Measure Twice, Cut Once

Monday, September 10, 2012 8:32
Posted in category From the Factory Floor
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As a quick follow up on the post from last week,When Sourcing In China. Invest in Systems, I found this fantastic passage from Yvon Chouinard’s book Let My Go People Surfing.

A book detailing the story of Patagonia, particularly on its focus of being a firm with values (in every sense of the word), he writes the following about his commitment to making sure product failures were identified and addressed early on.  It comes from the chapter Measure Twice, Cut Once:

Let’s take a close look at a lose button and the consequences depending on who happens to discover it..  Say the button falls off in your customer’s hand as she pulls the pants out of the washing machine.  Your entire company, and your partners, have failed in the gravest possible way.  That hard-earned customer will never again fully trust your claim to quality.

Better for a quality control inspector at your warehouse to make the discovery during a spot check when the good arrive from the port.  Then further checks can be made, and all the pants with loose buttons can be removed from their bags, and the bags from boxes, and all the pants sent over to the sewing room and all the buttons sewn on right, then moved to a staging area and rebagged and reboxed.  Better, but expensive; no on-time delivery today

The only thing with this level of commitment to the customer, and a process that never fails the customer, is that he waits for the boxes to arrive before inspecting. Imagine if quality inspectors were on sight inspecting pants as the buttons were being sewn on and were able to make the adjustments on site. Before being bagged, boxes, and containerized for the 12 days voyage to Long Beach?

It is a great passage that I feel shows what a committed firm should look like, and for those of you who are in sourcing he has spent quite a bit of time on his ideas on how the how and why a firm should build strong (long term) supplier relationships.

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