The bean counters can not see past the bottom
line. The small market town I cover had a cost study done for dialup internet and dsl. It proved that within 2 to 3 years it would turn
a profit. Not only would it make money but the
pr value would pay more in the long run. Every
time we bring it up it gets shot down from up
the food chain somewhere. Someone in Monroe
needs to remember we are here to serve the
public and make money.
Akka, you are a wise person, and your wisdom is amplified in your post about bean counters. Yes, accountants are a valuable part of the telephone business, but when they become the focus of the business versus customer service and as someone aptly put, "a postive experience" the company is headed for trouble.
One of my investment benchmarks is how many companies I choose to buy their stock have an officer level who is responsible for Revenues and Customer Satisfaction. If the company doesn't have an officer level position or reorganizes to diminish these positions, I sell as quickly as possible.
While essential, accountants, particularly in the telecommunications industry, are given way too much authority.
Think of it - an accountant sees everything in terms of expense-vs.-cash-flow. The intangible values that - let's face it - make up most of the "customer satisfaction" elements of almost any business (technicians going the extra mile, customer service reps offering non-revenue-generating advice or service, etc.) simply don't exist on their books, and no capital is assigned to their perpetuation.
In short, employees are encouraged to "keep it short", and to "sell whenever possible". No focus is placed on "make sure the customer experience is positive".
Accountants, by and large, are the folks who say "tell me what you need, and I'll tell you how you can live without it..."
During the 1990's, I observed many a stable company become a high flyer with these new MBA's who didn't know the value of cash flow, who were EBITDA driven, and who's business plans didn't look at cumulative dollars.
Big Iron, you are right, but those newly minted MBA's look only at the next Quarterly profit to sell relatives, including Mothers and Grandmothers. Some of the AA trained CFO's use Betty Crocker as their ethical guide to accounting.
I think this is a plague across all industries at the moment. I think what we are seeing, and feeling, is the result of the massive numbers of MBAs turned out in the late 80's and 90's.
While I'm not saying all MBA's would, it has been my experience that the MBA's I've been exposed to would seriously consider selling their grandmother if it would show a profit.
I really think business schools are teaching this crap to students. Teaching them that profit alone is bad, you've got to keep increasing the profit to stay in business - sounds like greed to me...
anyhow.. just my $5.00 worth (ain't inflation a bitch?)
Folks, with accounting driving the boat and getting rid of intellectual capital. These group of learned executives are in trouble when they begin getting rid of personnel who produce revenue (sales & marketing) and those personnel who protect revenues (customer care, engineering, operations, regulatory). What you end up with is a bloated, quasi-accounting fim who begin juggling the numbers to satisfy investors. At this point, the company is in really bad shape.
Just a reflection of what has happened some place else in this industry.