The Story of Darman Mfg. Company and Genius (10-13-2010)
This blog is a critical one for me. This is because it is a resume of sorts… or at least a part of one.
Incidentally, this blog represents strongly suggests that I have a work ethic second to none, and that I have at least some degree of genius. (Both of my parents had some degree of genius. Out of the seven children that they had, I was the most gifted in regard to math, science, and logical thinking.)
I spent the time needed to tell the story of my tenure as President of Darman Mfg. today.
I did this because my credibility is so important in regard to what I am trying to do at the moment.
I felt that perhaps my work history with Darman Mfg. might help with this (my credibility).
[Darman Manufacturing Company can be found on the Internet athttp://darmanco.com/.%5D
I hope that you (the reader) gain some insight in regard to what my potential and my capabilities are when you read the story that follows.
The Story Of Darman Manufacturing Company, Inc. During My Tenure As Its 2/3rd Majority Stockholder and President
I have done a business start-up before in my life… or almost done so.
“Almost” in the above means that I did not have to start a business from scratch. I revived a business that was dying, and was dying for quite some time.
In 1983, for $100,000 I bought a dying manufacturing company with (1) an obsolete product, (2) an old plant and equipment, and (3) an almost empty bank account.
I bought this business from my father Arthur Darman.
[Arthur Darman had bought Darman Mfg. Company from his father Joseph Darman’s estate in the late 1960’s when he died. Joseph Darman, an immigrant from Malta who spoke no English, and had no money when he arrived at Ellis Island in about 1910, was its founder (after soon buying out a funding partner). Joseph Darman was a very gifted man, and was known to be a genius by many that knew him.]
My start at Darman Mfg. Company was not an auspicious one. In the twelve years prior to my taking the reins, my father had fired me three times, and I had quit three times out of anger and frustration as well. (At least we were even in this regard when I bought the company from him.)
Darman Mfg. Company was purchased from my father without a dime of my own money (as I had none). It was purchased by the company mortgaging its paid-for-building for $50,000 (an amount immediately handed to my father), and a $50,000 promissory note at no interest paid out monthly for five years. (I paid my father $833.33 for the next sixty months, and paid the mortgage as well. These were paid out of company proceeds as we went along.)
Darman Mfg. Co., Inc.’s annual sales were about $130,000 annually for the prior three fiscal years before I bought it. These annual sales were probably the lowest in its corporate history as far back as World War II.
Darman Mfg. Company, Inc. had suffered through a long slow decline in annual sales over the past fifteen years or more. This decline in sales was a result of paper towels and hot air dryers replacing the cloth roll towel cabinets that are (sometimes) still found in public restrooms.
Darman Mfg.’s primary product was cloth roll towel cabinets that were sold to the linen industry. The linen industry then hung these cabinets in commercial restrooms, and made their money on washing and changing the roll of cloth toweling.
When I told people back in the 1983 – 1994 era what Darman Mfg. Co. actually made a common response I received from many persons was “Who the heck still wants those? I did not think anyone made them any more”.
The primary reason for Darman Mfg. Co.’s flat sales three years before I purchased it was just as my father told me before he sold me the company… “Allen, every product has a life cycle. The life cycle of our primary product is over. It has been over for quite some time”.
Both my father, and a consultant with an M.B.A. degree that I hired a few years after I bought the company, told me that I did not have a chance as far as succeeding with Darman Mfg. Co. goes. Both thought such to be impossible… or extremely unlikely at best.
Few desired cloth roll towel cabinets (the toweling that they dispensed) to dry their hands on when paper towels for hand drying became prevalent, and took the commercial hand drying market by storm in the sixties and the seventies. In some states cloth roll towel cabinets were actually unfairly outlawed from the standpoint of hygiene. The market for cloth roll towel cabinets in the United States was not robust when I purchased this company, to say the very least.
In these hopeless business circumstances, and in a high tax state in which manufacturing companies were leaving in droves or dying, I succeeded “in spades”. And I succeed despite manufacturing a product many thought to be obsolete… cloth roll towel cabinets.
Less than eight years after I bought Darman Mfg. Co, from my father, it was doing about $2,000,000 in annual sales. And it continued to do so until I retired in 1994 in order to try to find the cure to manic depression.
For the past three or four years that I ran Darman Mfg. Co. as it’s President, its profits, and my salary with benefits, were both around $100,000 (each). This admittedly assumes that I count as my salary paying my ex-wife $35,000 annually as a “no-show” vice president, count a company car, count some paid for by the company gasoline credit cards.
I succeeded due to the following:
(1) I had a work ethic second to none. (Eighty hour work weeks were the norm for me for the bulk of the first five years or so of the eleven years I ran Darman Mfg. And in one particular year and a half period of these five years I often exceeded this eighty hour work week by another ten hours or so.)
(2) I maximized the value of a verbal pledge to purchase 2000 towel cabinets annually from a major domestic linen supplier in advance of a new towel cabinet design being even started on. (When this verbal pledge of future purchase was made, it represented about $120,000 in business annually, or about double our annual towel cabinet production in units at the time.)
(3) I was able to find and secure close to half a million dollars of funding for this new design via (1) a limited stock offering to people that I knew, and (2) through S.B.A. financing package. (I was heavily involved on a hands-on-basis in developing the business plan and accounting data to make this financing occur.)
(4) I successfully upgraded Darman Mfg. Company’s towel cabinet design from a product with a metal outer shell to a product with a plastic one. (I heavily participated in the design process of this new plastic shell. I worked as a team with a “pencil draftsman” that I had hired in a bar one night. “Pencil drafting” was almost a must at this time, as personal computers had not quite advanced enough to support AutoCad yet. Neither this draftsman nor I had any prior experience in plastic part design. We learned as we went along. Our design was so good a major local molder doing told us our new cabinet could win an award for its design. I admittedly did have our work reviewed by a professional plastic parts designer before expensive molds were made. However, this professional plastic parts designer made remarkably few changes to what the draftsman and I had come up with design-wise.)
(5) I greatly improved our internal accounting capability. (I was a wizard at writing Lotus 123 spreadsheets in 1987, and was completely self taught in this (by reading books). I put all the business books on spreadsheet templates of my own design in 1987. These were still in regular use by Darman Mfg. over a decade later. My work was done on a 286 computer, and was way ahead of its time. It actually embarrassed our C.P.A accounting firm to take the action of sending some of their employees to Chicago to learn how to use computers. A person in this accounting firm told me if my cash disbursements ledger template could write checks, he could sell it to some of his other accounting customers. I could have learned how to do such from the books that I had in my possession, but I did not have the time to invest in this. I was running my own business, not helping his for peanuts. Oddly, as much as I knew about Lotus 123 spreadsheets and spreadsheet design in 1987, I don’t know a whit about Excel today. After I left the business environment my learning was directed elsewhere.)
(6) I was behind the smart purchasing of raw materials. (At purchasing Darman Mfg. Company excelled for a business of our magnitude. I was using a Radio Shack computer to help with purchasing as early as 1984. I used merge letters, and the Thomas Register, to often get thirty or forty quotes from different vendors for the same part. This was done to find the best price for a part of equal quality, of course.)
(7) I was able to recognize the successful price point for our primary product. (This took a feel for the market, and what price it would bear. The market for towel cabinets was price sensitive somewhat. It was price sensitive due to an excess of fully reconditioned towel cabinets being regularly sold at $40. per unit all over the U.S.)
(8) I personally designed and developed a Lotus 123 spreadsheet template that was given to a number of our major customers in the early 1990′s. This spreadsheet template contained a sophisticated sales argument involving “the total cost approach” using net present value, including “all the math behind it”. It was essentially a program that our customers could plug their own cost and other variables into. It would then automatically and accurately generate their own fiscal results in net present value. (This sales argument compared two competing purchasing decisions many of my customers faced. This sales argument was a bit of sheer genius, or very close to it. It did make a substantial difference in our domestic and Canadian sales. It did so by convincing a number of our customers to replace their older towel cabinet inventory with new cabinets when their older cabinets came in for repair.)
(9) I acquired some major domestic customers. (My brother Stephen Darman was admittedly a great help with this. Sales skills are my weakest suit in running a business by far. Sales skills and people skills are somewhat related, and I am lacking in the latter, as well as the former. Thankfully the Internet makes selling far easier than it was before the Internet existed.)
Amazingly, one of our biggest customers for towel cabinets for many years was a linen supply company that was actually owned by the brother of the only competing manufacturer of cloth towel cabinets that we had in the U.S. We simply gave this man a much better value that his brother’s towel cabinet manufacturing company did. We sold this man’s linen supply company many hundreds of thousands of dollars of cabinets over the years. To do so, our value and quality had to be exceptional vs. that of his own brother’s company.
(10) Darman Mfg. acquired some export customers and markets. (We sold in Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and other countries as well. Our export market expanded as a result of our presence at numerous European trade shows as a corporate exhibitor.)
and perhaps the most important…
(11) I learned to respectfully listen to the thoughts and ideas of every single one of my employees at all times. (One employee that worked for me came up with a key design change involving substantial simplification of the towel cabinet mechanism. This man, a man I have often thought of as my second father in my life, literally saved the company with this idea. His idea saved us almost $5.00 per cabinet in material and labor. One year we shipped almost 30,000 cabinets, for a savings of nearly $150,000.)
The success story of Darman Mfg. Company occurred against all odds. One of these odds I have yet to mention was the fact that during the entire tenure I ran Darman Mfg. Company, I was at least somewhat symptomatic of bipolar disorder. (I had yet to be even diagnosed for this. My original diagnosis of bipolar disorder did not occur until June 1994, despite my onset of significant symptoms first occurring in 1963, thirty one years earlier. I was admittedly “a madman” as Darman Mfg. Company’s President at times. However, I was a madman that could work like heck while in a functional state of hypomania, make many corporate things happen, and make a lot of money. I avoided any professional help in my entire adult life until the early 1990′s. At this point, I began seeing a psychologist every month or so as a result of a bad marriage, lessening career satisfaction, and a state of depression.)
The stress of growing Darman Mfg. Company did take a toll on me personally. Beginning in November 1987 my bipolar illness suddenly became a lot worse. At this same time (November 1987), I also became suddenly and heavily addicted to gambling. (This gambling was specifically playing poker, as I gambled at almost nothing else. This is a story for another day.)
Despite my being really nuts a good deal of the time from late 1987 until I voluntarily retired from Darman Mfg. in the summer of 1994, or my being gone playing poker somewhere, and despite a lot of very difficult business hurdles that I had to overcome, Darman Mfg. Company succeeded. And it succeeded in spades.
Such is the power of a little bit of genius, a ton of stubbornness to succeed, a solid work ethic, and a great deal of hard work.
Incidentally, the success of Darman Mfg. is certainly not the story of the power of formal education. I only have a high school diploma. And I have only completed one single course in college. This course was Accounting 101 in 1983. (My father made this course a pre-condition to sale of the company to me.)
Achieving Two Impossibles Sixteen Years Apart
What the above material regarding Darman Mfg. means is:
“I have done the impossible once in my life” in business.
Perhaps not one person in a million could have grown Darman Mfg. as fast as I did, given its primary product, and the access to capital and resources that I had to begin with.
What the above also happens to mean is:
I have a long life history of (1) the willingness to work, (2) the ability to work, and (3) the ability to achieve some rather extraordinary things (despite bipolar symptoms when some of these achievements occurred).
A recent blog I posted to my WordPress site titled “Cambridge Who’s Who And A Synopsis Of My Situation” (October 2010) means:
“I fully claim to have done the impossible again”. This second impossible is:
I have found many cures for a myriad of mental, degenerative, and addictive illnesses, when few to none of these cures actually existed before.
I did so with no formal conventional medical training, no formal alternative medical training, and despite only having a high school diploma.
I did so by primarily by reading a lot of books, and trying a wide range of things on myself… over and over again… in order to repeatedly refine and validate results.
I also achieved this second impossible by listening to the ideas of others.
This included listening to my thirteen year old son Willy, who came up with a much better idea than I in order to begin to cure himself in 2004 (his baggie).
Finding a myriad of cures for millions of persons with a wide range of different illnesses by the above would be considered by many to be impossible.
Well, it wasn’t impossible.
My teenage son Willy and I co-achieved this.
Incidentally, finding the cures for depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and the like was the easy part for me.
These cures are all fairly elementary from both a logical and a “common biological sense” point of view.
Staying alive while finding and refining these cures, all the while knowing since the spring of 2000 that some portion of the drug industry and I had already become aware of how much of a threat we were to each other… and doing so for the past eight years primarily funded by my SSD check, that was the hard part for me.
Over ten years ago I knew I was playing a chess game with a corporate monster for my very life.
I sure hope that the third impossible that I report to the world a year or so down the road is the following:
“I have achieved a won position in my chess game against Big Pharma. All the world needs is now is to wait a little more time for the weight of public opinion to topple them”.
A Wrap Up On the Story Of Darman Mfg. Company
Darman Mfg. Company was a notable success story in Utica, NY during my tenure as its President. We made the newspaper and TV in Utica NY more than a few times while I ran this company
Darman Mfg. Company is still a viable company today.
I wrote the story of Darman Mfg. Company in an attempt to add to the credibility that the Cambridge Who’s Who organization has recently bestowed on me. (I cannot thank this organization enough for this.)
I do have a complete set of Darman Mfg.’s financial statements during my tenure as its President to prove the above. I also have some years before and after my tenure as President in my possession as well. (These statements back up the above story.)
Anyone that has read this blog now knows that prior to my getting into self-applied alternative medicine, my professional background was business management.
I sincerely hope that some persons also realize that in all the years I have spent on the Internet spreading alternative medical truth and understanding, I have not tried to commercialize anything, or gain fiscally in any way.
Since the fall of 1997 I have given away many thousands of hours of personal effort on the Internet for free.
I intend to give away much, if not nearly all, of my future Internet efforts for free as well. This should show my pureness of heart in regard to helping people. If it does not, perhaps nothing will.
Defining, funding, and managing a healing house to the point of its generating useful video material for others worldwide is an infinitely simpler task than what I had to deal with to in order to make Darman Mfg. Company succeed. There is simply no comparison here.
In doing the above in a manner that is properly funded and staffed, I swear to the world that I can generate video material that will heavily sway the opinion of all who watch it.
The influence on public opinion I could rather readily generate, if given adequate fiscal means, enough baggie/natural healing volunteers, and “the needed protection” in which to work, has a very good chance of toppling Big Pharma.
There is the possible potential of a multi-hundred billion dollar pot of gold in selling drug company short, or using other “betting against” market devices, if some things are handled right, and a well funded party has to means to capitalize on this opportunity.
Today my spam email inbox has a number of spam letters from Pfizer. This is rather unusual, as I have never received a lot of spam emails from Pfizer before.
Now perhaps the reader may understand why I feel like a dead man walking sometimes.
My Final Two Cents Of Advice
My first cent of advice to the world:
Don’t ever discount what hard work and genius can do over a span of sixteen years time. My entire focus for the past sixteen years was to find the chemical part of the cure for bipolar disorder, other mental illnesses, and various addictions.
I loved chemistry class in high school. I was interested in this class, and I asked a lot of questions.
My second cent of advice to the world:
When a genius (or at least some degree of this) works for sixteen years to find a cure for an illness (that thus far has none) firmly states over and over again for over four years in a row that he or she has found this cure for all humanity… this genius is extremely likely to be stating The Truth, or be very close to it, and be closer than anyone else.
Web Address of this blog:
The Website of Darman Mfg. Company, Inc.:
Note: This material is not copyright protected in ANY way. Anyone and everyone may freely send this material to anyone they wish. In addition to this, anyone and everyone may put this material on their own website if they wish. Allen Darman
Every writer I know has trouble writing. Joseph Heller
My son Willy Darman and I co-discovered the Cure for Writer’s Block in the summer of 2004. I’m a dummy… it took me a few years To Realize This. Allen Darman
The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes.Agatha Christie
The Best Time for planning a Revolution is when you are shoveling the driveway and taking a Smoke Break.SmokeMasterAllenD