I Love Factories
...but computers don't.
In the mid-90s I was hired as the new-fangled accountant for a family-owned factory that had never had an in-house accountant, thus no management accounts and no computerised data beyond the most basic of Sage ledgers. I set about installing networked PCs in each department's office to collect basic production data. This included some Thin Ethernet cabling. Once up and running I had endless problems with the PCs freezing, sometimes individually, sometimes en masse. Mid-afternoon was a particularly bad time. Turns out, it wasn't the cabling that was the problem, but I discovered by chance that around 3pm every day the large roof extraction fans in one (fume-filled) department were turned off, and I realised that this was one of the causes of the PC lock-ups, and thus I discovered the concept of "dirty power"... UPSs all round solved the problem.
My data analysis and investigations proved what the external accountant who had suggested hiring me had suspected - some of the company's activities were very profitable but others were making big losses, and the sales director was both incompetent and corrupt, and a very disruptive influence on the factory's efficiency. In short, they would literally have been better off without him! Unfortunately he was the MD's brother-in-law. My solution to that problem was to design a bespoke item-level sales order processing and allocated WIP stock control system that predicted and highlighted the knock-on delaying effects of any proposed changes to orders, and kept track of the actual effects of any changes. i.e. Name and shame, but subtly...