Puakma: Under the hood

I'm Brendon Upson, jack-of-all-trades, master of one or two. I'm talking about life running a small ISV tackling business issues and leaping technology hurdles in a single bound.

webWise Network Consultants is based in Sydney, Australia and develops the groundbreaking Puakma server technology.


Where has all the quality gone?

Filed under: by Brendon Upson on 08:22

I've noticed a worrisome trend. Quality is disappearing. Noone seems to give a sh!t anymore. Here's a couple of recent examples:

We changed our banking arrangements recently signing up for a deal where we pay a hefty fee each year but get enough of an interest rate cut to make the deal worth it. Imagine my surprise when the interest rate was cut, but no fee charged. Being responsible citizen, I called the bank to tell them of their anomoly. Imagine my further surprise when I was told by the phone support guy to go into my local branch and sort it out. Newsflash: It aint my problem, YOU fix it - I'm happy with the new arrangement.

Three weeks ago we ordered some wall tiles for our never ending kitchen renovation. They were supposed to take 3 days to arrive. Each week my wife would call tham and ask about the order only to be told they weren't in yet. Last friday we get a call apologising that our order was never sent to the supplier and if we had have called the order could have been rectified.

Much of the expensive brands are also suffering from quality deterioration. It seems that no longer buying the "name" brand is a guarantee of quality. Sure, you pay more but you don't always get more.

We need to be in total awe of the coming Chinese commercial machine. Goods from China are a fraction of the cost of other goods with quality levels at least in the "good enough" range. Our local hardware store sells powertools from fifteen dollars! How can you manufacture and ship a product half way across the world, add a retail margin and still make a profit? Be afraid, be very afraid. We have only seen the tip of Chinese capability, give it another couple of years...


  1. Quality is a mindset. A mindset that sees 'good enough' as its worst enemy. I use to tell the story of my school pals dad here: He was a simple factory worker all his life drilling holes in metal blocks. On his retirement party he proudly shared, that he never broke a drill in his work life.
    "I listen to my machine, when the sound of the drill changes I knew it was time to resharpen the drill bit, and only numb drills brake".
    Also numb drills vibrate and make oval holes instead of round ones. Probably the oval holes are still within spec ("good enough") but not as precise as they could be with the given equipment.
    So now take a factory full of this mind set and you get a "classic" machine "Made in Germany" (an endangered species) compared to a factory full of "good enough/within specs" (would I say proton?)?
    For the Chinese: I would not be too scared. They face a shortage of skilled workers that puts an upward pressure on wages and prices. (WallMart should be scared of that).
    My 2c
    :-) stw

    Comment posted by Stephan H. Wisse on 2005-07-25 00:36:13.0 | mail

Your comment

Protected from spambots!

HTML is allowed
Formatting: Basic formatting can be included like so:
[b]bold[/b] and [i]italic[/i]