The last time I touched this site, I was packing up for my road trip to Philly. Made it there and back without any serious damage. These supplier audits are a necessary evil for my business and I've come to accept the hassles they sometimes present (airline delays, lousy hotels, eating on the road, traffic, etc.). This one was pretty decent. I know enough to plan ahead and make the most of wherever we will be going. This time it was Philadelphia, PA. The birthplace of our Independence. Weather at the start was lousy/raining but it improved towards the back end of the trip. Both supplier audits turned out well and we had time on Tuesday to head downtown for a few hours to tour Independence Hall and see the Liberty Bell. Lots of history, plenty of sights. Normally, we don't have time to sight see, but, since I was the tour captain for this run, I padded our schedule enough to allow a side trip. Very interesting opportunity to see a bit of our history. The last time I was in Philly (10 years ago), we only had a chance to tour Valley Forge.
The second audit went well but was an all day gig that left us pretty worn out. This was a precious metals supplier that deals in platinum components located in a very small town south of Philadelphia. Basically a foundry to process metal ores for different parts/applications. To me, it was an old union machine shop with lots of presses and furnaces to process very expensive metals. The security there was tighter than going through the airport. We were not allowed to take anything metallic into the plant that could be picked up on the metal scanners. No watches, cell phones, blackberries, laptops, rings, jewelry, keys, pocket knives, etc. Basically, nothing metallic that will be picked up on the scanners. Take note: anything metallic you have on you WILL be picked up by the scanner. That includes body jewelry of any kind. Not that we had any issues, but our host did explain that on occasion, they have some visitors that come through with certain "jewelry" that light up the monitors. My buyer had the opportunity to hold a brick of pure platinum that they use in their process. The brick was about the size of a normal house brick but weighed about 25 pounds. Our host initially pegged the street value as somewhere close to $150,000, but towards the end of the tour, he admitted he had miscalculated the cost and, given the current price of platinum, the brick was a wee bit closer to $525,000. My house cost as much as that brick.