QMT News: September 2008
Editor's comment

With all the uncertainty over the economy, caused by the banks and financial sectors collective irresponsibility over  sub prime lending on a gigantic scale,  it’s great to hear some positive news.

I mean Team GB’s medal haul in the Olympics. The best for over a hundred years and fourth in the medal table behind China, USA and Russia, but ahead of Germany, Japan, France and Italy..

Why did it take so long?  Perhaps the difference this time was that the UK thought strategically, put in investment and promoted a culture of improvement and self belief - all things which can be directly translated into the competitive manufacturing arena. Surely, there are lessons to be learned here for any nation seeking to improve its manufacturing  position - or indeed, any other endeavour.

One of the keys has to be an ability to think and see strategically and to recognise  what is actually happening on the ground.
Clearly, when it comes to the sub prime fiasco, there was either an unwillingness or, perhaps worse, an inability to think and see the reality.

I would like to think that those who are familiar with quality assurance and quality control culture, such as readers of QMT,  would have made a better job of it all - after all, we have the culture, tools, technologies and techniques to envision, map, monitor, control and improve systems! Surely, some sort of quality audit would have produced plenty of corrective actions in the sub prime process? Or is it the case that the financial sector had plenty of quality systems, which complied with the appropriate standards but didn’t deal with the fundamentals i.e.an efficient system producing what the market apparently wanted, consistently, reliably,  but which was poison for the world?

Brendan Coyne

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