paper company and howard smith.many more heads to roll in the coming months i,d say,unless a graham griffiths or tim elliot steps in to salvage whats left of three once powerfull and respected forces in the uk

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  35. Why on earth does a consultancy firm have to run a paper merchants? Says a lot about the people who are supposed to be in charge ?

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  36. Why on earth are a consultancy firm running a paper merchants? Says a lot about the people supposedly leading the company!

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  37. Dave Allen is very good at managing UPWARDS, he is also a good strategic thinker, trouble is.. no-one who works for him has a bloody clue what it is he's thinking about! Maybe he will do a good job at managing our relationships with banks and credit insurers etc , I'm sure the new CFO could do that adequately. Mr Allen may get to take on, by default, yet another higher role where he can continue to be invisible. Despite having twice been at the lofty height of No.1 in the Printweek power 100 it was only because he held the big credit stick over cash starved printers that he was awarded it.
    Oh dear what a mess!. 5 years ago Toby Marchant was convincing us all that independent merchants would die out soon and there would only be Paperlinx and Antalis left, oh how the tides have turned! Perhaps it's because they are managing the needs of their customers rather than having to spend all their time dealing with internal, upward issues?

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  38. The above comments are very true. The only way to salvage PPX uk is to virtually completely demolish the senior management team and re build it with non RH people, preferably from outside of PPX altogether. There is an undeserved arrogance and deluded belief that they are always right amongst the remaining directors and without the sweeping changes needed we will see more and more good experienced staff migrating to the opposition or simply leaving the business. We have not one leader or motivator in the business at the very top. Mr Price excepted. We need a real 'general' who knows how to motivate and inspire and drag the business back to the top. Unfortunately Marchant wasn't that man and neither is Mr Alan, far from it. At this level it is seemingly all about retaining a position and a**e covering rather than doing what is needed to make the business work.

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  39. Thank you Paperlinx, as the market for paper continues to shrink each year you very generously gift me as an independently owned paper merchant some extra business to compensate. The 2012 results show yet again the only thing you can do is another restructure, then another. My sales teams have a great time when your people are so busy dealing with getting smaller and not thinking about customers. Margins are under pressure in this market but how can you defend your trading expenses? yet another example of how a privately run business can be more agile, we don't need all that corporate nonsense, we couldn't afford it and what value does it create anyway? Now that we seem to be referencing song lyrics it's not Shirley Bassey this time but The Who. "Meet the new boss, same as the old boss" We won't get fooled again!

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  40. Only 2 months into the new fiscal year and having to deny payment of bonuses that have been earned to prop up the current results, pathetic! The family silver has all been sold long ago, how about screwing the human capital next? must be a few bucks available in the short term. Perhaps the executive should take a payment holiday from the company contributing to their pension schemes for 3 months instead? probably cost the same and at least leave some people motivated to stay on and help bail out the sinking ship

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  41. So, we're back on song lyrics! The postman song was more famous in the UK from The Carpenters, maybe they should get busy making Harry a nice long wooden box for after his letter has arrived?

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  42. The sad thing is of course that UK staff who have only ever tried to sell paper despite senior management's attempt to prevent, are once again being targeted. The trick is now to use performance management to get rid of them and we are talking about experienced people who are actually bringing home the bacon everyday. I presume when they have all gone the UK paperlinx board will be out on the phones selling. It will be interesting to see who they blame then. The assets left in PPX are just the people. Once they have gone then there is nothing. I presume the competition do not need to acquire PPX using money, they just need to acquire the customers as PPX fails and falls further down the drain

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  43. The last comment is bang on, particularly the performance managed out of the business of talented individuals. All thats left are nodding donkeys and deluded management too concerned about saving their own backside.

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  44. Now there's virtually no-one left on the board its high time the Company is de-listed, broken up and let everyone get on with selling product instead of pretending to be Massive Corp. Inc. There's simply no room for all that complication and cost for a humble paper merchant. It's an absolute embarrassment to work for Paperlinx these days.

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    Replies
    1. Why don't you resign then. if not stop whining and start working

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  45. Like most long serving, previously highly motivated and loyal people I'm waiting for one of those big pay offs that happen every June

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  46. i wouldnt wait that long the way the state the company is in

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  47. Markus Gillioen will leave ppx per end of oct..... why ?

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