Welcome to the Top of the Curve
In 2009 I wrote a piece called "Pop Goes China", pointing out that Chinese costs were heading in the wrong direction, asserting the obvious: "this means Mexico will get another shot at the brass ring". The mainstream, a mere 31 months later, figured out the same thing. Interesting – but not earth shattering – article in the Wall Street Journal this morning, called "Otis Shifts Work Closer to Home" citing Otis Elevator's reshoring production as an example. It includes such juicy wisdom as "More startling: Otis says the move will save it money. What's happening at Otis is part of a broader shift in the way manufacturers tally costs." In another couple of years they may well report the breaking news that Harry Moser has launched the Reshoring Initiative. In the mean time, someone ought to write an article about Mexico's Golden Opportunity.
They Can Learn, Part II
Reuters reports that a "New Study Downplays Effects of Lean Manufacturing". They report a study that indicates few companies report substantial bottom line results from their lean efforts – same as Cliff Ransom said and we have been writing about for over five years. They further point out that lean is about more than cost cutting. Well, all right then. I guess we need to start thinking about things like changing cultures and growing the business.
The Root of the Problem
I had a chance to visit DC earlier this week and finally found the source of our national fiscal calamity - an ATM machine in the Senate. Apparently each senator has a card and a PIN that allows them to use this device to take money from our bank accounts any time they feel like it.
If you click on the picture you can get a good look at it – maybe some of the techies out there can figure out a way we can disable this thing.
Lean, Yes … but Gaunt?
I wrote a piece a few years ago on Estonia Pianos and their outstanding value proposition. A German writer decided to rehash the story and call it her own, and she called a while back to interview me, and the article ran in Deutsch Welle. She quoted me with, "Estonia pianos are cheaper than Steinways (and) more expensive than Chinese-made – they succeed because they are better value for the price than either,' says Bill Waddell, a lean manufacturing consultant in Sterling, Illinois."
Plagiarism is pretty common in the writing game, but when a web site called Piano Lessons runs it though an online translator and calls me a "gaunt manufacturing consultant", it has gone too far. I can hardly lay claim to much of a physique – but gaunt? I have to draw the line somewhere.