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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