You know I'd love to love you, and above you there's no other
We'll go walking out while other's shout of war's disaster,
Oh we won't give in, Let's go living in the past
Yes fellow bloggers based on the weekend's scuttlebuttin', you continue to validate that the spine nation continues to be living in the past. The ongoing dialogue amongst yourselves and those that have now fallen victim to the DePuy/Synthes acquisition are getting a taste of loyalty when it comes to dealing with Corporate America. If you've never had tasted it before, you are in for a treat. Here are some of your own words, "cutting jobs," " bottom line," "opportunity to put food on your table," "this company is cold and heartless," "cuts are coming," "don't worry about your territories," "they got Medtronic arrogant," "I'm not liking my chances," "start interviewing now," "don't trust what your AVM or RSM says," "there will be high quality talent that will be available to a company who cares about it's people." Before TSB goes any further let's get one thing on the table, "THERE ARE NO COMPANIES OUT THERE WHO CARE ABOUT ITS PEOPLE!" You are a piece of meat, whether you like it or not.
Hopefully, the infantry at DePuy/Synthes is waking up. TSB endorses all infantry men and women because you do fight the fight and are treated like collateral damage. If you haven't awaken, you're in for a surprise. The more things change, the more things stay the same, and that my friends is not only a problem in spine, it is epidemic in America. The "reverend shareholders" are more important than the people that produce the revenue. Unfortunately, you are learning a hard lesson about words like "loyalty," "integrity," and what it means when the company you work for mandates that you"show a united front" in front of your customers. By playing the common folk off of one another, the top of the pyramid continues to rule. This tactic is not as sophisticated as you think, it's been used since the beginning of time. Those in power never want to relinquish power. Show a united front my derriere. This is your opportunity to make a statement. Get out while the going is good. As upper management in both company's fellate each other during the integration process, all along they have been making contingency plans for all of you. That's why there was a lack of transparency up until this point. You are now learning how dispensable you really are. TSB is sure that some corporatist or some gnome is going to get on the blog and start pontificating about the survival of the fittest, or how only the strong survive, unfortunately it's not a 1999 spine market. Since some of us at TSB have been through multiple mergers, we are empathetic to your plight. Here's what some of you are going to learn.
1. Starting over with a new product line is not that simple. There will be wins, but there will be some losses.
2. You will convert some business, but not 100% of your business. You notice we used the word "some."
3. Learn to be patient in making decision on choosing one of the smaller or mid-cap companies that you may be interested in aligning yourself with. Not everyone is all that they like to make themselves out to be.
4. Look at the management team, the scope of the product portfolio, the quality of instruments, and ask questions. As much as you need them, they need you. The worst thing you can do is become "trigger happy." Many of these smaller companies salivate when they read your comments. They will obfuscate the truth just for the opportunity for an immediate windfall.
5. Negotiate up for your business. The more options you have, the more you have to leverage. Remember it's a two-way street, especially with the small companies.
6. Get it in writing. No one said that some of the people running these small companies are the second coming of Earl Bakken.
Whether you agree with it or not, this is the new world. The old spine world is dead. It doesn't exist anymore. It's always been about the bottom line, but short-term has a new meaning. America has set a course in the direction of countries like Greece, Ireland, Spain, and Italy. As a recent visitor to Europe stated, austerity and manipulation doesn't work. Even the bastion of capitalism, the Wall Street Journal is starting to question austerity. If you are making $150-$250K per year, you're not rich, you're lucky. You've got mortgages to pay, you have to put food on the table, you have to run a business, you have overhead, you have to meet tuition obligations, and by time you're done balancing your check book there's nothing left. Unfortunately, the perception by the1% in our industry is that you are spoiled and bring no value. That's plain Bullshit. Just read the crap that people like Robin Young write about. How original was that Moneyball article? Could anyone feed you more propaganda? That formula may have worked for the A's in 2002, but based on their lack of success since that season, money talks and bullshit walks, think NY Yankees. Just keep thinking that you are part of the American Dream and the 1%. Because those people have you exactly where they want you. You are their "SHEEP." Those ridiculous metrics are especially tailored made for the SHEEP. Do these people have any clue as to what you are dealing with on a day-to-day basis?