I have spent many hours this past week poring over the collapse of Dundee building firm Muirfield Contracts.
I have looked at it from all angles and have come to the same conclusion each time: this is a company that should still be trading.
And it is a business that should still be proudly building a new future for its workers and the region it has called home for the past 27 years.
It is fair to say that I am angry and dismayed at the events of the past week and the terrible effect it has had on the ordinary workers whose livelihoods were cruelly pulled out from under their feet.
I simply cannot see how a company with an excellent reputation, an order book worth millions and a skills base second to none can just disappear overnight without proper explanation.
The administrators Campbell Dallas cited cash-flow issues as the firm’s main problem, but what exactly does that mean?
Was the business struggling because it wasn’t being paid by clients on time to meet its own bills?
Had it overstretched itself by carrying too many workers in an economic climate where financially rewarding work is hard to come by?
Or was the business mismanaged and driven to the wall by incompetence or worse?
It may be that some or none of the above is true, but my guess would be that a combination of factors eventually put paid to Muirfield.
But what is clear is that Muirfield has had a rocky ride since the business was sold by founder Maurice McKay in 2013.
Private equity group Azure Investments was the new name over the door and came in promising great things.
I only ever met Azure chairman John Stodart once on the day the takeover deal was announced and he was bullish about Muirfield’s prospects under his stewardship.
Azure had no track record of investing in the property or construction game but Mr Stodart was undeterred, saying it was a “fantastic opportunity” to enter the sector.
“For us, Muirfield had a fantastically strong foundation which we can build upon,” he said.
“From its reputation and pipeline of work, it has everything that so many businesses don’t have.
“Maurice has done remarkably well to go through crises and grow the business.
“That is a business you want to be associated with and when you look and see everything that is happening in Dundee and Tayside, all of the growth here, then it had all of the right ingredients for us.”
So Azure certainly thought Muirfield was in good health when it took over.
Accounts for the year to (perhaps ominously) Halloween 2013 appear to back that up, with the firm making a seven-figure profit on turnover of £48.53 million.
What we don’t know definitively is what happened next, as that filing proved to be Muirfield Contracts’ last.
However, it does not seem to have been a happy ship in the months post-takeover.
The managing director installed by Stodart’s regime to drive the business forward was off to pastures new in little more than a year.
A business development director came and went, only for a new senior management team to be assembled under new CEO Richard Gallacher.
Last month, Mr Gallacher declared his task complete just as the finance director walked out, reportedly following a major row over where the business was heading.
But, by anyone’s standards, that is a significant backdrop of operational uncertainty for any business to cope with on a day-to-day basis.
And ultimately as hundreds of skilled tradespeople, administrators and office staff have found to their very significant cost Muirfield didn’t cope.
The role played by Mr Stodart, whose business interests extend far and wide and include associations with several companies that have previously gone to the wall, in keeping the ship on an even keel during this hugely significant period is unclear.
But he has been posted missing in this crisis, and that alone is a disgrace when hundreds are being unceremoniously dumped on the dole queue.
Muirfield and its workers deserve better than that for their exceptional service.
Those employees who can’t pay their mortgages, can’t pay their nursery fees and are wondering how to put food on the table deserve answers and I, for one, would love to hear them.
Mr Stodart, my phone number is 01382 575318. Add +44 if you are abroad.
I await your call.