The backlash from outsourcing's a bitch, eh? But hey, you saved money.
I've written on the China mess before but now it seems that it will not be food, nor pet food, water, toothpaste or counterfeit drugs that mark the last straw for China. Now they've messed with our kids.
The thing is, "they" didn't mess with them. But that will be the scapegoat used, I fear. See it works like so: WE trusted them--"we" being the companies that outsource to them and "we" being the customers who trust the companies that do so--to do right by us. And at a mighty fine rate per hour.
I absolutely give HUGE (!) props to all the smart outsourcing going on --but for the RIGHT reasons like infusing expertise, ensuring quality, improving service and fueling innovation (partnering is a smart move to get new groovy stuff to market).
BUT, I will be very disappointed if, when all is said and done, we as a nation--and, particularly, we in the business environment--point the finger at "them" for these lapses. When we should be looking to ourselves since we already know that in markets high and low, local and abroad, you get what you pay for.
And what we paid for were shortcuts.
The thing is, those shortcuts always mattered -- look to this country's food and water regulations and you'll see we've set the standard. Look at our consumer protections and you'll find among the finest. How could we possibly be so ignorant (arrogant?) to think that these regulations are naturally outsourced, too? Because the thinking wasn't driven by safety, or quality, but by savings.
It's a bitter and likely, counterfeit pill to swallow. But it's one that we need to forever (and ever) learn from because responsibility and accountability pave the way to recovery. Yes, trust is now your core priority and, no, it don't come cheap.
Now ain't that a bitch?
Disclaimer: I have nothing personal against the country of China. Oh wait, yes I do: I don't respect (or trust) their government. But I've tremendous respect for their people...especially those whose brave acts still inspire me to this day (I promise to never forget your courage to make things better).
PS: For all the companies that did not--and would not--sacrifice best practices to better their bottom lines, this is your much-deserved day to shine. Promote your safety standards and compliance scores like crazy as you deserve a HUGE return on the investment you made in protecting and respecting
your customers us. Don't feel at all shy about getting people to heart you much more. Who knew safety would become a differentiator again? But if you follow it, definitely flaunt it ;-).