Remembering Early Times at HP

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International Procurement Can Be Fun...!!!!
An autobiography of my working life..., by John Wastle

Part 4

Table of Contents:

Dedicated to:
Harris. The greatest Grandson in the world.
"The world is what you make it. It isn't fair, but it is good."

  • Part 1
  • Part 2
  • Part 3
  • Part 4
  • Part 5
  • Part 6
  • Part 7
  • Part 8
  • Part 9

  • Part 4

    20. IPO Supplier Road show...

    Our display table for our IPO work projects, presented at the World-Wide Materials
    Managers meeting in Monterey, CA.

    By now I had decided it was time to market on a much bigger scale our subcontractor's abilities and in the process promote our WEIPO capabilities. To do this I needed to do something completely out of the ordinary. I would set up a "road show" where I'd take a bunch of our subcontractors on a trip round their USA HP customers, at their expense of course. I approached a few of the subcontractors to see if there was any interest, they almost bit my hand off at this opportunity. It was not going to be easy because some of those subcontractors were direct competitors of each other, and the last thing I wanted was infighting between each other in front of their customers. They also had to give an air of the partnership they shared with our WEIPO. I got all their agreements to this, I also said that at any presentation, costs structures would not be discussed in front of each other, I knew that would take out any heat and make them feel freer to talk amongst each other. I said each would be given time of their own to discuss their company, what they had to offer and what plans they had for the future, and they would be allowed to do this presentation to the HP customer division on their own without the other subcontractors in attendance. It received their full agreement.

    This first trip, which was so successful, other trips would follow. Many of these suppliers would end up being long standing suppliers to many USA divisions, they would join me again on some trips. The suppliers were, Livingstone Precision, Precision Machining, JV Murcott, FACTS, and Border Precision, whose name in itself started a few titters around the presentation rooms, with questions like "Is your precision capability only border-line?" Americans being Americans we had to explain it was due to the locality of the company in Scotland. I approached the US Divisions that we were making parts for, to see what they thought of being visited by a bunch of our subcontract suppliers from the UK? They were all for it, it gave them a chance to have all their procurement folks sit in and find out about these suppliers, plus it gave them an opportunity to interrogate them as to why they can be so cost effective. This also gave them the opportunity to show them more of what was available and how they inspected and used the parts.

    I set up for this first Subcontractor-US trip, we'd visit SKD in Spokane, LSID in Lake Stevens near Seattle. NMD in Santa Rosa, SAD in Rohnert Park/Santa Rosa and SPD in Palo Alto. Every one of the visits were a great success, some more so than others, the subcontractors bonded well, they were having fun, at times it was like a rolling party. The division's hospitality was excellent.

    In Spokane, the procurement folks had set out a table to have lunch, we were to meet up with some of the other team players who would also join us for lunch. As we approached the table with our trays, (It's always self-service in HP.) Hugh Ambelang, QA Manager, was already sitting there waiting on us. Hugh's style was always that he wore big Hawaiian flowery shirts, today was no different. Hugh was sitting with his back to the window and we all sat around him. As we ate, we heard this tapping sound and it was coming from the window directly behind Hugh, there were three Humming birds, they were trying to get in to reach Hugh's flowery Hawaiian shirt. Roars of laughter soon emanated from our table and Hugh was then on the receiving end of most of the jokes after that, with shouts of, "They want to love you Hugh!"

    Material Manager Greg Schmidt thought it would be a good idea to challenge this Scots team to 10 pin bowling on one of the evenings. He insisted there had to be a wager of $5 a head which would go to the winning team. He realized that this game being popular in the USA, that SKD would wipe the floor with us, he hadn't given any thought that it might also have been popular in Scotland. Many of us had played before, but we had an ace up our sleeve that we didn't know we had. Jim Duncan of Precision Machining, who was a born natural, he could have won it all on his own. So Greg Schmidt had to hand over our winnings after we took them to the cleaners and taught them how bowling should be played.

    Later back at the Red Lion Hotel, or Roach Inn as Bill Burdick liked to call it, we all partied those winnings away. The bars in those hotels are nearly always dark with a rock band thumping away in the corner and the bar waitresses who wore low cut tops and the shortest miniskirts were only too happy to run back and forth with refills for the empty glasses, gathering tips in the process of course, and participating in an ice-cube drop. Having a lap that was getting wetter by each drink delivery, it was time I responded. A carefully placed hand over the shoulder from the back of the waitress and allowing an ice cube or two to drop down a cleavage, it soon had those waitresses roaring with laughter, they said, "None of the American boys would ever do that." I think with all us guys that talked funny, it helped to make their work night a fun evening and we got away with it.

    At one table I caught sight of Ben Reilly in deep conversation with this cowboy looking red-neck guy, who was a bit more out of his skull than Ben was with drink. Turns out this cowboy guy built trailers for a living and that he could build a trailer that could transport anything, with boats being his specialty, you name it he could build it! A challenge to Ben Reilly, who came back with, I wager the next three rounds I can think of a boat you can't build a trailer for! "Deal" said the cowboy, "Right" said Ben, "Let's see you build a (expletiving) trailer to carry from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the Queen Elizabeth Liner!" Hoots of laughter erupted, obviously the drink was taking its affect. With the cowboy then shouting to the waitress, "Honey, bring this Scots gentleman three more drinks!" The last we saw of the cowboy was him staggering to his feet, shaking all our hands, saying "I must get my (expletive) across to Scotland," then unsteadily making his way to the door that led to the car park to drive 20 miles home!!!! I'm glad I wasn't on the road that evening.

    Fortunately, next day we were making our way up to Santa Rosa, where we would be staying for a few days in the Flamingo Hotel for our visits to SAD and NMD. So there was time to recover from the large heads most of the subcontractors had next morning. All except Mike, from Precision Machining, who had gone to bed early and was up early for a jog and breakfast in the McDonalds across the street!!!

    Taking those guys on a trip like this around the west coast divisions, was a bit like taking a child to a sweetie shop. Trying to keep them under control could be at times quite a challenge. When we were in the Flamingo Hotel in Santa Rosa, we would be there for a few days due the close proximity of NMD and SAD, it would allow the guys to relax a bit. The hotel has great facilities, a huge Olympic sized swimming pool, though a bit on the cold side and a big hot-tub in the gardens. Needless to say, this is California and it was summertime, so they would all lie around the pool, some of them looking a bit like stranded whales with their beer bellies open to the sun.

    On one occasion, Jim Duncan disappeared, we thought he was off to the loo, a little while later he comes swanning back with a glass of champagne in his hand and two new friends in tow! "Com'n guys," he says, "There's a wedding reception going on over there, and we're all invited!" The couple getting married were a few generations removed from Scottish immigrants and they were holding or trying to hold a Scottish wedding. When Jim stumbled onto it and they found out there was a bunch of Scots guys sitting around the pool, they wanted us all to join in! Swimming suits and all!! Fortunately the reception was spilling out into the gardens, so it made it easier for us to take part and help them reduce the size of their champagne lake and canapes.

    That same swimming pool was always a great attraction, people would hear the accents and want to stop by and talk. Jim Duncan and I were sitting in the hot-tub late one afternoon talking about the business aspects of that days' visit and enjoying the sun and the hot water. As we looked towards the swimming pool, walking up the path towards us was this tall striking blonde in a skimpy bikini. Jim said, "Ya beauty this is the life, and she is coming to join us!" As the blonde moved to step into the hot-tub beside us she says, "Hello boys, beautiful day." There was only one answer to that. "It sure is... Now!" After another few niceties, she says, "You guys are not from around here with those accents?" I said, "No, we're from Scotland." "Business or pleasure?" she replied, "Both" we said in unison. At that point she said, "Well you must be here for Hewlett Packard?" I said, "I'm impressed, how did you know that?" To which she replied, "There's a huge seminar going on, so I assumed you guys were in town for it." I said "Nope, not that seminar, we're here on other business." At that point she shouts to a guy getting out of the swimming pool, "Hey Chuck come and meet these guys from Scotland, they're with HP." She then promptly introduced us to her husband and burst both our balloons in the process...!

    On this and following supplier trips to Santa Rosa, the suppliers always looked forward to going to SAD. SAD was by now a big customer and they always made an extra effort when we came over. Pete Johnson the Fabrication Manager was a big supporter, as was nearly all his team, Roy Ingham his Engineering Manager, would worry in case we lost some of the guys on the nights out at dinner. SAD always put on something special, and on this occasion they had organized dinner in Guerneville, a small village outside Santa Rosa near the Armstrong Woods where the Giant Redwoods grow. The guys got to see some of the giant trees, but I also think SAD deliberately picked this restaurant to see the actions of the boys from the UK.

    Guerneville is a lovely little place, it looks almost backwoods, but it is a big tourist attraction, which is also very close to the Wineries. Visiting the wineries is another story. On this occasion we had drinks in a wooden shack type bar near the restaurant. As we were all walking towards the restaurant, the SAD guys had big smiles on their faces, which made me wonder. I asked, "You guys all have big smiles on your faces, what's up here?" Pete Johnson said, "Well this is a sort of special restaurant, as was the bar we were just in." At that point Bill Davidson said, "I thought that bar was a bit odd, it was full of Gays!" That was when Roy Ingham said, "Guerneville is the Gay Capital of California, and this restaurant is owned and totally run by Gays!" You could have heard a pin drop in the main street.

    The guys all walked in, in silence, in a straight line one behind the other. They were met with big smiles from everyone and a big welcome in somewhat higher pitched voices. "We've got the dining area all specially ready for you boys!" Said the Maitre'de, "Just follow me." He added. There was a long table where we all could sit at, every one of the suppliers went to the back of the table, that way their backs were to the wall and no one could sneak up on them. The SAD team had a good laugh at that. The restaurant staff were wonderful, they played these guys from the UK all evening long, it was a fun evening.

    On another visit, mostly with those same suppliers, SAD took us to the Korbel Winery, where Korbel Champagne was made. This was going to be some night, the suppliers couldn't believe the place. First there was a winery tour which was superb and ended up back at the Winery visitor centre, where we were to start drinking Champagne around the swimming pool, which was in the shape of a champagne bottle. From there we would be driving over the hill to the other side of the woods. We were going to have dinner in Calistoga, another beautiful small town famous for its water and volcanic mud baths.

    I was wondering if this was such a good idea after drinking the champagne, but drive there we did. The restaurant once again was an excellent choice and downstairs they had a great bar. Yet another great fun filled evening, but we had to drive back to the Flamingo Hotel about twenty miles away over foothills roads. We had to go the back roads, which were twisty and dark, no one wanted to come across the Highway Patrol! That included the SAD team! We all safely made it and next morning we all turned up to do the presentations, but it was good to see the SAD procurement team also nursing big headaches, it's not good to mix champagne with beer, wine and spirits! In hindsight everyone was amazed we all made it without a mishap or ending up in jail!

    21. Poison from Home...

    It was whilst we were in SAD and in the middle of the supplier presentations, that I got a call from Queensferry. Jimmy Queen wanted to talk to me about an allegation that had been made to him, by the QMD Financial Controller, Jim Rigby. For some strange reason I could never work out, it seemed illogical to me, but the Financial Controller had the Maintenance Department reporting to him. Perhaps it's because when a company ceases business, it's usually an Accountant that's last to leave the building and he will need someone to switch the lights off!!

    A rumour had started in the Maintenance Department, based I think on a jealous vein there, that they could not accept that my IPO people were "more successful." They insisted that both our departments consisted of people from similar backgrounds. We were becoming more and more successful and traveling to other countries on a frequent basis. The rumour coming out of the Maintenance Department was that I was on the take from suppliers and in particular Livingston Precision Machining (LPE). LPE's Managing Director was Ben Reilly, who had worked in Tool Engineering in HP beside me.

    When people talk like that and when the gossip is spread, it gets more and more malicious and eventually travels upwards, this time to the ear of the Financial Controller Jim Rigby. He in turn brought it to the attention of Jimmy Queen.

    When Jimmy called me and told me about it, I was livid at this accusation and I demanded to know who stated this and I wanted to see the proof of their allegations. I was a long way from home, dealing with the stress of this road show and to have this extra pressure applied to me was unforgivable. I was raging at Jimmy about it all and I wanted something done about it, and if necessary I wanted those who were spreading this poison fired! And if nothing was done about it, I would make damn sure something was sorted out on my return.

    I couldn't get it out of my head, and made a stupid unthinking mistake. I spoke to Ben Reilly off-line and on the quiet. Ben Reilly was even madder than I was about it. He flew off into a rage about the accusation and immediately phoned his office. What he did was make contact with his company's lawyer. By next morning, Ben informed me he had spoken with his lawyer and they were going to take the matter to Court. There is a little known law in Scotland, where if someone makes malicious allegations towards someone, that person can be taken to Court. If that person was only repeating hearsay, then they have to name the person they heard it from, and they get taken to Court, or they then become the accused. That works all the way down the line until they get the culprit who started the malicious rumour and they get sued.

    I asked Ben to cool it, as this would only cause resentment and might lead to his company losing business from HP. Ben said to me, "John, if you can nail this down and get these allegations retracted, I will not take it to Court, but if they are not retracted, I will take this all the way through the Courts." Ben Reilly felt insulted and disgusted and did not want poison like this to reach his other customers so was determined to stamp it out as quickly as it had erupted.

    I phoned Jimmy Queen to tell him what had happened. Jimmy's first reaction was to chew me off for telling the LPE Managing Director. I said, "I'm sorry Jimmy, he had a right to know, but this should never have happened in the first place and now HP is going to find itself, or rather, a number of its employees, getting dragged through the Courts." I went onto explain the law about vicious rumours and how it works its way down to find the real culprit and that I had also spoken to Ben Reilly so that we could deal with this without the need for Court action.

    The message had gotten across, Jimmy spoke with the Financial Controller, who in turn got all the Maintenance Department in a meeting room and demanded to know who had said this about me and LPE. He also let them know the results of this rumour and that the end result would be a number of them appearing in Court with those who initially stated the rumour being sued for defamation of character. Suddenly, they realized what they thought was a bit of fun, had exploded in their faces and they were now under the threat of appearing in Court and having to deal with the subsequent financial penalty. The culprits owned up to starting the rumour, Jim Rigby read the riot act to them. Personally I feel they were let off lightly as they only got a warning. It was now up to me to defuse the matter completely.

    I took Ben aside, told him what had happened, that I had received an apology for it all and I was asked to give Ben an apology on behalf of HP. I also stated that I was not happy with the way the (expletives) had been literally let off, but in all our interests, it would be best if we just dropped the matter. This Ben agreed to. From that day on, there was never another rumour uttered out of the Maintenance Department, they had obviously got a huge fright and had learned their lesson.

    22. Supplier Seminar...

    I realized that as we were shipping more and more components off-shore. With our small staff we couldn't allow ourselves to get bogged down in a possible daily time consuming drag of checking through part failures and what might have caused them. This would soon detract from our ability to source more parts for QMO's needs and those of our off-shore customers. Nothing would get us a bad name quicker than shipping faulty parts off-shore, those customers would then feel they were not in control of their parts and would use this against us and so stop further parts from being sourced through us. It was a big enough challenge fighting off all those who already saw our IPO as a threat to their personal survival, without us giving them the bullets to carry out our own execution, this was not an option.

    I got my group organized to do a Supplier Seminar. The main theme would revolve around Statistical Process Control or SPC as it was more commonly known. Only a couple of our suppliers were using SPC in their business, I wanted them all to use it. It would also be a great selling tool that I could market to all customers and potential new ones.

    Although SPC does allow faulty parts to escape the net, the process of SPC can control that, to allow the process to be brought back into control, so the numbers of faulty parts which did get through, would be extremely small. If the SPC process was to be managed effectively on our suppliers' premises, it needed someone with an aggressive style to push it through. One of my engineers, Judy W., was the ideal person to manage this process with our suppliers, all though nearly all my team members were fully aware of the process. Judy was a driver-driver person who by her nature had to be kept harnessed and given a serious and demanding challenge, I knew this would suit her perfectly and it would have the added benefit that those suppliers not currently using SPC, would soon realise that the IPO was serious about its implementation. If they wanted to continue to be an IPO supplier, then they needed to get on-board, plus it wasn't going to cost them a bean to learn about how to implement it.

    With the whole of my group behind this Supplier seminar, we set about pulling it together. It would occupy a couple of days and it also got our full QMO Functional Management support.

    I was going to limit it to a handful of our most prominent suppliers, but once the word got out, I was deluged with requests to attend. In the end we had 52 suppliers come along. To make this happen we would run the seminar over a few days, but limit the attendees to two per company. The seminar would cover all aspects of QMO. General Manager Doug Scribner would give an overview of QMO Strategy in the marketplace. Jimmy Queen, in his Manufacturing Manager role, would give an overview on QMO's Manufacturing Philosophy. Bill Oliver and Bill Fulton would give QMO's Materials Philosophy. Bill Oliver, at that time had been assigned a new temporary role, he was to assume the position of Transition Manager for QMO's move into the new building being built on site. He eventually ended up with a new nickname, "Bungalow Bill"... Bill Fulton, who was a Line Manager took on the role of Materials Manager during that time. He was another person I was to have my future ups and downs with.

    I and other key players also gave an overview to the delegates of the Working Partnership we were working towards. For the second half of the day, it was given to TQC, Total Quality Control, with an overview being given by QMO Quality Manager Peter Rigby. Then we got down to the actual crux of the seminar SPC run by one of my engineers, Laurence Bird and a QA engineer, Keith Price. The whole seminar was wrapped up with an Open Forum where I would take any questions about the whole programme. There was a complete display of QMO samples, fully supported by my team, where the delegates could see parts that they were capable of manufacturing.

    Each delegate was issued a manual which covered all aspects of TQC and SPC sections which they could use to teach their staff, also reminding them they would have access to support from our engineers who would be more than happy to help set the processes up within their establishments.

    The seminar was a roaring success, so much so, I received a call from Tom Kennedy at the Irish Development Agency, who had heard about the seminar from an Irish supplier who had attended. He asked me to run it in Dublin for the Irish based suppliers. This we duly did. Even our IPO customer divisions and HPP Corporate Procurement also solicited copies of our seminar programme. That also included divisions which were not 100% IPO friendly. I was quite happy to oblige, it was an added strength to our bow, although I couldn't see those divisions implementing it at their suppliers, since that would need commitment and participation on their part. They didn't think like that, they would expect their suppliers to do it on their own.

    23. Decision Time Again...

    Our WEIPO was by now starting to get well established, we had a customer base well outside the QMO parent Divisions. Dick Locke, on one of his visits to our IPO office said to me over dinner one night, that our IPO could achieve more, but I was doing two jobs and that the IPO was now at a stage where it needed fulltime management to develop the business further, so why don't I do it. I was being stretched doing both jobs, and there would always be a limiting factor of sticking with the QMO job. But here was an opportunity to play in a much bigger pool. However it would mean me going back again to a very much smaller staff level. I had done that before and the global aspect of a customer base outside that of only the USA, was quite an attraction and challenge to me, I'd be reporting to Corporate Procurement!

    Next day Dick Locke and I went to see Jimmy Queen. Somehow I don't think Jimmy expected this to happen and he asked me what I wanted to do? He also agreed that the time had come where I could not do both jobs to the merits that each required and deserved. Jimmy Queen, I think was now drawing a line in the sand, it was decision time! Somehow I think this time Jimmy was a little disappointed with my decision, as I chose the IPO path.

    I explained to Jimmy that QMO Materials Engineering Department was now well kitted out to manage all its materials subcontracting needs. Its supplier subcontracting base was now well established, fully identified and all the processes and procedures up and running. There was little more I could do except turn over similar parts for QMO's new Product Transfers. I went on to say that the IPO was now at the stage of offering me a much bigger opportunity and challenges, to play a role in a much bigger capacity within a much bigger global field, whereas my advancement in QMO was severely limited. I just couldn't pass up that opportunity.

    Once again I was back to square one and starting not quite afresh, but I was back with a minimum staff level of support and mountains of work to achieve if I was to make the WEIPO more and more successful. On the upside though, QMO Materials Engineering would have to support the same parts which they were using and going to their parent licensor divisions. All I had to do was make sure those divisions order processing and shipping was taken care of. So in a way as MCG was my biggest customer, QMO had to ensure supply resource was available.

    Although I was independent to run my UK IPO business, on a European level I would report to Karl Heinz Hartmann in Boeblingen Germany. I would have a dotted line relationship to the Materials Manager in QMO, who at that time was Bill Fulton, due to Bill Oliver doing his "Bungalow Bill" activities. Later Bill Fulton would move on, but not before I had a few run ins with him, Tony Summerfield would then take on the Materials Manager role, until they eventually pushed him aside and eventually out the door, resulting with Bill Oliver taking on his old Obe-Wan Materials Manager role once again. QMO would also eventually push him out the door much to his great loss and disappointment. However, that was to happen after I had decided to take early retirement. In a way Bill Oliver was always or appeared happy with my reporting into Corporate Procurement, as it gave him another route for inputs to HPP Procurement without the responsibility aspects.

    The original European IPO managers: Pierre Lavissiere (France), Me (UK),
    Karl Hartman (Germany) and Rahamim Levy (Israel).

    Jimmy Queen, I felt, was still involved in the background, particularly when it came to the IPO sourcing the System II Pressure Die-castings out of the PAFC to JV Murcott in Birmingham. Back then though and unknown to me, a new Division Manager by the name of Don Summers, whom I thought I knew well, had taken over the reins of QMO, and he would decide that Jimmy Queen was way past his shelf life and was instrumental in ousting Jimmy from the company.

    On that occasion the jungle drums soon got around quickly that Jimmy was leaving, or being told to get out, and that he would be out by the end of the week. I wandered by Jimmy's desk to have a word with him about it all, and said to him "That if he wanted to quietly leave the building, I would happily take him home." On his last day in the company, Jimmy did just that. He had been at the Social Club and had a couple of drinks, but he didn't want any of the others to take him home, or have his wife come and pick him up, so he wandered by my desk to see if I would take him home. That was a "no brainer" to me, after all that he had done for me, this was the least I could do to help him. I took him home, he was in a real bit of a downer about it all and on how he had been treated, unfairly I thought. I didn't feel comfortable just leaving him on his own until his wife May came home. So I sat with him in his garden for a while as he had another couple of beers, I refused the beers as I was driving. After a while Jimmy said that May would be home soon so I could go back to work and thanks for taking the time out to help him.

    What I didn't know then was, that I would also later have a run in with that same Divisional manager My saving grace was that I reported to Corporate and not anyone on his team, plus I could bring customer pressure to bear, with much more clout than he had.

    24. Carry On Alone...

    If, as I suspected after all those past years, Jimmy Queen had been in the background, a silent but helpful support, that time had now passed. Within myself, I believed I was now more than capable to deal with what was to come. If there was one thing above everything else that I learned from Jimmy and the way he let me manage my business, it was trust and support your team, treat everyone the way you want to be treated. It was only later I began to realize my actions were being observed by my team. I was being seen not just as their manager, but also acting as their Shop Steward. I strongly believe that my actions in those areas gave the end result, that our IPO Team was just streets ahead in every discipline and ability than those of their peers working in the site Materials Department which was supporting the two divisions on the Queensferry site at that time. What's more, I believe that all the members in our IPO Team knew it! I guess we were a real cocky bunch, it's no surprise we had so many problems with other department managers on site. We even took onboard the Tina Turner song "Simply the Best" as our motto. Which at every department outing, you'd hear us all singing, as loud as we could!

    With Jimmy Queen gone and Bill Oliver basically now gone also, our IPO had to survive on our own. In a real sense, management confusion exists anytime corporate decisions are made to establish what industry (or military) calls "tenant" operations. That is when an unrelated operation, like my IPO is set up inside another group. Logic might have suggested that my group could have been better off in an off-site office, but Hewlett Packard plants offer so much in support services, comms and administrative that it made sense to be on site. Moreover, my real manager in Germany agreed with our location decision.

    But when issues like personnel raises and bonuses are managed by the host division, often the tenant gets forgotten. In my case my local dotted line Manager Bill Fulton, whom I recognised, would never stand up and be counted on in my IPO corner when it came to the crunch, Bill's loyalty would always lie with QMO, and they would always toe the QMO party line pushed down to them from above, since QMO paid their wages and dished out their pay rises.

    There were many managers on site at South Queensferry, who wanted to see us fail, or more like, wanted to see me fail, and on many occasions would go out of their way to make things difficult for us. In later years, it also led to my disappointment in Bill Oliver, who pretended to put out an air of support to me and our IPO, but I found out from others that he was instrumental in the background in doing the opposite and in particular, poisoning the Materials Department in SAD against our IPO.

    So here I was, 100% IPO and quickly realizing that just supporting those divisions within the Test and Measurement Organisation was never going to 'cut the mustard' business-wise for the longer term. For our IPO to succeed we had to break into all of HP's other business groups. That was not going to be as easy a task as supporting and breaking into the other T&M divisions which we now had as IPO customers. For starters, the power in all those other groups lay within the USA divisions. There was only CPB, Computer Peripherals Division in Bristol involved in Disk Drives and they were part of DMD, Disk Memory Division in Boise at that time. There would also be that, 'not invented here' mentality, along with the xenophobic mindset that permeated some minds to off-shore sourcing, unless it was out of Japan. Trying to convince some of these people, some of whom had never been out of their own State, never mind being out of the country, was going to be a huge challenge. There were times though, that I wondered who made the decisions to let some of them out of their State, let alone the USA!

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