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Many years back there used to be a TV show in the UK where this 'business guru' (read 'accountant' and I cannot remember his name for the life of me) would go around companies in the UK and give them a health check. His tactic was to go in and look for savings, streamlining, better ways to do things and generally to increase the revenue of those companies getting the treatment.

Indeed he could show how to raise their revenues for the next couple of years but it was obvious from the programmes that not only did he did not give a toss about the long term prospects of the companies he went to see, but also that the raised revenues were unsustainable. Of course many of the companies that he gave this treatment to did suffer for the guru's advice several years on.

Fortunately one company saw straight through the bull and told him so. This company, a car manufacturer, had always used a labour intensive approach to handmaking their cars. They had (and still do I think) a waiting list of a couple years for orders, which this 'guru' wanted to realise sooner to maximise the profits. His idea was to automate the process, outsource some elements and generally do things in a more streamlined manner.

Well none of the advice was taken on board as the MD turned around and pointed out that in fact the whole raison d'etre of the company was based on its exclusivity and well known crafted manufacturing technique. This was the reason why there was a waiting list in the first place. Sure, they could have cashed in on their waiting list and realised a few years extra profits, but I'm pretty confident they would have struggled to maintain their unique character and market position.

The company was Morgan, one of the very last surviving UK car manufacturers.


PS - The Economy of Nature arrives tomorrow, so I shall look forward to having a perusal and report back here.
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