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成层现象与供应链层级 Epidermal Stratification and Supply Chain

在生物和植物学中有个说法叫“成层”现象。讲群落的垂直结构 指群落在垂直方面的配置状态的 最显著的特征是成层现象,即在垂直方向分成许多层次的现象。

There is a terminology in both biology and botany: epidermal stratification . When it comes to the vertical structure of a community, the most significant characteristic of the configuration state of a community in the vertical aspect lies in stratification, a phenomenon that the community is divided into many layers vertically.


群落的成层性包括地上成层和地下成层。层的分化主要决定于植物的生活类型,生活类型不同,植物在空中占居的高度以及在土壤中到达的深度就不同,水生群落则在水面以下不同深度形成物种的分层排列,这样就出现了群落中植物按高度(或深度)配置的成层现象。

Stratification in communities includes supraterraneous stratification and subterraneous stratification. Differentiation of the layer is mainly determined by the plant life form. Different life forms of plants will result in different heights occupied in the air and different depth reached in the soil by plants. As for aquatic communities, they arrange themselves layer by layer underwater at different depth. Thus, stratification of plants based on height (or depth) among the communities turns up.


森林群落的层成表现为从顶部到底部通常划分为乔木层、灌木层、草本层和地被层(苔藓地衣)四个基本层次,在各层中又按植株的高度划分亚层,例如热带雨林的乔木层通常分为三个亚层。群落的成层性保证了植物在单位空间中更充分利用自然环境条件。如在发育成熟的森林中,上层乔木可以充分利用阳光,而林冠下为那些能有效利用弱光的下木所占居,林下灌木层和草本层能够利用更微弱的光线、草本层往下还有更耐荫的苔藓层。地表以上如此,地表以下的分层就更为复杂。水域中某些水生动物也有分层现象,这主要决定于阳光、温度、食物和含氧量等。生物群落中动物的分层现象也很普遍,而且基本上呈现越往高处,生物的种类越稀少,生存能力越强,如同雄鹰的数量远远小于小鸟的数量,雄鹰能生存70年,而小鸟平均能存活10年左右。

Stratification in forest communicates appears as four basic layers usually divided from top to bottom: tree layer, shrub layer, herb layer and ground layer. Within each layer, sublayers are divided according to the height of the plants. For instance, tree layer in tropical rain forests is often divided into three sublayers. Stratification in communities enables plants to utilize natural environment more fully in unit space. For example, in a mature forest, trees at the upper layer can utilize sunshine sufficiently, while their counterparts at the lower layer occupy the place under the canopy, and can utilize the weak light effectively. Meanwhile, shrub layer and herb layer under the tree are able to utilize even weaker rays of light, and ground level that is beneath the herb level is more resistant to shade. Stratification under the ground seems to be more complicated than that above the surface, even some aquatic animals appear to be stratified on the basis of sunshine, temperature, food and oxygen content. Among the biotic community, animals also present prevalent tendency of stratification, as the higher it is, the fewer the varieties of organisms are, and the stronger these organisms’viability is—the quantity of eagles is far less than that of the birds, but eagles enjoy lifespan of 70 years compared to that of birds, which is merely 10 years.


想象一下森林里有数量庞大的不同种类鸟群生活在一起,不同的鸟群适应生活在不同的高度。这时你会发现处在最高层的鸟群非常干净,往下一点的鸟群身上会布有鸟粪,再往下的鸟群身上的鸟粪会更多一些,而当然处在最下层的鸟群身上就全是鸟粪。

Imagine that a large number of birds of different species lives together in a forest. Birds with different species are used to living at different heights. At this time, you may find that birds at the top layer appears to be very clean, yet the birds below them are with droppings on them. More droppings can be found on the birds at even lower layer, then the birds at the lowest level will be covered by droppings without doubt.


在质量改善里,有个工具叫类比法(Analogy),说的是将一些问题类比生活化。借助这个方法,我把层成现象也类比到供应商管理和企业管理中。

In terms of quality improvement, one of the tools used is called Analogy, which refers to transferring some problems in management into real-life problems by comparison. Resorting to this method, we can make an analogy between stratification and management of suppliers and enterprises.


处在森林顶层的鸟就类似如处在价值链上游的组织,他们最接近于消费者,所以面对最直接,最完整的市场要求。这是为什么大家会感觉越处在价值链上游的公司,他们的要求越多的原因,就像飞机行业,他们会要求其一级供应商通过AS9100的认证;汽车行业OEM制造商,他们会要求其一级供应商通过TS16949的认证;医疗器械行业,他们会要求其一级供应商通过ISO13485的认证;电信行业,他们会要求其一级供应商通过TL9000认证,食品加工行业主推供应商落实ISO22000. 但是这些要求落实到其二级供应商,要求就会有打折,再由其二级供应商落实到第三级供应商,体系的要求就变成了期望,再往下就没有什么体系的要求了。

Birds at the top of the forest just like organizations which locate at the top of the value chain. As they are closest to the consumers, they confront the most direct and comprehensive market demand. This is why people perceive that companies at the upper stream of value chain possess more requirements—in aircraft industry, they will require that tier one suppliers pass AS9100; in automobile industry OEM manufacturers, they will ask their tier one suppliers to get TS16949; in the medical instrument field, they will ask tier one suppliers to get ISO131485; in telecom industry, they will ask tier one suppliers to get TL9000; in food processing industry, main suppliers should get ISO22000. But when it comes to tier two suppliers, these requirements will be discounted. As for the tier three suppliers, however, requirements of the system turn into expectations, and there will be no requirements from systems any more for the suppliers next.


这整个价值链中的要求体系形成了一个树状结构,在整个树状结构中每一层都希望往价值链中的上游爬,因为越往上层,利益会获取得更大,而在底层的组织利益最少。在上层的组织会显的比较合规,而越往下层的组织会显得比较不遵守法规、要求。我们经常抱怨我们的供应商这里不好,那里不好,要知道原因就是因为他们处在价值链的下游,他们业务的计算公式是利益=价格-成本,价格是由客户来定的,要保证利益,唯独有降低成本,而在缺少方法和条件的情况下不能有效地降低成本,很多的企业就会铤而走险,选择各种违规、欺骗的手段来降低成本。这是为什么笔者曾经看到新闻说接受劳改的外籍人士在监狱中加工国际知名品牌的产品部件,企业违反劳工法,偷逃税款,违规排放污染物等不合规行为的主要原因,往往这一类的企业都是处在价值链下游的组织。而处在上游的组织,除了质量上的要求,越来越多的国际大企业在谈人权,环保,社会责任,持续发展,尽管这些要求最终都转化到了对下游公司的要求当中。

The requirement system of the whole value chain forms a tree structure. Within the whole tree structure, every layer has the opportunity to climb upstream along the value chain, since organizations at the higher level will be likely to gain the greater benefits, whereas those at the lower level can only gain fewer benefits. Organizations at the upper level seems to be qualified, yet those at lower level are unlikely to comply with regulations or requirements. We always complain that our suppliers fail to accomplish this or that, regardless of their positions at the bottom of the value chain. Their calculation formula for business is that benefits equals price minus cost. As the price is determined by customers, the only way to ensure the profit is to decrease the cost. Short of methods and conditions, many enterprises fail to reduce the cost efficiently. Thus, they will probably take risks and reduce the cost by violation of regulations and deception. This is why I once read the news reporting behaviors that against stipulation, say, foreigners under reformation process product components in jails, and enterprises violate the labor law, evade the tax, discharge pollutants illegally. More often than not, these enterprises are at the bottom the value chain, while those at the top, however, are increasingly focusing on human rights, environmental protection, social responsibilities and sustainable development besides quality standards, despite that these requirements finally transform into those met by the downstream companies.

在这个价值链中企业如果不能直接往上游走,经常就会有一些折中的办法。其中在制造行业一个典型的“曲线救国”就是通过贸易中或者中间商将产品售往目的客户,这在起初的贸易公司十分普及,香港俗称“洋行”。贸易公司自有其生存之道,靠提供自身特殊的价值给客户。早期国内的贸易公司靠提供自身所拥有的资源,比如语言上的翻译沟通来轻轻松松谋取佣金,同时也会借双方无法正常直接交流抬高货价赚取差额。在1906年利丰开始涉足贸易行业时,冯氏兄弟的祖父仅仅靠翻译已经能获取至少15%的佣金。而如今,在全球日益网络化平面化的背景下,竞争越来越激烈,价格也越来越透明,因此许多的贸易公司转靠整合自身所掌握的资源来谋取一席之地。无论是当下流行的所谓供应链管理公司(提供资金上的周转服务及供应链咨询),还是人力资源整体托管(客户只需提供技术,生产作业由人力资源公司招募员工及管理人员完成)。比如利丰在“供应链管理 – 香港利丰集团的实践”中提到整体而言贸易行业的利润率约为1%,但通过有效的管理,利丰贸易的利润率曾经达到销售额的3.5%,而这些并不是通过挤压生产商的利润获得,而是从结合生产与运输活动所获得的额外利润里赚得的,即所谓“软收入”。

In this value chain, if enterprises are not managed to go upstream directly, they can make some compromise, and a typical one in manufacturing industry to solve the problem indirectly is to sell their products to targeted consumers via trade or the middleman. This is quite prevailing among trade companies at the early stages. These middleman was once called “foreign firm”in HongKong. Trade companies enjoy their unique ways of living, as they rely on providing their own special value to customers. In the early days, trade companies in China were dependent on their own resources, say, translation and communication in the linguistic aspects, to gain commissions easily. Meanwhile, they were adept at raising the price of the goods in order to earn from the price differences, benefited from unsuccessful direct communication. In 1906, when Li & Fung entered trade industry, Feng’s grandfather could acquire at least 15% of commissions by merely translation. Nowadays, in this increasingly networked and flattened era, competition becomes more and more fierce, and the price becomes more and more transparent. Therefore, many trade companies change to integrate resources they owned to strive for taking a place, whether by prevalent so-called supply chain management companies (they provide capital turnover and supply chain consultant service), or by holistic trusteeship of human resources(customers only need to provide technology, as the production will be accomplished by human resources companies who recruit staffs and administrative personnel). Take Li & Fung as an example. In the book of“Supply Chain Management— Practices of Li & Fung”, Li & Fung mentioned that the rate of profit of the trade industry as a whole is about 1%. Nevertheless, Li & Fung’s profit margin once reached 3.5% of the turnover by virtue of effective management. These profits, by no means, were generated from squeezing the profits of producers, but they were obtained from additional profits that derived from combining production and transportation, which is also known as “soft income”.

增加不同层级间的中间层或者贸易层带来的风险是缺少直接的管控。比如阿斯顿-马丁在2014年全球召回17,590辆问题汽车,其中的问题就是因为阿斯顿-马丁经过中间的英国和香港的两级贸易商,实际的踏板臂生产来自于国内的第三级一家小型生产商,它无力管控其原材料的真实来源和原装品质造成的。

Risk brought by adding the intermediate layer between different layers or the trade layer lies in insufficient direct control. In 2014, Aston Martin recalled 17,590 problematic automobiles worldwide because it was unable to control the genuine origin and quality of its raw material—the pedal arms were in fact produced at a small manufacturer of the tier three level supply chain in China, as Aston Martin passed through the Britain and Hong Kong merchants who were at the intermediate layer.

供应链中增加层级同时也会弱化制造商对终端市场的了解以便改善产品和服务,如同组织的层级随着组织的扩大其层级也会变多,在组织发展到一定程度,层级多到极限比如30%的员工都成为管理人员或经理级时,这时总是期望往组织扁平化发展,发展员工的独立工作技能或者一些大公司所推崇的“蜂窝”式,自主式管理模式。以钢材市场为例,笔者曾经同一些钢材制造商和钢材贸易商有过接触,对于钢材制造商而言,他们更愿意同制造型的企业打交道,并不仅仅是说制造型的企业有更稳定的需求预期或者价格更稳定,更重要的一点原因是由于现有的技术和管理等原因,贸易商很难将市场的信息及时收集而反馈给钢材制造商以便他们改进制造和质量,而制造型的企业往往能做到这一点。对于钢材制造商而言,有可能因为制造出来的产品得不到及时反馈,而造成缺陷产品一直仍然在被生产,或者竞争对手已经在供应改进型的产品了,成本和时间都将是制约企业成长的巨大障碍。

Adding levels in supply chain will simultaneously weaken the manufacturers’ understanding towards the terminal market, aiming at improving products and services. Similarly, levels within organizations tends to increase with expansion of organizations. When the organization has developed to a specific extent, and the levels have been added to such an extreme that nearly 30% of staffs become administrative staffs or managers, the organization is always expected to adopt flatter management with the purpose of developing its staffs’ independent working skills, or adopt cellular model, an autonomous management model which is recommended by some corporations. Take the steel market as an example. I have once got in touch with some steel manufactures and merchants. For steel manufacturers, they are more willing to have dealing with enterprises of manufacturing type, not only because manufacturing enterprises own more stable demand expectations and prices, but also because they are able to collect the market information timely and then give the feedback to steel manufacturers so that manufacturers can improve their manufacturing quality, which is hard to be achieved by merchants due to existing technology and management. As for steel manufacturers, their defective products may still be produced continuously, or their competitors embark on providing modified products at the same time because of overdue feedback of their products. Cost, together with time, will be an enormous obstacle for the growth of one enterprise.


企业要竞标获得业务,就得想千方设百计,这无可厚非,全世界的每个角落都如此。战略是由企业决策者给定的,战术是由中层管理人员理解战略之后制定的,执行是下层人员的事。上层要洁身自好,自然不会明目张胆指示下层来干违法乱纪的事情,但下层执行人员受利益的驱使可能会采取一些不正当手段来促成业务的成交。这同样类似于企业组织架构中的层成现象,处在下层的人要解决更基本但也更超出他们能力去平衡利益的任务。就像你需要作业员来平衡质量和产量,你需要跟单员来平衡交期和服务,采购下单员来平衡质量和价格。因为他们往往做不到,所以会选择对他们更加有利的一面,取决于组织如何管理他们的绩效。管理的妥善,价值观就会和组织一样,否则就会背道而驰,这也是为什么文化建设与绩效管理齐头并进,相当重要的原因。

If the enterprise wants to get business by competitive bidding, it has to try as many means as possible. It is nothing to blame, since everywhere in the world appears to be the same. Strategy is given by the decision maker in the enterprise, while tactic is made by middle managers after they understand the strategy, and the implementation belongs to staffs of low level. The upper level should be committed so that they will generally not indicate their subordinates to violate the laws, but some executive staffs of low level who are motivated by benefits may resort to improper measures to contribute to transactions. This is also similar to stratification within the organization of the enterprises. People at the low level have to undertake more basic tasks to balance benefits, despite that these tasks are always further beyond their abilities. To be more specific, you need operators to balance quality and quantity; you need merchandisers to balance delivery time and service; you need purchasers to balance quality and price. As they always fail to accomplish their jobs, they tend to choose what seems to be more beneficial to them. This depends on how the organization will manage their performances. If they are managed well, their value will be consistent with that of the organization; otherwise, they will be divergent. This is why cultural development is considerably important, and why it should be advanced together with performance management.


随着近来国内各项法规的日益完善,互联网的高透明度,全球化竞争的加剧,生产劳力成本的上升,科技的快速爆发式发展,各类企业都处在一种更加激烈竞争的环境当中,企业要在这种竞争环境中分的一勺羹,毫无疑问需要保持一种每天进取的态度才有机会在这个成层生态圈里往上层走,以便更好的生存下来。

With the gradual improvement of various domestic laws and regulations day by day, the increasing transparency of the internet, the aggravation of the competition globally, the rising production labor cost, and the rapidly explosive development of science and technology, enterprises of every type are placed in a more competitive environment. If the company aims to establish itself in the competitive environment, it should keep an aggressive attitude every day without doubt. Only doing so can it go upstream in this stratified ecosphere so that it can get better survival.

Great Acknowledge Given to Ms. Akiko, ZiZhu Wang from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies for Translation.

塑身与公差 Slim and Tolerance

体育锻炼三个月,坚持做仰卧起坐,腰围从36码降到33码,自身感觉效果良好。回想起以往的购买衣服的经历,不经觉得好笑。人到中年容易发福,无能男人女人都是如此,也不分国籍限制。在没有加强锻炼之前,裤子的大小是随腰围的大小而自由增大的。裤子是越买越大,从32码到33码,33码不够穿再买34码,直到一路飙升到36码,其实在从32码到36码的过程当中,自己是没有察觉的,也看不到太多的变化,直到去体检发现BIM指数超标,才会意识到问题的严重性。当然经过锻炼,控制饮食,改善作息规律,将腰围控制下来之后,反过来才会发现这当中的好处。这时才发现裤子的大小是可以被控制的,这样大腰围的多余裤子就可以捐出去了,减少了库存和“不良”浪费.

It has been three months since I took the physical exercise and insisted on sit-up exercises. Consequently, my waistline size declined from 36 to 33, and I feel good about myself. When recollecting the past experiences on purchasing clothes, I just cannot help myself but to feel funny. It is quite easy for middle-aged people to get fat, regardless of their nationality or gender. Before I took more exercise, the size of their trousers increased freely with their waistline—the trousers I bought become bigger and bigger, from 32 to 33, then 33 to 34 since 33 is not enough. Finally, the size reaches 36. In fact, I did not notice too much change from 32 to 36, nor did I realize the seriousness of the problem until I found my BIM exceed the standard when taking the physical examination. Definitely, not until I took exercises, controlled my diet and improved my daily schedule did I found the advantages among it in turn: the size of the trousers can be controlled. Thus, the superfluous trousers with big waist size can be donated, which will reduce the inventory and “undesirable” waste.

这不禁让我想起了工厂的品质控制,如果没有控制,所生产的产品的公差会越做越大。精度上不去,质量就上不去,公差不会一天之内放大,因而也看不到每天一点点公差放大所带来的负面影响,直至最后产品产生质量问题,遭到投诉,被市场所淘汰,客户丢失,才会意识到问题的严重性。如同温水煮青蛙,随着温度的慢慢上升,青蛙已经失去了对温度缓慢变化的感应能力,直至最后被沸腾的水煮熟掉。与温水煮青蛙不同的是待企业快垮掉之时往往这个时候问题已经变得错综复杂,其实也很难追究到底是什么问题造成如此的后果。就如同肥胖,你很难说,单纯是因为年龄的增长或者单纯是因为饮食的不规律,又或者单纯仅仅是人种的区别,多重因素交织在一起,但世界上每个国家的一个共识就是控制体重和腰围其中一个不可或缺的环节就是加强锻炼。就像摩托诺拉践行并推动了六西格玛管理方法的大力发展,但最终还是业绩惨淡卖掉了手机事业,并不能说六西格玛方法不对,而是其他的产品定位,产品设计,市场战略等多重原因交织造成的,相反六西格玛管理在每个公司发展的任何阶段都可以发挥积极的作用。

It suddenly reminds me of the quality control of the factory. Without control, the tolerance of the product will become bigger and bigger. The quality cannot be enhanced if the accuracy cannot be improved. Since the tolerance cannot be widen within a single day, the negative impact brought by enlarged little tolerance every day will not be noticed. Not until the product was involved in quality problem, complained by customers and abandoned by the market and clients did they realize the seriousness of the problem. It is quite similar to boiling a frog in warm water: as the temperature of water increases gradually, the frog loses its ability to be aware of the changes in temperature until they get boiled thoroughly by boiling water. However, what seems to be different from boiling a frog is that when the enterprise is about to collapse, the problem has already become considerably complicated. In fact, it is quite difficult to figure out the problem which results in such outcome. Likewise, it is hard to say that obesity is caused by the single factor such as increasing age or irregular diet, or simply caused by differences in human races, or combination of multiple factors. Nevertheless, the every country in the world has reached a consensus that one of the indispensible stages for controlling the weight and waist sizes lies in intensive exercises. Just as Motorola that conducted and promoted the six sigma management method yet sold its mobile division with dismal achievement, it is not the six sigma method but other multiple factors like product position, product design or marketing strategy mixing with each other that gives rise to this outcome— conversely, six sigma management method is able to generate positive effect at any stage of the company development.

品质和品牌是紧紧关联的,一个好的品牌的塑造需要几代人的努力,当中没有一个好的品质是很难支撑的。曾经去看过国内最大的陶瓷卫浴企业,也算是一个家族企业,品牌也相当知名,参与国内陶瓷标准的撰写。子女各分一个品牌单独经营,曾经有人发现东南亚的市场对品质要求不高,但是市场处于爆发期,因而提出可不可以另设一个品牌走低端线路,这一想法最终被掌门人所否决了。其中一个原因就是一旦在同一个集团公司内同时生产高档和低档的产品,你很难给自上层管理人员,经中层管理人员,到普通员工一个清晰的概念和定位,业务人员同样基于业绩的驱使会在推广产品时这么宣传:“这个品牌和XX品牌来自于同一个领导团队”。员工很难今天做高端产品,明天改做低端产品,即便你是在不同的产线,不同的分公司生产。如今日本质量和德国质量已经代表了来自于这两个国家的产品就是高档货,但是提及中国质量在国际上的影响,尽管中国已经有不少的大品牌,知名产品售往全球,但因为一些低端产品的影响,仍然给大多数国家的消费者的印象是“中低端产品制造国”。人民习惯于贴标签,来自北京的都是当官的,来自上海的都是小资的,来自广东的都是老板,这就是品牌给一个城市的影响。走下坡路容易走上坡路难,企业要进步,就得要上升,而不是下降,无论是销售额还是管理水准,或者是质量要求。

Quality is closely related to brand. Establishing a good brand requires efforts from several generations. Without good quality, the brand cannot survive. I once visited the biggest ceramic sanitary enterprise which possesses high brand-awareness and even engages in setting up the ceramic standards in China. As it belongs to a family business, each child of the president was assigned a brand and operated them individually. Once someone found that the South-east Asian market required less on quality while its market was booming, thus he asked whether they can establish another brand that focus on low-end market. This idea was rejected by the president, and the one of the reasons is that it will be difficult to deliver a clear concept and positioning from upper-level leaderships to middle managers and then to general staffs if producing both high-end and low-end product simultaneously in a group company. Under the motivation of  performance, sales will introduce , this product and those well-known brands come under same leadership team” when promoting products. It is relatively hard for staff to focus on high-end products today while emphasizing on low-end products tomorrow, despite different product line or different branches. Nowadays Japanese quality as well as German quality can indicate that products from these two countries are of high standard, yet speaking of the international influence exerted by Chinese quality, although China has owned numerous big brands, consumers from most of the countries still tend to label China as “the country of low to middle end products”.  People are accustomed to labeling people: people from Beijing are all officials, people from Shanghai are all petty bourgeois, while people from Guangdong are all bosses. This is the influence from brand on cities. It is easy to go downstairs yet hard to go upstairs, If an enterprise want to make progress, it should rise rather than decline, whether it is the sales volume, management standard or quality requirement.

控制品质的其中一个环节就是控制公差,这是为什么说将质量嵌入到产品设计当中的原因。公差将直接影响产品的一致性,稳定性,可靠性和功能。公差设计出来比较容易,但是如何将公差控制在一个有限的范围内却是一件困难的事。这是为什么美国在二次世界大战20世纪40年代期间,为了确保军工产品的品质,而培养以万计的工程师来研究统计过程控制的原因。统计过程控制的目的就是为了将超出公差的产品缺陷数量最小化,而且在过程即将产生不良品之前能够提前通过图形趋势的形式告知工程师调查原因采取预防措施。

One of the steps in controlling quality is to control tolerance. This is why quality should be built in product design. Tolerance will directly influence the consistency, stability, reliability and functions of products. It is easy to design tolerance, yet it is difficult to control the tolerance in a limited range. This is why America cultivated over ten thousands of engineers studying the control in statistical processes to ensure the quality of military products during the 1940s. The aim to control statistical process is to minimize the product defects which exceed the tolerance, and to inform the engineers of the investigation reasons to take precautions via the form of graphic trend in advance before producing defective goods.

公差并不是指时而能做到,时而又不能做到,这并不是好的品质,而是指长期稳定的能满足,这就是所说的可靠性。有一个笑话说日本产的吊车和某国产的吊车,日本产的吊车声称能吊起一百吨重的货物,你如果让它吊105吨重,吊臂就断了,而某国产的吊车声称能吊起150吨重的货物,但是10里面有一次只能吊起80吨重的货物,也就是说在80吨重的货物即将被吊起的时候吊臂断了,不敢想象结果如何,而这就是稳定性和可靠性不同的结果。

Tolerance does not mean that sometimes we can achieve it while sometimes we cannot— Instead, it refers to the ability to achieve a long-term stability, this is the so-called reliability. There is a joke: cranes manufactured in Japan claim that it can lift cargos up to 100 tons. If you lift cargos of 105 tons, the arm will break. Cranes from another country claim that it can lift cargos up to 150 tons, but it can only lift cargos of 80 tons once in ten times. That is to say, the arm breaks when the 80-ton-cargo is about to lift. The outcome seems to be beyond the imagination, and this is the consequence resulted from stability and reliability.

公差的给定来源于对实际工序制造能力的了解,同样的产品设计可能德国和日本的公差就给定的相对来讲比较小,是因为他们的工序制造能力比较强,加工精度比较高。就像在一个展会上面所展示的国产的轴承可能转一分钟就停止了,而德国产的轴承可能十分钟还没有停下来。同样,我听说日系车的配件的零售价比德系车的配件的零售价要高,因为德系车的零部件,从仓库挑一个配件出来,不一定能和原车的其他部件尺寸相匹配,而日系车从仓库随便挑一个零部件出来,都能和原车的其他部件完好匹配。你可以想象德系车的配件的不良浪费是不是会比日系车的配件的不良浪费要更多呢?

The given tolerance resulted from understanding the manufacturing capability of actual process. With the same product design, the given tolerance from Germany and Japan will be relatively small because their capability of manufacturing process is strong and their processing precision is high. For instance, the domestic bearing exhibited in an exhibition can only rotate for one minute, whereas bearing produced in Germany can keep rotating for at least 10 minutes. Likewise, I heard that the retail price of accessories from Japanese cars will be higher than those of German cars, as the randomly selected accessories of German cars from stock is unable to match other accessories of the original car, while those from Japanese stocks can be perfectly matched. You can imagine that the unnecessary waste of accessories of German cars will be much more than that of Japanese cars.

我们谈供应商早期参与,其中一个目的就是希望对供应商的制造能力提前有所了解,也希望供应商对产品公差设计的期望有所了解,这样要求和实际能力才能更好的匹配,在产品的设计环节和图纸规格的评审环节能够尽量缩短时间,而不是反复的打样,修改。丰田从产品概念的设计冻结到批量生产的周期是18周,这比现代的开发周期短了近一个月,而比美系车和国产车的开发周期短得更多,尽管这个开发周期考量公司开发产品的综合能力,但众所周知,丰田同供应商的关系紧密程度要远远强于美系车和德系车同供应商的关系,可见供应商早期参与对提升产品设计,以及缩短开发周期都是大有裨益的。

One of the aims that we talk about the early engagement of suppliers is that we hope to understand the manufacturing capabilities of suppliers in advance, as well as expect suppliers to understand the expectations of designing product tolerance. Therefore, the requirement and the practical ability can be matched better, reducing the time of designing the product and reviewing the drawing specifications instead of repeating proofing and revising.  The cycle of Toyota from freezing the product concept design to batch production is about 18 weeks, which is nearly 2 months shorter than Hyundai. What’s more, the period is even much shorter than that of American cars and Chinese cars. Although this development period examines the comprehensive ability of a company in developing products, it is well-known that the relationship between Toyota and its suppliers is much closer than that of the American or German automobiles with its suppliers. Therefore, it can be concluded that early engagement of suppliers is beneficial for both improving the product design and shortening the development period.

回到开头的故事,如果我们反过来先将对衣服的尺寸的要求作为一个公差进行管理。比方说公差限制在32到34码之间,那这时对品质就有要求了,目标有了,接下来就是方法。方法可以是多样的,就像工厂之内公差的管控也可以有多种方法。而锻炼就如同去改善,持续的健身,就如同持续改善。

Let’s come back to the story at the beginning. If we regard the requirement on clothing size as a tolerance to conduct management—for instance, limiting the tolerance from 32 to 34— then the quality is under requirement. Since we have the objectives, and the next is the method. Methods can be various, just as the methods of controlling tolerance within a factory can be various. Exercising is like improving, and continuous exercising is like continuous improving.

让你永远Slim,让你的工厂保持一种长久的Lean的状态吧。

Let you be slim forever, and let your factory keep lean always.

 

Great Acknowlegement Given to Ms. ZiZhu Wang (Akiko) from GuangDong University of Foreign Studies for Translation.

好的质量也意味着好的装柜 Good loading is a nonnegligible part of quality.

2016年12月-2017年3月,中国消费者协会组织工作人员、消费维权志愿者和专业调查人员,通过寄递杂志、水果、餐具等3类物品,体验国内部分快递公司(顺丰、中通、圆通、申通、韵达、EMS、宅急送、德邦、天天、百世)的快递服务,并随机选取部分城市快递网点进行暗访,调查反映快递网点的服务环境、货品堆放、人员操作等情况。最后共完成了1300次快递服务体验,调查暗访了170个派件网点。结果显示发件(揽收)环节综合评分得分82分,达到了良好水平;收件(投递)环节综合评分为78分;而对快递派件(网点)的综合评分最低,仅为56分,未达“及格线”。在派件(网点)体验方面,近半网点存在野蛮装卸、暴力分拣、无序摆放快件等问题。在快递送达过程中,16.1%的快递件出现“内伤”(水果碰伤、杂志撕裂、餐具破损)。

快递行业是中国物流的一个缩影,而作为制造大国,进出口大国,中国物流也或多或少能反映出世界目前的平均物流环节的包装和运输质量水平。

以目前全球10大船运公司来看,最早的航运估计始于19世纪50年代左右,也就是说国际贸易和运输发展了大概160多年了,远长于快递运输,当然规范化程度和标准化建设也远高于快递运输。但国际贸易和运输流程复杂,中间涉及诸多环节和相关方,因此一旦发生货物丢失或损坏少则造成误会和纠纷,影响商务感情,大则诉诸法律,分崩离析。

从质量和商务的的角度而言,无论何种交付条款,客户总是希望看到收到的国际运输货物是包装完好,产品质量毫发未伤,因此包装和装柜这些平时容易被人忽视的环节也时刻影响着产品的交付质量和客户的满意度,以至于相当多的公司都有规范自身在收货环节的确认以及对供应商提出更规范,更高的要求,这也是在质量控制计划的编制环节管理人员和客户总是希望看到能包含产品生产之后的包装,物流和发货等流程上的管控措施。

笔者所在的公司以单纯的国际贸易为主,分布亚洲各地的供应商加工制造然后按照客户的指令将货物按照整柜或者拼柜的方式发往全球近40个主要国家和地区的分公司进行销售。每年经笔者所在的公司管理的发货量在5,000次左右,以2016年为例,与包装和装柜相关的交付后客户的投诉达40次,这并不包含包材用错,标签贴错的情形,而仅仅是货物被投诉少箱数,托盘被投诉垮掉,货物被发错,包装箱破损,货物发霉,货物短溢装(比如螺丝)等。而这意味着几乎每100次发货里就会出现一次纠纷,排除公休周,意味着每周都会发生一次,以笔者的估算平均处理每次的投诉80-100封邮件而平均每个人的日常邮件处理量100封来计算,这相当于每周有一个人天的资源浪费在处理此类的纠纷和投诉上,可见影响之大。

笔者的公司以各类五金,电器,建筑,家具相关商品为主,或许所选择的供应商的基础薄弱,但就笔者对所拜访过的近500家其他类似行业的制造商而言,管理水平应该相当,这就代表这个数据用来衡量整个行业或者国内目前的平均水平也不为过。

一些常见的被投诉现象如下,看着会不会也感觉很熟悉呢?第一幅图中托盘的横条已经严重变形了;第二幅图中托盘也已经变形成平行四边形;第三幅图中整个货柜内布满水珠,货物包装已经发霉了。

就原因而言,所发生投诉的供应商大多没有系统或规范的出货和装柜前的详细检查,确认。很多时候这些工作仅仅只是由仓库人员一人操作,并没有核对;其次这些作业人员往往凭经验作业,换一个人操作,方法可能完全不一样,也没有接受完整的流程和作业要点培训,记录也相当不完整,这也意味着即便同客户有分歧,也提供不了相关的一些凭证;加上现场的货品摆放和标示也不规范,造成员工容易取错货;在仓储的环境管理上,并没有严格的要求,比如笔者经常会发现一些工厂由于空间的限制,将堆放好的成品货物直接露天放置在户外,或者屋檐下,遇到晚上下雨,受潮是十分可能的事情。

对策而言,至少工厂可以采取以下基本和常规的措施:

1.完善作业流程和指引并加以实施。

首先基于经验并仔细研读客户的收货政策以及对包装的要求说明。很多时候客户会有具体的要求,比如不允许使用铁质托盘包装扎带扣防止安全隐患;法定需要有超重警示标示;木质托盘必须要事先熏蒸并取得熏蒸证明;正唛侧唛的内容和排版要求;高度和重量的限制要求防止客户的货架高度有限或者承重不足;海关对于货品溢短装的要求;托盘材质和结构的要求防止托盘断裂等等。曾经有一起投诉,客户反映托盘的尺寸大小不统一,造成两个托盘叠加后上层托盘易发生倾倒的风险。

在此基础之上形成通用的包装指引来培训相关人员以及针对有特殊差异化要求的内容做特殊说明。对于没有客户明确要求的,就需要基于员工的经验来落实到字面上了,曾经不止一次笔者发现不同的供应商将轻的易变形的货物放置在货柜的底层或者同重的货品齐放而没有隔离,造成轻的货物被挤垮或者变形。这些并不需要客户直接来说明,但是往往工厂会将这些常规的注意事项忽略掉。

2.货品装柜前后货柜的检查。

检查有多重目的,首先务必确保没有种子,稻草,谷物,昆虫,装过水果和蔬菜等的纸箱的使用,这些要么会发霉,助成生物的成长,要么会将当地不可接受的植物带入境,这在大多数国家是被海关禁止的。

其次确保货柜的良好质量,曾经笔者接到投诉在货柜被退回货柜公司验收时发现货柜底部的木板破损,但到底木板破损是在哪个运输环节发生的不得而知,幸好货柜公司索赔金额不大,供应商提供不了装柜前的检查证据,从而愿意承担索赔费用。除了检查货柜的安全铭牌,通常需要检查货柜的外部,内部,顶部和底部,以及在装柜前和装柜后对货品的摆放进行拍照归档留存至货物被客户验收合格。

3.拼装货品一定要确保包装和打托的牢固性。

很多时候工厂走整柜,整个货物的搭配和摆放工厂心中有数,比如大型家用电器通常就不会再需要打托了,但是往往货物的数量达不到一个整柜的时候就会涉及到要拼柜的情形,这时运输公司将所有的货品堆积在一个货柜里就时有发生保护欠佳造成货物到达客户端时发现要么托盘受损,要么货品变形乃至功能异常的情况。

4.给货柜增加“安全气囊”和“安全绳索”

尽管供应商已经严格按照客户的要求在进行摆放货品和托盘,但仍免不了托盘的尺寸不能完全刚好容纳进货柜宽度,也不能避免托盘的数量刚好塞满整个货柜,这时就十分有必要给货柜增加“安全气囊”和“安全绳索”,防止托盘在货柜内摇晃倾倒或者当客户打开货柜门时发生危险事故。

当然,你会说这些都需要增加成本,但是如果包装质量如果都不能保证的话,客户收到受损的货物又还有什么价值呢,而且如果有人员因此受伤的话,估计所造成的损失远不止如此。想象一下,当你今天下一张网购单,你愿意看到你的“宝贝”是被野蛮对待过的吗?

质量八大原则 Quality Management Principles

非原创,经【标杆精益】授权转发。

为什么质量问题会一而再、再而三?

每一天,我们很多人,都在解决质量问题和预防质量问题中战战兢兢度过,基本上隔几天我们就编造或者优化我们的制度文件,试图弥补漏洞;可随着文件、制度、流程越来越多,质量管理体系越来越臃肿,我们却无奈地发现,质量问题一直不断发生或复发,这究竟是为什么呢?

据统计,某公司六年来,售后质量问题有统计的≥150次,内部质量问题有统计的≥200次,平均每个礼拜至少发生1次质量问题或事件,而该公司的业绩却在这样的情况下不断提升,这是奇迹,是所有人共同创造的奇迹。

质量管理者的奢望

当发生质量问题的时候,我们总是试图让自己相信“是质量出问题了”,我们迫切需要一群人出面解决;而巧合的是,我们有一只专门负责质量的团队,于是这只队伍就必须出面解决所有的质量问题,于是问题会更加复杂更加扑朔迷离,解决了是应该的,解决不彻底就是不对的。

天长日久质量管理者觉得:
质量人就像卫生巾,管控不善,每个月总有那么几天异常要处理;
质量人就像卫生巾,没事的时候没人记得你,一有问题,第一个想到你;
质量人就像卫生巾,解决了燃眉之急,可成绩很难让人看到;
质量人就像卫生巾,有问题了拿来就用,用完了有多远丢多远。
……
质量管理是一部血泪史,是质量人的坟墓。
于是,质量管理者们奢望:
“我有一个梦想,能够与企业共同成长,能够得到充分地支持,能够得到荣誉和赞赏”。

什么是质量问题?

“质量成为一个问题,实际上是因为我们把质量和数量作了一个分离,是因为我们把它变成一个和交付、成本相对立的东西。……我们往往把许多的事情都当成了质量的问题。而面对质量的问题,大家又往往自觉不自觉地把它变成了一种是否有责任、知荣辱、讲道德的分野。从而使大家不敢去面对它,只有躲着它。”—-摘选自杨钢《质与量的战争》

工作中面对“质量问题”,我们学会了什么?

老员工们长期在一线同“质”和“量”做斗争,喜欢在第一时间质疑检查进展,喜欢怀疑别人的准确性,喜欢说这个不是我该做的,喜欢说我没发现,喜欢说制度里没有要求……

于是,大家首先会了三件事:第一推卸责任,第二指责质量人,第三继续推卸责任。

于是,作为一个团体,我们发现了新的问题,并试图去认知和理解,试图通过对制度的漏洞打补丁来改进,只是结果,显然收效甚微。
于是,我们换个思路,会不会是我们的员工没有“质量意识”?
于是,我们又学会了建立或提升“质量意识”。

我们找了找,果然,又有个先驱者站出来了说“质量意识,始于培训,终于培训”,豁然开朗啊;我们试图把培训作为提高质量意识保障,认为已经找到解决质量意识的方法。

当遇到问题,我们说要培训;客户说“嗯,很合理”;
当遇到同样的问题,我们说要加强培训;客户说“嗯,合理”;
当继续遇到同样的问题,我们说继续加强培训;客户说“嗯,有道理”
当再次继续遇到同样的问题,我们说“都强调很多次了,为什么还错呢”;客户说“嗯,没兴趣”。

因为客户不满,我们终于丢掉了客户的订单的时候,才发现,企业是要赚钱的,要以客户满意为主,然后我们学会了“客户导向”—-质量管理八大原则第一条。

为什么我们没有“质量意识”?

当我们的产品出现严重问题时,1个领导说报废,10个领导说应该会报废,20个领导说要考虑考虑,50个领导说先考虑挽救,100个领导说先考虑让步放行,200个会怎么样呢;在这个过程中做了“质量意识”培训的员工会怎么看待,后续他们工作中,或做了领导之后怎么去考虑问题呢。

一个朋友有个属下,本来在某外资企业做机加工时,经常被评为“优秀员工”和“质量/效率标兵”。后来应招做他的属下还是做机加工时,却错误不断,甚至连原先的老员工都不如,有时候强调了很多次的问题还会再犯。前后反差很大,很困惑,最后发现,原来是该员工不适应现在的环境,不适应现在的领导模式:

“原来在外企的时候很多文件描述很详细,而这里很多地方模棱两可”
“原来在外企的时候所有错误都有纠防机制,而这里只是领导口头告知”
“原来在外企的时候出个问题就是大事没有商量余地,而这里却要保交期大事化小”

上行下效,让个人意识逐步演化成了企业集体意识,这是一个很可怕的事情,于是我们学会了“领导作用”—-质量管理八大原则第二条。

我们扪心自问,
在我们培训员工的质量意识的时候,我们领导者自己是什么水平;
当我们开始推诿别人怎么样的时候,我们领导者自己是怎么想的;
当我们认为员工质量意识差的时候,我们领导者自己是怎么做的。

然后,我们再一次思考,会不会是沟通上出问题了呢?

沟通,这是一个问题

某个大能又站出来了,说“沟通是一个漏斗”,我们总是发现交代的一个事情,别人经常做不到位常常表现为:说一半和不好意思说,本来需要表达的意思,到了最终就变成了截然不同的结果。

“心里想的是100分,嘴巴只讲了80分,别人听到的是60分,听懂的就只有40,只做了20分”"总经理要求120分,经理理解到了100分,工程师听懂了80分,传递给了供应商60分,结果供应商业务员掌握了40分,真正做事的人做了20分”
我最常见的是开会,同一个会议纪要,大家会觉得自己该做的事情与别人的理解有出入;
引申出:“你让我做了,但是没有让我怎么做”结果出问题了,怎么办?
于是引申出,沟通除了要求外,还需要提示方法和过程监督。

我们又学会了沟通这种“过程方法”—质量管理八大原则第四条。

好吧,学了“过程方法”,我们有效沟通,制定目标,照章办事,该没什么大问题了吧?结果我们发现了新的故事:

我们问谁愿意买有瑕疵的手机?答复是没有人。
我们问谁愿意背着可能有瑕疵的降落伞跳伞?答复是没人有。
我们问谁愿意砸掉自己亲手生产的一台有瑕疵的宝马?答复是没有人。
我们接着问谁对着自己做出不良品、接受不良品、放出不良品视而不见?答复却变成了各种各样
“没有要求啊”“我不知道啊”“没人通知啊”“我不懂啊”……

台企有个说法“三不”,不制造不良、不流出不良、不接受不良;好大的牌子在我们公司的走廊里也有,大家看了却没几个还记得的,为什么?

因为,我们都忘了企业是以人为本的,要在制定目标中员工参与,让全员积极地寻求改进的机会,让员工积极地寻求增加知识和经验的机遇,为员工个人的成长和发展创造条件……
好了,我们又知道了“全员参与”—-质量管理八大原则的第三条。

照着做吧,针对每种问题,我们都尽心尽力,都建立一套标准的管理机制,对机制的漏洞不断完善,这就是“管理系统化、和持续改进”—-质量管理八大原则的第五、六条;

可为什么问题还在不断发生,为什么我们采取的措施没有起到应有的作用?原因发生在哪里?

原因发生在哪里?

有一次,我们发生了一个问题,产品在客户端发现了较多的不合格,我们开会讨论寻找过程的变异点,似乎有很多很多变异,我们逐项采取了措施,半年过去了,客户告诉我们不合格更严重了,出什么问题了呢,为什么采取了措施效果变的更差了?

于是我们推翻了以往的判断,把产品X光、切片,在生产过程中做“三现”(现场、现实、现物)检查,最后发现,客户描述的现象与我们所理解的不一致,我们针对改进的点错了,重新根据知道的真实情况制定改善方案,立即解决。

事实说明,我们有些人在遇到问题的时候,并没有遵循“三现”原则做事,总是期望坐在办公室里,面对着电脑就能解决生产现场发生的问题。

故事告诉我们“三现”很重要,这就是“基于事实做决策”—质量管理八大原则的第七条。

我们还有约20%的问题来自于供方提供的材料或配件,我们迫不得已让步接收,结果却引发了后续问题产生,甚至是客户投诉,我们试图让供方替我们承担责任;

然后,我们能够选择的供方越来越少,由此引发的产品质量水平却提升不大,因为大家都在用同样几个品牌供方的东西,成本下不来合格性上不去,抱怨抱怨的就习惯了也就不抱怨了;

然后有一天,客户跳出来说“我要选择别人的设备,选择别人产品”;此时谁会被谁淘汰,谁又是谁的供方呢?公司没了利益,似乎前面一切努力都白瞎了。

究竟谁是谁的供方?

在网络上随便搜索一下,我们能发现几十几百甚至几千种企业的供方审核和评价办法,参照一下可以很方便的简历我们公司自己的供应商评价规则和审核标准。

但是随着问题越来越多,我们提出的要求就越来越多,如果按照常规的思路我们发现,似乎没有合格的供方,能够提供完全好的零部件;但我们要生产,要供货,急着用,怎么办?让步放行吧,然后回到了前面的怪圈里“客户不满”。

有人站出来说了句公道话:“别和大企业比,人家舍得成本,咱们没法用同样级别的成本去找供方”。然后我们要考虑放低产品标准?不太可能,那样我们会更快被淘汰。

怎么办?换个思路,从我们自身找问题,我们究竟要什么样的供方,针对某个特定产品我们又需要什么样的供方?

没有通过ISO认证行不行? —-有些可以
没有质量管理者行不行? —-有时可以
没有技术部门行不行? —-也许可以
没有检验设施行不行? —-大概行吧
没有过程管控行不行? —-这能凑合
……尝试那么做试试呢?

似乎好多地方都可以考虑通过我们自己的努力,来帮助供方提升,并满足我们自己的需求。

这样说出去的话,很多供方很开心,互惠互利么;我们也很开心,质优价廉(综合成本低)么。

供方得到了提升,我们得到了实惠,客户也满意了,最后我们发现,其实我们才是大家的“供方”。

然后我们看到了一个新的思路“与供方互利”—-质量管理八大原则的第八条。

质量者的生存空间

作为质量人在公司,整天面对着频发的质量问题,焦急、愤怒、无奈过。现状依然是我们仍逐个部门去了解、调查、协调、推进;忍着别人说:“看到你就烦”的心态,去帮助别人改进,委屈在心里积累着;因为好了是别人的功劳,坏了是质量人做的不够好。

可是我们知道,搞好了公司的质量,我们才有生存空间。

如何减少质量问题?

通过上述八种管理规则,以及“三现”、“三不”、“有效沟通”、“培训”我们就能搞好质量提升公司利润么?我心里没底,因为好的质量水平,应表现出利润的有效上升,这不是一个简单命题。
可是,我们发现了三个事情会对我们有所启迪:

第一个,某台资企业的规定,员工的成长和晋升流程是“员工”à“领班”à“质控员”à“技术员”à“技术主管”à“质量主管”……,该公司的理念是:技术人员首先要是一个好的质量者,能够从设计时就考虑到怎么做好质量控制。

第二个,克劳士比《削减质量成本》中特别提到:质量者在行业里的地位是独一无二的。他要虔诚地将自己置身于业务之外。

成功的质量控制者真的会将自己置身于质量控制活动之外,他会把大部分时间都花在那些与其下属管理的、不直接相关的事情上。他是“缺陷预防”观念的主要发起人和保护者;他的责任就是努力维持公司管理方面的标准。在鼓励所有管理人员朝着“一次成功”而不是修修补补的方向努力时,他必须是积极的,乐观的。那么,他的时间该如何分配呢?

他应当花30%的时间为老板并与老板一起工作;花40%的时间通工程技术、生产、采购、财务等部门的经理们合作,帮助他们实行所需的为保障“缺陷预防”而采取的控制活动;剩下的30%,则是她与他的下属们一起度过的。因此,他必须准确地预算时间,抓住每个成功的机会;还必须确信他的下属们能很好地安排日程,接受训练和指导,而不必自己亲自去做这些具体的工作。

上面告诉我们,要想减少质量问题,就要“质量者不务正业”,要帮助其他部门,从预防缺陷方面找问题,而不仅仅做一个背黑锅擦屁股的执行者。

第三个,我有幸参加个一次某日企的质量管理会议,他们在研究问题时,首先剖析自我,说我错在哪里了,大家轮着来……相比而言,当我在公司内质量会议上剖析自我的时候,一般问题就都是我的错。

于是,引申出质量者们,在员工们以及领导者们心里的地位变化,决定了一个公司的质量水平的发展方向。我们知道质量管理有九段口号,今天我们在哪一段,明天我们又在哪一段呢?(9段口号:1.喊口号;2.听反馈;3.靠检查;4.抓基础;5.管现场;6、盯关键;7.重预防;8.按标准;9.求完美。)

国际采购课堂案例分享 Traditional Purchasing Dilemma Case Study

在国际采购的课堂上教授分享了一个案例供学生们讨论,据说这个案例在目前国内的采购领域相当普遍,有达七成的公司面临类似的问题或者说困境。

In a lesson on International Purchasing, the professor provided a case study for students to discuss. It is said that currently this case study is typical in the field of purchasing in China, with about 70% companies faced with similar problems or dilemmas.

因为案例只提供了纸质版文件,没有电子档,因此只有委屈大家看图了。

There is only a printed version of the case study and no electronic one, so you have to look at a picture.

在笔者看来,这是一个典型的执行传统采购的公司里的采购的做法,介于小采购与大采购之间,因为小采购是关注于订单的执行的,而大采购关注于关系的建立和优化,JIMMY的日常工作中还在扮演救火与解决问题的角色,虽然每天很忙碌,但是基本上都是在解决短期的供应问题,还没有将中长期要解决的流程和制度问题放上议程或者说开始实施。

As far as I am concerned, this is a traditional practice typically adopted by a purchasing company, falling in between small purchasing and big purchasing. The former focuses on order execution while the latter values relationship establishment and optimization. JIMMY also plays an important role in rescuing emergency and solving problems. Busy as he is every day, most of the issues that he deals with are short-term supplying problems while mid-and-long-term issues of process and regulation remain to be put on the agenda and into effect.

JIMMY 在很多公司都很常见,在一些公司老板会看到JIMMY的不足,以及要改进的地方,但是在相当多的公司内JIMMY也许还是公司的红人,要人,老板的左膀右臂,遇到问题其他的部门都会为他让路,全力配合他去解决交货与生产短缺,原因在于他还能解决一些问题,以致于给人一种错觉好像公司缺他不可,从而更让他反而有一种自豪感,不思进取。就如同品质部在很多公司画很多精力在解决“纠正措施”的问题,疲于应付客户的投诉,没有解决“预防措施”的问题,反而让老板觉得质量部解决客户的投诉由“责任”变为了“贡献”,最终成为了“增值”的活动,的确有效的解决客户的投诉和诉求能增加客户的满意度,但是最终客户要的效果是没有投诉,事前有效的预防和管控,而不是事后的纠正。

JIMMY is a common character that exists in many companies. Some bosses may recognize the disadvantages and shortcomings of JIMMY that calls for improvement. But chances are larger that JIMMY is a favorite by bosses in most places. Since he is capable to solve some tricky problems, other sectors will make way for him and spare no effort to assist him to solve the problems of delivery and production shortage. There is thus an illusion that he is indispensible to the company, which gives rise to a sense of pride in him and may foster his unenterprising spirit. It is similar to the case of the quality sectors in many companies. They are busy addressing customers’ complaints, spending a lot of time and efforts on rectification rather than precaution, which leaves a false impression on the boss that by responding to customers’ complaints, the quality sector is creating value and making contribution to the company rather than fulfill its commitment. It is true that customers can obtain satisfaction when having their complaints settled and appeals met. But what they really need is no complaints: effective precaution and control beforehand instead of rectification afterwards.

经过同学们15分钟集思广益,教授的提示及引导,大体形成了如下的解决思路,不排除有其他观点的遗漏。

After a 15 minutes’ brainstorming by students under the guidance of the professor, a general solution came into being with possible omission of ideas that are not covered.

1.采购经理的能力有待加强Enhancing the purchasing manager's ability.

1.1 采购经理的时间管理和任务优先性管理需要加强The purchasing manager's time management and task prioritization management needs improving.

整体来讲JIMMY应该能意识到很多事情要做,但是如何更好的分配时间和下属资源,以及自身的优先性管理,这是JIMMY需要思考的问题,毕竟长期救火JIMMY是不会有时间来思考更长远的问题,而接到电话就立马处理的办事风格更让人怀疑其管理的计划性。“供应链管理 – 实践者的角度”作者 刘宝红曾经比如传统采购向战略采购如同给奔驰的汽车更换车轮,是一个相当挑战的任务。

Generally speaking, JIMMY is able to be aware that there is a lot of work to do. But what calls for contemplation for him is how to allocate time and staff resource more effectively and realize self prioritization management. After all, always being hooked on emergencies would spare him no time for foresight consideration, and people would doubt his management planning ability if he kept the working manner of taking immediate action upon phone calls. Baohong Liu, the author of Supply Chain Management—from Practitioners' Perspective, once compared the shift to strategic purchasing from traditional purchasing to the replacement of wheels for Benz, a rather challenging task.

1.2 对任务的跟踪能力The ability of task tracing

案例中JIMMY提供了样品就等待设计部给答复或者说没得到答复就默认为认可的做法不为可取,尽管在实际的生活中颇为常见。要知道管理的其中一项技能是跟踪任务的实施,而不是仅发号施令,等待结果的发生。

Common as it may be in daily life, it is not advisable that JIMMY waits along for reply of the design sector after the sample is submitted, or acquiesces in its feasibility before any reply. It should be clear that one skill in management is to trace the implementation process of tasks, rather than just give orders and wait for outcomes.

1.3 采购经理的跨部门沟通的能力不足The purchasing manager's ability of cross-sector communication is deficient.

这体现在在多个利益相关体中JIMMY总是扮演老好人,帮大家和公司解决问题,以及由其他部门造成的问题,比如案例中销售没经过对公司交期能力的了解就贸然签单,设计部随意指定供应商就让JIMMY去砍价,JIMMY也欣然接招,等等。

This can be seen in many stakeholders. JIMMY always plays the role of a kind man, not willing to offend anyone. He helps to the problem caused by others, the company and other sectors. Examples in the case study include the salesmen sealing a deal without any idea about the company's delivery capacity and JIMMY getting to bargain with a supplier randomly designated by the design sector.

其次JIMMY没有对垮部门的流程定义出来,流程的不足造成JIMMY成为大家的众矢之的,要知道对于可怜之人必有可恨之处,弱势部门保护自己的强有力武器是流程。一个国家如何让老百姓有感觉自己是当家做主,从东方的民主自由到西方的自由民主,法律功不可没,于公司而言,流程就如同国家的法律。 

Besides, JIMMY does not make up a well-defined cross-sector communication process, the weakness of which has pushed JIMMY to the target of public criticism. The process is a powerful weapon for the weak to protect themselves. Whether in eastern or western democracies, the law plays an important role in guaranteeing people's rights to participate in the country's politics. The process to a company is what the law to a country.

再次JIMMY也需要完善垮部门的沟通机制,采购的中心和基本职能是保障供应,尽管物料短缺好像罪魁祸首不是采购,但是采购需要主导解决方案,就像产品缺陷是设计失误或者制造缺陷,不是品质部造成的,但是终归由品质部来统筹解决一样。在案例中建议JIMMY需要固定周期的垮部门会议,来及时了解波动的客户的需求,动态的仓储状况,以及随时波动的生产计划和品质表现。

What's more, the cross-sector communicative mechanism needs to be optimized. Although the chief culprit for material shortage should not go to the purchasing sector, it is supposed to carry out and dominate a solution since the core and basic function of purchasing is to guarantee supply. Similarly, products are caused in designing or production process rather than by the quality sector, but it eventually calls for the quality sector to coordinate and solve the problem.In the case study, JIMMY should hold periodic cross-sector meetings so as to have an immediate comprehension of changeable customer demands, dynamic storage situation and fluctuant production planning and quality performance.

2.对于计划与预测的管控要加强Enhancing the control of planning and forecasting.

JIMMY需要和计划,业务交清底牌 – 哪些非标物料的交期是多久,需要提前准备,防止销售贸然承诺客户。对于销售提供的预测数据是需要画个问号先,并不是说销售故意提供假的预测数据,原因在于市场变幻莫测,没准销售从客户那里收到的数据还依赖于上游二级乃至三级客户的准确性,这就是供应链环节的所谓“牛鞭效应”。客户为了保障给其客户的供应,他们可能会将实际1000的需求量扩大为1500,而公司销售收到1500的要求后为了不失信于客户,则有可能会再放大到2000。刘宝红老师的观点是决定由数据开始,判断结束,总比全程拍脑袋的准确性要高,要知道战略层面在年初拍脑袋定下的销售额预测可能还比较准确,生产,采购的年度预测也还行,但是落实在战术层面上每周的预测就可能差之千里了。在此同学们给出的一个思路是计划与预测需要结合静态与动态两块数据,静态指实际已经发生的现有信息,这些包括历史的销售,采购数据,现有的自身仓库和供应商端的库存数据等,动态的则是销售的预测数据,供应商提供的前置期等。两者结合会更接近实际的需求,毕竟想要获得的信息的准确性高低与资源的投入多少也有一定关系。

JIMMY should have an immediate and effective communication with the planning and sales departments and tell them the real capability of suppliers : Which are non-standard materials, what are their deliveries and when should they be prepared in advance in case the salesman rashly accepts an order from customers. The forecasting data provided by salesmen should be put under scrutiny first. It does not mean that salesmen will deliberately provide false forecasting data. But since the market is changeable, it is possible that the accuracy of the data salesmen obtained from customers should depend on the upstream secondary and tertiary customers. This is referred to as the Bullwhip Effect in supply chain. When an upstream customer wants to ensure supply to a downstream customer, it may play an increased order with a supply company. For example, it may enlarge the actual demand of 1000 in amount into 1500. When the supplier receives an order of 1500, however, it may increases the order to an amount of 2000 so as to ensure that the order can be fulfilled on time. According to Professor Liu Baohong, a decision should begin with data and end with judgment rather than be based on groundless intuition. The forecast for sales, production and purchasing casually determined by the strategy layer may be relatively accurate at the beginning of a year, but great discrepancy will emerge in the week forecasting on the tactics layer. Thus the students put up with an idea that both static and dynamic data should be adopted in the process of planning and forecasting. Static data refers to the available data drew from events that already happened, including historical sales data, purchasing data, current stock information from the warehouse and the suppliers. Dynamic data refers to forecasting data of sales and the lead time proposed by supplier. A combination of the two makes it closer to the actual demand. After all, the accuracy of the information is, to some extent related to the input of resources.

3.供应商感知模型的运用Using the Supplier Perception Model

与此同时鉴于JIMMY公司的业绩增长保持在两位数,JIMMY也需要与供应商保持良好的信息沟通和共享,了解清楚供应商的供应能力和意愿,供应商愿意同公司一起成长而配合公司增加设备,人力资源等保障供应吗?在供应商的眼中,他们又是如何看待JIMMY公司的,这就涉及到供应商感知模型的运用。并不是说很有商业价值的客户就一定具有吸引力而成为核心客户的。正所谓门当户对,是指两者都你情我愿才会产生长久的合作。

Meanwhile, in view that JIMMY’s company enjoys a double-digit growth, JIIMMY shall keep a good communication with the suppliers in information exchanging and sharing. He should also have a clear understanding of the suppliers’ supplying competence and willingness. Whether they are willing to increase facilities, human resources and so on to ensure adequate supply to the company? How is JIMMY’s company like in the mind of the suppliers? All these questions refer to the use of the supplier perception model. Customers of great commercial value are not meant to be attractive and will therefore become the core customers. A long cooperation calls for two parties that have the willingness to work with each other in order to be well-matched.

4.对零部件的重要性划分Rating Parts by Importance

JIMMY不能眉毛胡子一把抓,需要分清哪些是关键物料,哪些是常规采购物料,做到有的放矢。具体可以参考供应定位模型(瓶颈,日常,关键,杠杆)。此外供应商也显得有些单一,同一品类的关键物料应该需要做足准备工作,确保风险的最小化。

JIMMY should not attend to big and small matters all at once. But rather, he should tell apart key materials and normal materials so as to have a definite object in view. The supply positioning model can be referred to for more specific information (bottleneck, routine, critical and leverage).  Besides, the suppliers appear to be unitary. An adequate stock of key materials of the same class should be prepared before hand in order to minimize risks.

5. 对风险的管理思路Ideas for Risk management

基于对零部件的重要性划分,也有人提出了JIMMY对待断货的风险管控需要借鉴风险管理模型,比如对企业影响大,发生机会高的需要优先关注,将对企业的影响与发生的概率作为两个纵向交错的轴来进行管理。

Apart from rating accessories by importance, some also note that JIMMY should learn from the risk management model for the risk management and control of stock shortage. For example, accessories that easily encounter shortage and have great influence on the company should be given prior attention, described in a coordinate axis with Influence on the company and probability to happen as the two axes.

6.供应商的选择流程失效Failure in the Supplier Selection Process

供应商选择引进的程序需要定义出来,以确保采购提前参与进来,而不是在设计部定好型,选好供应商后仅仅只是操作后续的日常采购订单。供应商的选择流程需要考虑分为几个阶段以及每个阶段下该做的事情和由哪个部门主导,目的在于确保各个相应部门都有在前期参与,第一保证利益的均衡,第二保证需求的满足,第三平衡效率与风险。在案例中先批准样品,再在即将下订单时去找供应商谈价格明显是前后颠倒,要知道供应商临时切换的时间成本和机会成本是非常高的,正常的顺序应该是先定标准和要求来报价,其次再确认样品。

The process of supplier selection and bringing in should be clearly defined so that the purchaser can start his work in advance rather than simple fulfill daily purchasing orders that come after the decision on goods specification and suppliers by the design sector. In determining the supplier selection process, a company need to consider how many stages the process comprises, what should be done on each stage and each stage should be led by which sector in order to make sure that the relevant sector can undertake their work in time.  First, make sure that benefits are balanced; second, make sure that demands are met; third, balance between efficiency and risks. In the case study, the company reversed the sequence by first deciding on the sample and then bargaining with the supplier when the order was ready to be played. We should know that there is a high time and opportunity cost for switching suppliers. The normal sequence is to decide on the specifications and quote and then decide on the sample.

第二,按照常规的供应商选择流程,应该是所有的采购订单发往合格供应商,而合格供应商是需要建立清单进行严格管控的,进入合格供应商清单的供应商前期需要经过一系列的评估,这样JIMMY面临的一些问题可以在前期过滤掉了,想必JIMMY可能没有意识到这点。

Besides, according to the conventional supplier selection process, all the purchasing orders are sent to qualified suppliers which are named in a list by the company for strict management and control. A series of assessments are conducted before a supplier can be listed as a qualified supplier. In this way, some problems encountered by JIMMY might have been filtered in advance. Perhaps he was not aware of this fact.

7. ERP系统的运用和升级Using and Upgrading the ERP System

大部分同学都意识到了ERP的运用给公司带来的便捷与效率,但在实际工作中要说服一个不实际操作系统的老板来讲,的确不是易事。一个好的管理系统其实已经将公司的流程嵌入到了系统内部,就像大家觉得电脑的速度是越来越快,但是体积是越来越小,从操作界面来讲是越来越方便,大家并不会看到各种0/1的算法,但实际上它又确是在电脑的内部计算和处理中实际发生的一样。一方面尽量采用投资回报的计算方式来证明ERP系统的商业价值,另外一方面也需要JIMMY将公司的现状 – 变革 – 未来 里程图展现给老板,让老板看到上一个好的ERP系统如何给未来起到一个建地基,铺路的效果。​有同学结合贴身感受推荐澳洲ERP系统PRIORITY (http://www.priorityerp.com/),但是据说价值也不菲,需要上百万美金,不知是真是假。

A majority of students have realized the adoption of the ERP System will bring convenience and efficiency to the company. But it is not an easy job to persuade a boss who has not used the system into adopting it. As a matter of fact, a qualified management system will have had the corporate process embedded into itself. It is like a computer, which gets faster in speed but smaller in size and whose operating interface becomes more and more convenient. Various algorithms are not visible to us, but they are actually worked on and processed in a computer. On one hand, the calculation of ROI should be put into use to access the commercial value of the ERP System. On the other, it requires that JIMMY present to the boss a situation-revolution-future mileage chart, with which the boss is able to see how a qualified ERP System can lay the foundations and pave the road for the future. Some students recommend PRIORITY (http://www.priorityerp.com/), an Australian ERP System, supported by their own experiences. It is said to be expensive, costing millions of dollars. I am not sure whether it is true or not.

8. 扩展A Real-Life Example

由于案例给出的信息并不是十分完整,有同学分享一个一个他们公司实际的操作手法,将客户特殊的需求与价格相关联。具体的做法是如果常规的交期是一个月,但是如果客户临时下订单时要求的交期是15天,公司会答应新的交期,但是销售价格大幅上涨或者付款条件变为更加苛刻,一方面实际情况是可能整个供应链都需要加班或者通过额外的资源调配来完成这个需求,另外一方面也为增加产品的利润率。但是有从事销售领域的同学立即指出这个方法的一大弊病就是很容易流失客户,因为客户也会在市场上进行综合比较,一旦发现有更加具有竞争力的供应商可能会立马切换过去。可能在实际的例子中这种实践主要适用于少量多样及及卖方市场的产品。

Due to the fact that the information provided by the case study is not comprehensive enough, some students have provided an actual practice in their company. That is, associate customers’ special requirements with prices.  If a customer plays a special order with a delivery time of 15 days while the conventional delivery of the item is, say, one month, the company can accept the new delivery on condition that the price be largely increased or the terms of payment be stricter. On one hand, the whole supply chain has to meet the requirement by working overtime or through extra resource allocation.  On the other, the product profit margin may be increased. But some students who work in the sales domain note immediately that one big drawback of this practice is that it easily drains away its customers for customers will make comparisons in the market and once they find more competent supplies to which they will turn. Perhaps such practice is only suitable for small-volume large-variety products or products with more demand than supply.

尽管讨论来自于课堂,很多的参与讨论的同学并非来自于采购领域,但是正是因为所从事的工作的不同而站在不同的视角去看待同一个问题,给出一些建议,也许会更加切合实际吧。

Although it is a discussion in class and many students in the discussion are not professionals in purchasing, some suggestions that are proposed by them may be much more practical since they work in different fields and thus can view the same question from different perspectives.

 

SPECIAL ACKNOWLEDGE GIVEN TO MS.Wang Qian (Claire) FOR HER CONTRIBUTIONS OVER THE TRANSLATION.