I know the blog has been quite but I have not had time to scratch myself over the last two weeks. We have secured a monstrous project with an Indonesian client to audit the assets of a local company here in Cambodia. They came to us because, let’s face it- we are the go to go guys in Cambodia for technical fieldwork but in all seriousness this is a very specialised project and I have the access to the resources to be able to pull it off. My first task was to price the contract which was a real learning experience as the variables and costs inherent in this type of project are many and varied but this kind of exercise is why I absolutely love my job each and every day. The business education I am getting running this company is better than any university I could ever go to and my boss is not only a top bloke but he is an excellent mentor which is something I have been looking for for a long time. He gives my a huge and loose set of reins to steer the business with and whilst I always run my costings on these large submissions by him for approval ( he is the owner after all !! ) , it is rare that he disagrees. Occasionally he will get me to consider something I have not foreseen but most times he is good with my pricing so that makes me pretty happy that I am doing things right .
So once the pricing was accepted by the client it started with pulling 12 hour days hiring and training extra staff ( 10 so far and more to come ) and sorting out all the logistical aspects of a project that will take 3 months to complete and will see my teams travel every corner of Cambodia during the worst wet season in 10 years. We will be trucking motorbikes out to the provinces and the boys will be out there for weeks. This week I went shopping for 12 digital cameras with all added accessories like extra batteries, SD cards, cases etc etc which was hilarious as I got served by 3 hotties in the shop who fussed over me and made coffee and chatted away etc while they tallied up everything. Then it was over to Aruna Technology to see my old workmates and purchase 12 GPS units and an extra super dooper GARMIN GPS62 for myself . That exercise actually took 2 days and many visits all up as we had to load maps and convert excel spreadsheets with 2200 way-points into the appropriate files for loading to the units. I now know A LOT more about GPS and how they work I can tell you. Then it was off to Russian Market for 14 North Face backpacks, off to IBC for 50 million pens and highlighters, off to the hardware for 14 tape measures, off to PTC for 6 HP printers , off to Mobitel for 6 high speed internet dongles etc etc. I have to outfit my field staff with all the tools they need and then I have to establish an operations base at a separate Phnom Penh location where all the data will be sent for analysis prior to handing over to the client so ……yeah…….I have been busy. You are probably wondering why I did not delegate the equipment shopping to one of my office staff and concentrate on the larger aspects ? Well…if you think I am about to give $7000 cash and a shopping list to a 22 year old Khmer kid…..YOU ARE MAD. It is not that I do not trust my staff with money but if I told them to go buy 14 Backpacks they would come back with wallets. 14 GPS units ? ” What’s a GPS ?”. 14 cameras ? I would get the pink ones with flowers on them. I don’t micro-manage my staff but I do know their limitations. You get my drift.
Then factor in that I have consultants coming in from Vietnam to take the company through ISO9000 training at the end of the month,my project at Sihanoukville Port kicks off any minute and we will soon be moving to our new custom built office and warehouse facility and its going to be 2012 before I know whats going on.