Saturday, November 10, 2007

Harmful Toy Industry No Fun & Leaders Are No Help

Toy manufacturers have a clear responsibility to design and sell safe toys to children, regardless of country. Western toy companies usually contract out production to Chinese manufacturers which operate in a much lower labor cost environment. Yet, the contractor must assure the quality of the toys, later sold under their various brand names.

Of the myriad of recalls, some have been due to poor original design, others to the improper substituting of cheaper, dangerous supplies in the manufacturing process. American consumers are not impressed by the finger pointing between the big brand manufacturers and their cheap producers.

Until U.S. companies, their contract manufacturers and the federal government can get their act together to ensure quality goods reach American households, I'm afraid it's buyer beware. Bush's consumer product safety guru's recent Ask the White House online chat on import safety didn't quell any of my doubts.

We have a crisis in leadership that cannot be solved by simple teamwork. It requires new knowledge, that happens to be old. Dr. Deming's system of profound knowledge provides the light in the tunnel. The problem is American political and corporate leaders don't know they're stumbling around in dark.

The Chinese remain clueless as well as heavy handed. How free will employees feel to raise quality issues with criminal penalties, including death, looming over their heads? It's starting to look like the perfect storm with China driving in fear and U.S. corporations importing more food, feed, drugs and medical devices. Hold onto your barf bags and health insurance cards just in case! And don't go for the Chinese pacemaker unless Dick Cheney gets one!