During a recent search through the Quality Magazine archives, I found a copy of a 20-year-old letter from a service provider to one of its customers. After a long-term relationship with the manufacturer, the provider severed relations because the manufacturer had reduced what was once a partnership to that of a “commodity supplier.” Hats off to the service provider for having the courage to lose 25 years of business with that manufacturer rather than reduce the full range of his expertise available in his offerings.
As most of us pay attention to the largest players in the automotive industry, one smaller automotive manufacturer, in a largely ignored part of the world, is demonstrating that it is the company that bears watching.
The 2008 elections are in full swing. Both the Republican and Democratic debates have been somewhat predictable. As I write this, voters in Nevada, South Carolina and Michigan are set to make their presidential primary choices. In all three states, as in many other parts of the country, people are concerned with the threat of, or actual, job loss.
It’s customary to look back and assess the past year. Not wanting to buck this tradition, I pulled out my folder of manufacturing and quality-related highlights, and lowlights, from 2007. As I write this there is still one month to go in the year, so I ask for your indulgence should something major occur from mid-November through December.
If it seems as if you are spending more time in the office, you are correct. That should be no surprise for Quality Magazine subscribers. In July, our Quality State of the Profession Survey revealed that 33% of you experienced an increase of work hours during the past year and 28% expect your work hours to increase during 2008.
Never has it been so evident that quality is an issue in China as it has been lately. Informing and educating Chinese manufacturers about quality also is part of the solution. Many measurement, test and inspection tool makers doing business in China are leading the education effort of quality to Chinese manufacturers. The more knowledge Chinese workers, from management to shop floor operators, have about quality, the better all of us will be. Quality Magazine will join in that effort.