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Features - Editor, 17 December 2007

Limits and Responsibilities of China Business (Part 1)



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Mainstream media and regulators would have us believe that China business is inept and even evil at times. Pollution, lead in toys, and food exports that are unsafe for consumption, seem to be all that this giant country can do! Nothing could be further from the truth. China business is diligent and dependable. This is not on ethical grounds alone: the country knows the value of branding, and is determined to make a quality mark on the world stage. Entrepreneurs and professionals will find all forms of China business eminently suited for the establishment of long term relationships. China business is perfectly capable of competing on a level playing field for the world’s markets!

Prospective specifications, and pervasive processes, form a basket of enablers that ensure consumer safety and value on a global basis. These are not limited to China business, but are universal principles for the management of all enterprises. A review of global trade over the past two decades will show China business in shining light, because no other country can claim such a track record of progress in meeting top professional standards in a variety of fields. Quality is a never-ending learning process: other countries will find that China business is strongly encouraged by provincial and federal governments to make powerful commitments towards improving on the quality front.

The Kaizen Path for China Business

The first five decades after World War II saw Japan make incredible strides in terms of not just meeting quality standards, but of even setting them. Baby boomers and their parents can still recall days when Japanese cars and cameras were no more than cheap imitations of US and European brands. Contrast that situation with conventional times in which Japanese brand names have become synonymous with quality even as western classics have become sick or have been acquired. The Japanese template of Gemba Kaizen is appropriate for everyone with long term stakes in China business.

Gemba Kaizen is equally applicable whether your China business idea involves servicing domestic demand, or using the country as a sourcing base for export markets. The ISO 14001 system provides a durable and transparent way to make measured progress towards better quality standards. Everyone concerned with China business can participate in the quality management process. There is no unilateral recrimination over past errors. The focus is on learning and continual improvement. Certified international consultants can act as neutral guides so that no stakeholder is at a disadvantage in terms of accountability for meeting prospective quality standards.

Neither Quality nor Safety Are Exclusive China Business Concerns

Products and services made anywhere may fail to meet specified quality specifications. A review of drug recalls and import consignment rejects in the United States will prove that quality and safety concerns are by no means confined to China business. It is really for media barons and for inspectors to explain why they quickly brush under the carpet, all instances of recalls and rejections that occur every month in their own backyards! We should actually admire the stoicism with which Beijing quietly endures all the barbs that it receives on this pernicious account.

Limits and Responsibilities of China Business (Part 2)

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