Is China Business Alone in Quality Complaints? (Part 1)
It cannot be that people care more about toys than the medicines they take to safeguard health. Yet, the media coverage for lead in toys manufactured on outsourcing bases through China business entities is way more than vital slips in US drug manufacture! Consider the vaccine line of Merck: the company found contamination in its Pennsylvania plant and had to recall an entire batch. China business had nothing to do with this, though the country had an inventory of over 100 thousand doses before the recall procedure was put in motion. US regulators, who lose no opportunity to harangue China business for quality lapses, have not publicized this serious issue in their own backyard!
Quality is a learning process, both for China business concerns, and for their peers in other countries. Manufacturers understand their brands better over time, and may even withdraw them from markets because of serious problems that arise long after development and launch. Consider the case of ReNu made by the reputed firm of Bausch &Lomb: it has been withdrawn from all over the world since 2006 because the company was swamped with complaints of cornea infections after use. China business has been modest about the fact that the Beijing factory of Bausch &Lomb was not found wanting in the matter of quality-it is the South Carolina plant which has been at fault!
The Government-China Business Axis for Quality Management
China business and the country’s government both take quality issues very seriously and with uncommon zeal. The Standardization Administration of the People’s Republic of China (SAC) has a premier role in developing quality management systems for China business. The SAC also serves as the China business arm of the ISO (International Organization for Standardization). China business has to follow a rigorous system to continually raise quality standards, and to reduce the chances of errors in manufacturing processes. Regulators make no efforts to play down quality lapses, and this may be responsible for global media and for delegations from other countries to highlight the quality angle of China business.
The SAC has an impressive record of publishing national standards in a number of fields. The body is well resourced with funds and expertise to discharge its responsibilities. The SAC acts as guide, mentor, and examiner for all China business units. It is also responsible for China business meeting World Trade Organization (WTO) conditions with respect to quality. Finally, the SAC is responsible to the General Administration of Quality Supervision Inspection and Quarantine of the People’s Republic of China (AQSIQ). The China business commitment to quality extends to foreign brands as well. Quality Laws under which China business operates requires that faulty products must be recalled. Kodak is a concrete example of non-compliance in this regard, with the company failing to take adequate steps with respect to complaints about one of its digital camera products.