I had the opportunity to encounter a remarkable individual this past month. What makes John so special is the philosophy he engenders in his approach to his goals. John deals in “facts and data.” John doesn’t promote any personal agenda other than finding what is best for his American-based company. His ultimate goal is seeking the truth.
I had the opportunity to encounter a remarkable individual this past month. I’m certain that he would not want me to use his name, so I’ll call him John. John is a steward for finishing technology in a multibillion-dollar manufacturing company located in the heart of the Midwest. His job is to identify finishing technology needs, research solutions and foster the development and implementation of better materials and processes.
What makes John so special is the philosophy he engenders in his approach to his goals. John deals in “facts and data.” He doesn’t allow opinion or recollection of past experience to cloud his decision making. In fact, he has been known to challenge specifications because they don’t always embody the reality of a finishing line.
Like other companies mentioned in our annual Finishing Forecast on pp. 20-23 in this issue, John’s firm is dealing with tighter margins and increased foreign competition. But while many finishing operations are pressuring their suppliers to lower prices in an effort to protect their profits, John believes it is necessary to establish and encourage partnerships among paint suppliers, equipment companies, chemical manufacturers, consultants and his company. He feels that the prevailing philosophy of forcing suppliers to incur annual price concessions is detrimental to the overall quality of his product line because it coerces suppliers into systematically reducing the quality of their coatings.
John doesn’t promote any personal agenda other than finding what is best for his American-based company. His ultimate goal is seeking the truth.
At one point one in his career, one of his superiors attempted to assign titles to underlings based on molecular orbitals. Employees could be electrons or protons, depending on their position and responsibilities. John immediately recognized that the only appropriate title for him was “free radical.” While his independent thinking might buck some common trends, it’s likely to help position his company for increased success in the future.
As we begin a new year, we’re all looking for ways to improve in our personal and professional lives. Finishing Today has renewed its commitment to bring you the latest information on finishing trends and technologies. We’ve expanded our repertoire this year to bring you even more articles on paint, powder, field-applied coatings, plating, and the newest advances in the industry. I hope that you enjoy this issue and continue to seek the truth in your finishing operation.
VIEWPOINT: A Free Radical for the Truth
January 1, 2008