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.
AJ Sweatt says
Not only is that plagiarism, Bill – it’s downright deception. When hearing others describe you in your absence, I’ve usually heard the words “svelte” or “sinewy” or “delicate flower” used. All it would’ve taken are a few phone calls to confirm … that’s just plain lazy.
I gather you’re upset about the piano article that might have been inspired by the post you wrote Jan 2011 but I don’t see the injury -speaking as someone who has had to deal with a lot of plagiarists. She hasn’t lifted your content word for word. She may not have even gotten the idea for the story from you. It is possible she did a google search for “estonia piano”, found your Jan 2011 post and contacted you for source material. At worst, it could be aggregation ala Huffpo but it strikes me that she did her own work and cited you as an authority -and she spelled your name right. Wish I could say the same…
Bill Waddell says
Kathleen – Actually ahe was quite up front about the fact that the blog post was the inspiration for the article, and I willingly provided her background information and consented to the interview. I have no plagiarism beef with the author of the article – it is the ‘gaunt’ business that irks me. I am a lot of things, but gault is not one of them.
Count yourself lucky. You could have ended up as any of angular, anorexic, attenuated, bare, bleak, bony, cadaverous, desolate, dismal, dreary, emaciated, forbidding, forlorn, grim, haggard, harsh, lank, lean, like a bag of bones, meager, peaked, peaky, pinched, rawboned, scraggy, scrawny, skeletal, skeleton, skin and bones, spare, thin, wasted. ;-)
Bill Waddell says
I suppose I am better off than had they described as a “haggard, wasted manufacturing consultant”, but that is cold comfort Martin.