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What on earth does this company do?
September 20, 2001 5:08 PM   Subscribe

What on earth does this company do? I've been staring at this sentence for hours and still can't figure it out. "Descartes powers the next generation of collaborative logistics management on a global scale, providing customers with Internet-based capabilities to optimally manage nChain processes." More business babble inside!
posted by tweebiscuit (27 comments total)

 
So what are these "nChains?" Let's find out!

In response to globalized trade and increased competition, organizations have chained together processes for faster times to market and lower customer costs. This new business model is built from:

Supply-chains

Logistics-chains

Demand-chains

Value-chains

Customer-chains

even Profit-chains!

Descartes calls them nChains, where the "n" means whatever the organization wants it to mean. To be competitive, organizations need to more effectively manage their nChains by managing events and critical moments between trading partners. This is a complex process--hundreds of different trading partners, with different ways of communicating and data formats. Only a network can effectively, privately and securely handle it.

Our collaborative network helps organizations manage their business processes to their plan, while identifying and proactively handling the divergent off-plan events. Its called nChain Event Management.
Whoever wrote this paragraph is the smartest man in the world.
posted by tweebiscuit at 5:12 PM on September 20, 2001


They sell burgers. "Want fries with that ?"
posted by Greggbert at 5:14 PM on September 20, 2001


Damn! I gotta get me some 'a them nChains!

He forgot Alice nChains.

sorry
posted by arco at 5:16 PM on September 20, 2001


It certainly doesn't sound very Cartesian.
posted by moss at 5:18 PM on September 20, 2001


Work for an e-commerce consulting company for a year or so and this sentence makes perfect sense. Now I'm a little scared of myself. What's even scarier is that I could design such a solution for you if you wanted one.
posted by tayknight at 5:23 PM on September 20, 2001


Obviously Dack's Web Bullshit Generator has evolved to a semi-sentient state and established it's own company.
posted by MrBaliHai at 5:26 PM on September 20, 2001


Trés thoughts:
  1. "I obfuscate, therefore I am." - Descartes Systems Group Inc.
  2. For an Internet company that professes such expertise in, uh, whatever they do, that's one slow-loading website they got there.
  3. "Whoever wrote this paragraph is the smartest man in the world." Bah- you're a sexist, tweebiscuit! How do you know that paragraph wasn't written by a woman, huh?!

However, like tayknight despite all the buzzwords that sentence does make sense! Scary... We know return you to your irregularly programmed schedule...
posted by hincandenza at 5:26 PM on September 20, 2001



Coming soon to FuckedCompany!
posted by briank at 5:28 PM on September 20, 2001


Work for an e-commerce consulting company for a year or so and this sentence makes perfect sense.

Work for a company that makes web sites for such companies, and you get to see a lot of this. The site I just finished (going live tomorrow) builds some sort of networking hardware. Or software. Or whichever. The point is that it all allows you to be "vigilantly observant."

It makes me long for the one company who provided a mission statement saying they were taking over the world from thier base inside a Brazilian volcano.
posted by yerfatma at 5:49 PM on September 20, 2001


Bah- you're a sexist, tweebiscuit! How do you know that paragraph wasn't written by a woman, huh?!

If women want credit for that peice of intellectual noise they can have it.
posted by krisjohn at 6:23 PM on September 20, 2001


Descartes calls them nChains, where the "n" means whatever the organization wants it to mean.

No, honey, the Emperor isn't naked. He's covered in nChains...
posted by UnReality at 7:11 PM on September 20, 2001


Work for an e-commerce consulting company for a year or so and this sentence makes perfect sense. Now I'm a little scared of myself. What's even scarier is that I could design such a solution for you if you wanted one.

We are coming after you, tayknight, and all those who harbor and support you in your campaign against reason and clarity!
posted by rushmc at 7:13 PM on September 20, 2001


Sounds like they used the Web Economy BS Generator.
posted by curiousg at 7:21 PM on September 20, 2001


Ha! That just made my day rushmc -- thank you!
posted by Potsy at 7:33 PM on September 20, 2001


I know this company! They pitched us on some sort of freakazoid internal document search thingamabobble - like a google for your intranet pdf stash. Sort of. I think. Anyways, they'd hocked my department contact info from a Seibel workshop invitation list (fair warning!). I traded a few emails with some French guy about their services, none of which (as you can imagine) were very well defined. Neither was their fee, which typically sends me packing (straight up companies tell you their fees outright, and let you decide if its worth it - fuckos hide costs and talk horseshit). Anyway, my bosses wanted a recommendation, I recommended that they bounce these idiots back to whatever loonybin they'd hopped out of, and the rest, as they say, is history.
posted by UncleFes at 7:56 PM on September 20, 2001


I hate fuckos.
posted by jpoulos at 8:23 PM on September 20, 2001


I love threads that end up with the use of the word "fuckos" to describe the people/company in question. Descartes could take a cue from UncleFes -- straightforward language is always best!
posted by Dreama at 8:27 PM on September 20, 2001


Isn't it obvious? They think, therefore they are.

Or rather they think therefore they are bilking venture capitalists.

And to think I used to make a living by trying to decode such babble.
posted by ilsa at 8:37 PM on September 20, 2001


oh man, this is the funniest thing i've read in the past, oh, eleven days or so except for zombo.com. thanks, 'cause it's been pretty miserable lately.
posted by cheesebot at 8:43 PM on September 20, 2001


Work for a company that makes web sites for such companies, and you get to see a lot of this. The site I just finished (going live tomorrow) builds some sort of networking hardware. Or software. Or whichever. The point is that it all allows you to be "vigilantly observant."

I hear ya... I worked for a design firm for a year that dealt solely with mid-sized enterprises. All that talk in meetings of ERP, back-end, back-office, logistics, analysis, workflow, blah, blah, blah, just about killed me in client meetings.

I was always left with a big question mark over my head thinking, "What the hell do you actually do?".
posted by misanthropy at 8:52 PM on September 20, 2001


Er, for the not-dot.com saavy, could the someone turned on to the nouveau rationalism of Descartes explain what they actually get paid for? My guess from cursory scan of their site is that they make some sort of management software. Or write plans for efficiency. According to their statement, they're currently operating at a loss, but had revenues of 19 mill in the last quarter.
posted by Charmian at 10:31 PM on September 20, 2001


god, that is beautiful. I guess this is what happens when VP of Marketing thinks they understand a little mathematics. Viz.:

In mathematics, there are terms like "n-dimensional", meaning, having n dimensions. ('n' is usually used to represent positive integers.) There are also terms like "n-space", which would also be a mathematical object having n dimensions (please don't ask me what a "space" is in mathematics, I'd have to kill you. It's basically what you think it is, though, but not quite). But you use such terms when you want to talk about things that can have any number of dimensions. For instance, to say that a certain thing is true of any space, no matter how many dimensions it has.

Now, if you understand all this crap (and why should you?), the idea of an "nChain" is actually kind of nice. You can have solutions (maybe even eSolutions!!!) that work no matter how many chains you have! Yes, that's right, nChain Solutions!

Problem is, for the other 99.9 percent of the world, it's all crap, just like everything else every Marketing VP ever came up with.
posted by mattpfeff at 10:58 PM on September 20, 2001


Not since the dot-com bubble burst have I seen a site rate so high on the Wankometer
posted by viama at 3:10 AM on September 21, 2001


Descartes loss widens to $19.6M
"[Waterloo-based] Descartes makes software and runs a logistics network that allows companies to track shipments and goods. The company makes revenue through software licence sales and recurring transaction-based sales."
posted by todd at 3:46 AM on September 21, 2001


Since we are talking Cartesian coordinates, etc. in some postings here (we are, aren't we?), those who understand it (which I do *not*) should watch the movie The Cube. Even though my brain hurt from watching it, it was a really good movie.
posted by misanthropy at 8:04 AM on September 21, 2001


Okay... From their 2001 annual report (already out, disturbingly):

Descartes is a world leader in collaborative logisitics management, providing customers with the Internet-based technological capabilities to manage the end-to-end supply chain.

Also: Logistics requires collaboration. Collaboration requires a network. Descartes delivers the network.
posted by j.edwards at 2:48 PM on September 21, 2001


As a former content strategist for an e-commerce consulting company, I can assure you there is nothing more frustrating that trying to write this crap. No matter how much I actually understood, I knew no one else would (except for the CEO, who might have been the biggest tool in the world).

I felt like a journalistic Judas; I couldn't continue to write like that and still sleep at night.
posted by mtevis at 8:41 PM on September 21, 2001


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