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"Quality Fade"

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by RacingTurtles, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. "Everything will be all right," said one U.S. importer on a buying mission to China. "As the country continues to develop, the quality of its products will naturally rise."
    It's the sort of comment that sounds logical, but is not necessarily true. Quality does not always rise over time, as China's own history shows...

    This article was published in 2007 but as I unpack my third electric kettle this year (the other two started LEAKING after a few months) and another one of many wallets (I can't find one that would stay in one piece for more than a couple of days, and their zippers... don't even get me started on quality of zippers!!!) I think it is just as relevant and true today: Quality Fade
  2. They've built a market -and image- based on cheapness. One can get things made to a decent standard in China, but the majority of businesses which outsource to/import from China are more focused on price, and most consumers will read "Made in China" and make assumptions.

    *Switches tab and starts actually reading the article...*
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. Well, once you actually read the article, you'll see that your view is precisely what it disputes.
  4. some consumers are genetically inbalanced
    and must pay the cheapest price agaist there own will
  5. The Chinese also have a habit of often producing something different to what they showed you as a sample. I have been there and done that. The only recourse you have if that happens is not to buy any more, by then you've done your dough and they don't give a hoot.
  6. At work, we import from all over the world. The Chinese products are poorly regarded by customers but some will still buy based upon price.
    Our problem is that the Chinese manufacturers change specifications repeatedly, and without notice. Some of this is driven by 'continuous improvement' policies but it creates all sorts of problems downstream that they then refuse to acknowledge.
    "Quality fade" on the other hand is present in the products of most countries, not just China. It's the inevitable result of price-driven purchasing.
  7. They can supply anything to spec for a price, and provided they are monitored on site for QC, it's doable. But if left to their own devices you end up on the road heading towards this statement.

    "Suppliers push the limit by taking more and more out of the equation until they are caught, or until disaster strikes."
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. I don't think what I said is contrary to the article. To restate/reword it: Chinese manufacturers do not have a (positive) reputation to maintain, so bad practices regarding quality -including 'quality fade'- don't decrease anything, as it is the status quo.

    If every manufacturer does it, every importer knows they do it, and every consumer assumes they do it, why would any of them stop doing the stuff that's making them lots of money?
  9. It was this practice that has resulted in a lot of companies leaving China to countries where they either have a more ethical approach or where you can install that ethos in your staff. Honda is a case in point, tried manufacturing in China and mainly pulled out in favour of Thailand for the smaller end of their market.

    In your example article, if a disaster had happened with the Chinese supplied concrete forms the USA company would have carried the can. The Chinese company would have closed and the management opened under another name to continue the same practices.

    I have been involved in companies that manufacture in China and to get consistent quality and prevent fade you need, staff on site in China and good incoming Quality inspection. All this costs money and makes the People's paradise look less attractive.