Gewisto - a consulting fable

A plant manager was beside himself with worry because one of his machines was broken. As a result, the entire plant was idled. Several of his operators had labored in vain for hours to get the machine going again. Finally one of the plant manager's advisors whispered to him, "Better call Gewisto." Gewisto was an old retiree who used to work there and knew the machines inside and out.

Exasperated, the plant manager called Gewisto at the old folks home and explained what was going on. "I really need your help," the plant manager said.

In a short time, Gewisto's old beat-up car sputtered into the plant parking lot and out he came. Not looking like much, old Gewisto walked over to the machine, pulled up a stool, and leaned his head against the side of the apparatus and listened for a while.

Then he reached into his baggy pants pocket and pulled out a small piece of chalk. With the chalk, he made a little "X" on the machine at a certain place. He then motioned to one of the operators to come over. Gewisto whispered something to the operator who then attacked the problem again only this time at the site with the X on it.

Gewisto stood up and produced a small pad of paper from his shirt pocket. With a stubby pencil, he wrote out his bill and handed it to the plant manager.

The plant manager's eyes opened very wide when he saw that Gewisto had charged him $10,000.

"What do you mean by this!" the plant manager boomed.

Gewisto took the pad back and wrote an itemized bill:

$1.00 for the repair that the operator was now making at the X
$9,999.00 for knowing where to look

Posted by Terrence Seamon on Friday December 28, 2013


James Lawther said…
I used to work for a very large confectionery company.

The part we needed was in the US

We were in the UK

We paid for a man to fly the part over in concord (it was a while ago)

It saved us a fortune

There is nothing quite as valuable as having what you want when you need it.
Terrence Seamon said…
Thanks for sharing that story, James. Was the man simply a courier or did he also install the part?
Norton Karp said…
Nothing can take the place of experience! You can read the most thorough and best written manuals from cover to cover, but until you actually work with a given machine, you'll never know the particulars that only the operator/owner/driver knows.

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