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03-03-2012, 05:08 PM   #31
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QuoteOriginally posted by tim60 Quote
What we all need is a fundamental shift in US culture to be like east Asia, where people seek the best they can get, at whatever the price is.
The last couple of rolls of Acros I shot were in translucent cans...

...BTW, that assertion is ludicrous...there is nothing inherent in East Asian culture (is there such a thing?) that is particularly partial to quality or excellence.


Steve

(...remembering when "Made in Japan" was synonymous with poor quality. Remembering also that the top prize for quality in Japan is called the Deming Prize after the American consultant who showed them (and the rest of the world for that matter) how consistent quality is accomplished...)

03-04-2012, 01:30 AM   #32
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
The last couple of rolls of Acros I shot were in translucent cans...

...BTW, that assertion is ludicrous...there is nothing inherent in East Asian culture (is there such a thing?) that is particularly partial to quality or excellence.


Steve

(...remembering when "Made in Japan" was synonymous with poor quality. Remembering also that the top prize for quality in Japan is called the Deming Prize after the American consultant who showed them (and the rest of the world for that matter) how consistent quality is accomplished...)
I seem not to have made myself clear.

Aside: Deming worked a lot in Japan because the Japanese realised they had a problem and wanted to move up the value chain from being contract producers of stuff made to be cheap to producing stuff recognised for quality. Interestingly the Takumar lenses that many of us like were made during the tail end of the Japanese products are cheap era. US companies did not recognise the holistic approach to quality that Deming brought forward as important or valuable and so many let it go past them.

The Wall Street doctine that quarterly profits must increase every quarter is hard to do through organically growing and improving the company and its products/services. The short cut which works for a while is cost cutting - which can make the books look good, but runs the risk of building in fundamental weak points arising from the corners cut. The clear canister which prompted this discussion is an example of this. It saves pennies per box load because of the opaque blacking not required, allowing native colour plastic resins to be used.

The call for quality in east Asia is, in the affluent countries, the result of the consumer seeking quality. Producers, while they are contract producers to overseas buyers produce whatever the contract asks for. The motivation for companies to outsource production is the believed advantages of 'cheap labour', so it follows the 'do everything as cheap as possible' perspective. But when the people who produce this stuff get rich enough they aspire to genuine luxury goods. In some coutries the local market is not interested in imitation luxury goods, because the discerning know the marks of the real ones, and to not use a real one will make one stand out as a pretender - down goes one's social standing. Better to use a no name, genuine, brand.

So the two cultures I caricatured are the business culture of US arising from Wall St and MBA schools, versus the affluent consumers in the more affluent east Asian countries. In this characteristic of consumers they seem to be alike, even though they are profoundly different in other ways between Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures.
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