Information Systems
College of Business Administration
University of Missouri - St. Louis

The Farmer

Once there was this business man who sold milk across the country. He haggled with a farmer to give him the best cost; which was lower than any cost the competitors could find. Even though the business man had the lowest cost milk he priced the milk the same as the market. The business man was so happy and wealthy from selling the farmers milk.

Then one day the farmer lost a truck load of milk while transporting the milk to the business man. The farmer was very upset with losing the milk, but knew he needed to let the business man know of the incident.

When the farmer explained what had happened the business man became enraged. The business man said "How could you do this to me? Do you know how many sales I have lost because of your accident!?" So the business man, clever as he was, pulled out a blank invoice and filled it in for the total margin loss that he incurred. Giving the invoice to the farmer he said "Here is an invoice for the lost margins that I expect you to pay me in full."

The next day the farmer went back to the business man gave him a letter with the money for the invoice. The letter read "Dear Business Man, I am sorry for the losses that you incurred from the spilled milk. Enclosed you will find the funds that you have billed me for. Unfortunately, I had to sign a 2 year agreement to sell my milk to another business man, in order to pay you. It was great doing business with you. -Farmer"

Moral: Don't let the things that matter the least affect the things that matter the most. In systems analysis don't get hung up on the small stuff look at the big picture.

These stories are adapted examples written in my class, IS 6840 (formerly MSIS 488).
© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.

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© Vicki L. Sauter. All rights Reserved.