The ‘Close’
by Catch-22 Transportation Management Software Corporation


“So there you have it folks. It’s the most amazing Transportation Management Software system on the planet today. As you can see we have put our team of two former NASA engineers, and two MIT professors, along with some of Hollywood’s greatest movie producers together to provide you with this fully automated, perfectly crafted TMS system that will make you the envy of every one of your competitors.”

“Okay, how much does it cost?”


“Yes, how much do I need to pay for this system?”

“Well, we typically employ our group comprised of former Stanford mathematicians to work on your very own pricing quote from their remote location in the Turks & Caicos. I just need to gather some of the details from you on the business and go through this little exercise so that we can create a quote for you folks.”

“Um… okay? Can you tell me if it is $2,000 or like $2,000,000?”

“Its hard to know?”


“Well it depends how many ziglets, jumblets, and dipthong modules you want in the system. I will take you through this 4-page pricing form developed by our new economics PhD student from the Milton Friedman school at the University of Chicago. It’s quite simple actually.”

“But I just want a simple price. Can’t you tell me what the cost is?”

“Well, here – lets try it out…”

“I guess – okay?”

“Take this broken Rubik’s cube and configure it according to the various modules you want to have in your system – did you want the payments to drivers module? And the dispatch module tethered to that phone application, and have it tied in with the accounting program?”

“Okay – how much time do I have to do this?”

“Depends on when you want to have it implemented, when you want to be up and running sir?”

“Well, okay. As quickly as possible.”

“Good, now use this game of Chinese checkers to get a sense of the way you want to configure the system together so we can come to you with our amazing new completely customized implementation program at $200 an hour. By the end of it, you should know exactly how many hours you will need to implement your TMS, give or take a few hundred hours… here and there… a month. I mean a week.”

“Okay – seems a bit complex, but I will do it.”

Page 1 of patented implementation algorithm

“Good to hear. Good work. Now let’s take a look at our standardized implementation plan here. This is what it looks like from a best practice’s standpoint, but you may want to get one of our super-duper special option packages where we wash your car every Sunday and go on a trip with you and your best buddies to watch the Superbowl.

“Well, I was actually planning a ski trip to Colorado with my family around then?”

“Well sir, we should talk about your commitment to the project as the leading stakeholder at World Beating Logistics Corporation. We will certainly need you support to stand up and tell everyone why the project is overbudget and behind schedule. We can feature you in a video montage of your greatest achievements in your career in logistics. And beside all that sir – you don’t want to miss seeing the Patriots win for the 20th time, now do we?”

“Oh darn – the kids are going to be disappointed… again this year”

“Well sir. It is tough, I can appreciate that. Bu you know what they say:
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again.”

“Okay, I think I get your point.”

“And sir if we can get this whole thing finalized in the next hour or two then we can provide you with a wonderful quote hidden inside an genuine Spanish leather folder embossed with your company name and the initials of your children, so they can use it as a keepsake remembering those great long hours you spent at the office.”

“Can’t you just give me a quote? Some of the TMS providers just put the price right up on their website – its easy to see. Geez – it’s not like your life depends on it?”

“But sir. Lives do depend on this stuff. Your life – certainly your life in business, at this company, depends on it.”

“I am not worried. I just realized now that I have no life.”