Greg Allen Biography
Greg Allen – Biography
Delight customers by Meeting or Exceeding Expectations
Whilst bringing joy to the process.
My Father taught me a strong work ethic. My cousin (military background) taught me about optimum efficiency and maximizing returns. My Mother and Grandmother provided a strong moral background, and taught me about people and commitment. Growing up in a Southern California aerospace community exposed me to all kinds of technologies and creative thinking processes, whilst neighbor Louie Unser showed me how to make “the rubber meet the road”. All of this led to a wonderful career providing creative solutions to complex opportunities whilst providing maximum return on investment.
At the ripe old age of twelve, local gangs would pass through our neighborhood via the backyard chain link fence. More than once this resulted in a thump on the head. Dad threw away a home heater thermostat with a mercury switch. Fascinated with the device, I took that switch, hot glued it inside of a PVC pipe, mounted it on the fence and connected the other end to a relay and bell. Shake the fence and the alarm goes off. The early warning gave me time to get out of the way; no more thumps on the head. But it also caught the attention of “the other neighbor” that was selling taut wire fence alarms. My neighbor, Dad and I perfected the technology to the point where Disney, Atlantic Richfield, and Mount Wilson TV antennas all used this new system to detect intruders. The system is still the technology of choice for protecting chain link fence.
In the 80’s computers were “IT”. But I started off selling plain paper copiers, using a Monroe CPM computer to keep track of prospects, their needs, and when to follow up – kind of a CMS thing. I learned how to write my own software at a public library and the system was so successful, I made salesman of the year. After attributing my success to the new Monroe Computer, I was quickly whisked away to the Computer division to sell a $6000 computer that did nothing – no software. For me to make a living, the computer had to do something, so I learned how to write loan calculating and printer software for car dealers, banks, and mortgage companies, and accounting applications (GL, AR, AP, Inventory, POS). My first sales included Woody Bilton Ford and SCN (South Carolina National Bank now Wachovia). Later, I started my own computer business selling my software with AT&T and Unisys Computers.
In the early ‘90s a major manufacturer (Williams Technologies (now Caterpillar)) and AME (Association for Manufacturing Excellence) approached me to write and integrate hardware for a revolutionary shop-floor system called ProNET. The project beat it’s deadline by four months, was $27,000 under budget, doubled production with the same number of employees, and improved quality to the point that individual sub-assemblies no longer had to be tested prior to final assembly (see Computer World article “Picture This”, "Bringing In The Users”, “Appropriate Technology”) AME adopted this method and software into their “Enterprise Manufacturing” program. (See AME Target Article “Enterprise Manufacturing” by Doc Hall and Jeff Anderson). In addition, the new technology attracted new customers like Ford R&D, Allison, Honda, and Nisan. The original system is still in use at all three Caterpillar plants in Summerville, SC, and the concepts are being expanded throughout the Caterpillar Enterprise.
In the mid ’90 I re-wrote this application in Microsoft ASP using internet technology for use on a company intranet. Due to copyright issues with the original ProNET, I quickly learned open-source technology such as LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL/Postgresql, and PHP), and re-wrote the application using these technologies. A major manufacturer could then control a shop floor in Brazil (and elsewhere) from their engineering facilities in the US using a web browser and the internet. This saved the companies time and money over paper systems, insured accuracy, flexibility, enabled mixed-model production, and provided total control over the entire process.
Currently my energies are devoted to assisting small business to tap the enormous potential of the internet to enhance their businesses in very creative ways with Active Technologies, LLC, The Active Blog News, and Design Host Seo. However, it has always been evident to me that it’s not about technology, it’s about assisting people to achieve their goals by meeting or exceeding their expectations. Doing this on a consistent basis means that I have no problem meeting my goals as well.