Updated: China’s Manufacturing Reputation


As More Toys Are Recalled, Trail Ends in China – New York Times

Pet food, toothpaste, childrens' toys…. (oh and let's not forget the recent slave labor stories).

Update: WSJ article with interviews from released slaves

When does China's reputation shift from “cheap labor” to “cheap crap?” Is it already there?

Japan used to have that reputation until a man named Dr. Deming came along preaching quality and promising that he would turn the country's quality reputation around.

From this website:

He was invited to Japan at the end of World War II by Japanese industrial leaders and engineers. They asked Dr. Deming how long it would take to shift the perception of the world from the existing paradigm that Japan produced cheap, shoddy imitations to one of producing innovative quality products.

Dr. Deming told the group that if they would follow his directions, they could achieve the desired outcome in five years. Few of the leaders believed him. But they were ashamed to say so and would be embarrassed if they failed to follow his suggestions.
As Dr. Deming told it, “They surprised me and did it in four years.”

Will China have its Deming? Will American companies that outsource to China have a new Deming?

I'm not saying all stuff made in China is crap. But I'm guess when you purchase/source products based on “price alone” (as Dr. Deming used to rail against), you end up with crap. Sourcers can't close their eyes and claim “see no evil.” Companies have a responsibility to make sure they are sourcing from reputable vendors who follow guidelines of basic decency in what they “mistakenly” put in their products. “Mistakes” happen when people are trying too hard to hit unrealistic targets….

We need another Dr. Deming. I don't know who is willing to listen though.

Updated: NY Times article on dangerous toys from China

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


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