“Josh, I am well thanks, but unfortunately our customer Sandy is not”. Aldo felt comfortable with getting straight to the point and knew Josh appreciated the sharp-shooter approach. Josh is just as passionate about the business as Aldo is, even if it is for different reasons and knew Sandy was an important client. He also knew a lot more than Aldo was aware of.
“Sandy gave me call earlier today about a recent delivery”, Aldo continued to explain. “And she is not happy, not happy at all!”, he emphasised. Josh listened intently as Aldo describes the conversation he had with Sandy and his subsequent investigation in the factory. Josh had been out at a meeting when Aldo did the investigation, but he knew about it. One of the factory people had informed him earlier. He said nothing and continued to listen to Aldo’s explanation of the delivery of the wrong items and the wrong quantities. This was not an isolated case and Aldo managed to pick up on another three orders were the same issue appeared with different customers – wrong quantities and wrong items delivered. The other orders were smaller quantities and were either not picked up by the client or the client was not concerned and made a plan.
Nevertheless, Aldo was concerned and he wanted Josh to look into it. After Aldo finished his explanation, the board room went silent for a while. It felt like hours to Aldo but Josh was poised. His NLP training has served him well in many uncomfortable scenarios and this was one of them. Josh was prepared for the meeting with Aldo since nothing that Aldo mentioned was new to him. He thought about spilling the beans and asked, “Aldo, can I have a look at the documents you obtained from the factory? I want to see who signed them.”
“Why?”, Also asked, knowing the reason. He sensed that something was up with Josh because this man, 10 years his senior, never asks for anything without a reason. Aldo knew from his article days working at Terblance and Partners auditing firm that the signature on the documents was one of the control measures they implemented after discovering theft in the factory a few months after he bought the business.
“I know the documents would not have gone out the factory without a signature. I just need to know who signed them.” Josh explained.
Aldo took them out of his file and spread them on the boardroom table. Both men could see the signature, but it was vague, almost as if someone traced it.
“I don’t recognise the signature,” Josh whispered softly as his thoughts went back to his previous meeting; “The signature is the answer” was what the person had told him. At least now Josh has something to work from. He has been looking for a clue for months. This, Aldo does not know and Josh wondered if he should open the can of worms now. His relationship with Aldo has spread over many years and he has great respect for what Aldo has achieved from humble beginnings. He also knew Aldo was under immense pressure because the numbers were not on target. He was also aware of the fact that the new FD, Kane, was late with the numbers and that they did not make sense. Josh smelled a rat, but was not sure which direction it was coming from – the factory or the finance department.
Without saying anything else, he promised Aldo that he would look into the matter in detail over the weekend and would let him know more on Monday morning first thing.
Aldo then asked Josh to open up his laptop so that they could discuss the company numbers. Both men were feeling tired after a long week, but continued with what they knew to be the most important thing to do in that moment.
To be continued…