新經濟學與台灣戴明圈: The New Economics and A Taiwanese Deming Circle

「華人戴明學院」是戴明哲學的學習共同體 ,致力於淵博型智識系統的研究、推廣和運用。 The purpose of this blog is to advance the ideas and ideals of W. Edwards Deming.

2014年7月26日星期六

Alfred Politz (1902-1982)。戴明博士好友。

1     現況的省思
對你傷害最大的,莫過於差勁的對手。對於好對手, 應心存感激。
──阿爾弗雷德波利茲(Alfred Politz (1902-1982)"投票和輿情分析"與市場研究領域的先驅。戴明博士好友。——譯注

阿爾弗雷德‧波利茲 (ALFRED POLITZ 1902-1982)是"投票和輿情分析"和市場研究領域的先驅。

波利茲先生取得柏林大學物理學博士。1937年移民美國,在埃爾莫羅珀(Elmo Roper)公司上班。1943年在曼哈頓創立阿爾弗雷德‧波利茲研究公司。1967年退休時,他將該公司賣掉。20多年來,他對於市場研究這行業的成長貢獻頗大。
他在抽樣和評估公眾的態度領域有創新,贏得了多項專業獎項。Media-Scope雜誌在1960因他的創新授獎給他。1963年此雜誌又頒給他"創新媒體研究獎。1976年的廣告研究基金會  Advertising Research Foundation 的年度會議上,他被評為廣告研究的創始人之一,並稱讚他在抽樣上的創新。
在早期市場研究蓬勃發展、擴張時,民意調查常有作弊情形,譬如說,由業務員冒充投票者。對於這些造假的發展,波利茲先生領導團對揭發、打擊  (1949年)。1954年,波利茲先生開發了戶外廣告的有效性的確定技術。他使用改進的空軍攝像頭,通過紅外線攝影來算出讀廣告的讀者數。
1990年,位於芝加哥的美國行銷協會出版他的論文集。Hugh S. Hardy, ed. The Politz Papers: Science and Truth in Marketing Research, Chicago: The American Marketing Association, 1990, 書中有簡短的戴明博士訪問稿,以及戴明博士寫他利用統計學在日本帶動的品質革命。
阿爾弗雷德波利茲戴明博士好友。他在40年代常到華盛頓去向戴明請教,最後說服他到紐約大學兼課,方便自己就近共同研究。(The Politz Papers, pp. xiii-xvii)---本書中有兩篇論文與戴明博士相關:
Politz, A. and Deming, W.E. (1953) ‘On the Necessity of Presenting Consumer Preferences as Predictions", Journal of Marketing, 18 (1), July 1953, 1-5, 收入本書 pp. 100-105

Politz, A. (1957) ‘Science and Truth in Marketing Research’ , Harvard Business Review 35(1): 117–26 . 收入本書 pp. 106-122

戴明博士的著作《企業研究的樣本設計》"Sample Design in Business Research(Wiley, 1960), 中,有二個共同參與的個案。


2014年7月24日星期四

中國乳製品行業整頓:用舊辦法解決因舊體系導致的問題 The Milk of Chinese Blindness By Joseph Sternberg

中國乳製品行業整頓:用舊辦法解決因舊體系導致的問題 The Milk of Chinese Blindness By Joseph Sternberg
2014年 07月 17日 11:59

中國乳製品行業整頓摸準脈門了嗎?Joseph Sternberg


概就在六年前的這個時候,數千名中國嬰兒生了病,甚至有幾名生命垂危,而這一切只因為他們吃了含有一種工業化學品的奶粉。2008年的這起醜聞讓中國乳製品行業的弊病暴露無遺。而最近幾週,北京方面清理該行業的努力進一步升級。但是,不要指望這些政府行動會達到其宣傳的效果。

導致這麼多嬰兒患病、六名嬰兒死亡的三聚氰胺是一種塑料成份,在奶粉中添加三聚氰胺可以顯示出更高的蛋白質含量,在質量檢測過程中矇騙過關。各界普遍認為,這種事情之所以發生,是因為中國的乳製品行業高度分散化。應該是拮據的小奶農和中間商合謀用加水、加化學品的牛奶欺騙了乳品廠,而且乳品廠無法發現他們的欺詐行為,因為自身的質量控制太容易被愚弄了。

Getty Images
2008年,京客隆超市,一箱三鹿奶粉從貨架上撤下,一名超市員工正在做記錄。
北京方面應對這起醜聞的方法與其應對大多數經濟挑戰如出一轍:化零為整。中國國務院近期發佈了一張聚焦於整合的乳製品行業新路線圖,目標是在今年年底之前形成10家大型奶粉生產商,並且到2018年時進一步縮減為五家。這麼做的理論是,規模做大,再加上垂直整合,將使得質量和安全控制更容易得到保障。

中國一些新的大型乳品公司開始上市,其中包括最早將於本週在香港上市的中國聖牧有機奶業(China Shengmu Organic Milk)。聖牧稱,該公司將把發行所得用於擴大其在中國的奶牛場網絡。出於差不多的原因,其他一些乳品公司正在接受私募股權投資;阿里巴巴(Alibaba)的馬雲(Jack Ma)就成了這類投資者之一,他的私募公司云鋒基金(Yunfeng Capital)上個月向內蒙古伊利實業集團股份有限公司(Inner Mongolia Yili)的一個子公司注入了大約人民幣20億元(合3.22億美元)。

同時,這些新近擴大了規模的乳製品公司正在大舉進軍海外市場,這是另一個經典的中國公司做法。中國的光明食品(Bright Food)在5月份收購了以色列著名乳製品公司Tnuva 56%的股份。分析師們熱議該筆交易的技術轉讓問題。以色列人將教會其中國老闆最佳安全操作規程。同時,中國嬰兒配方奶粉生產商聖元(Synutra)正在投資9,000萬歐元(合1.22億美元),在法國布列塔尼興建一個新的乳品廠,該廠的產品將通過出口方式回到國內銷售。

這一切聽起來都棒極了——如果你相信2008年這次以及其他災難性事件單純只是乳製品行業分散化的責任的話。但是還有許多國家的乳製品行業也是分散化的,而這些市場這些年來就沒有發生過中國頻繁見到的這種類型和程度的安全事故。

中國乳品行業失敗的根源不在該行業的結構上,而在於中國的經濟結構。別忘了2008年三聚氰胺丑聞的主角三鹿(Sanlu)可不是一個小型家庭奶牛場。三鹿當時是中國最大的奶企之一,新西蘭的恒天然(Fonterra)持有其部分股權,三鹿奶粉當時屬於中國最受歡迎的奶粉品牌之列。

之所以會發生三聚氰胺事件,一定程度上是因為中國的食品安全監管部門仍舊監管不力,同時中國受到限制的媒體無法起到監督作用。客氣地講,法制變化無常,難以有效查處違規違法行為。

與小型奶牛場存在諸多問題的傳統觀念相反的是,三鹿的規模可能恰恰加重了問題的嚴重性。該公司由地方政府所有,設有一位黨委書記,這也是中國國有企業的普遍做法。一般情況下,這種安排使中共控制了政治上敏感的漲價等問題,但在三聚氰胺事件中,這卻使中共得以暫時掩蓋了此次牛奶污染事件,並避免了一次產品被全面召回的事件,直到2008年奧運會后。

如果中國政府確實想整頓乳製品行業,就應該加快中國向市場經濟的轉型進程。但中國政府目前所做的卻是組建更多的“三鹿”。政府扶植(有些甚至是政府直接擁有)的大公司理論上講可能更易于監管。三鹿就是這樣一家公司,但對三鹿而言,這樣的結構也使這類企業更容易出於其他目的而被操縱。

與此同時,進口外國奶制品是引入外國食品安全經驗的最快和最簡單方式,但中國政府在這一問題上的做法依舊讓人難以理解。近年來,中國有關部門多次以虛假的價格操縱指控為由把矛頭對準外國奶粉生產商,並要求外國奶粉企業滿足繁瑣的登記規定。由於中國禁止外商在奶企中持有多數股權,這導致外商對企業缺乏控制權,很多公司因此不愿進一步投資中國乳業。

一個現代化的中國乳製品行業擁有的大企業可能比過去更多,也可能更少。中國在市場化進程中已經取得一定進展。去年,奶價下跌及牛肉價格上漲等經濟因素促使很多小奶牛場殺牛退出,出現了一場大規模的宰牛潮。中國食品安全監管部門的警惕性確實也在慢慢提高。

但中國政府直接插手人為安排乳業發展的做法將使造成市場反應的“短路”。這是在用一個舊辦法解決一個因舊體系導致的問題。無論中國國家主席習近平承諾什么其他的宏偉經濟改革,都別指望消費者短期內會信賴中國的牛奶。

(Joseph Sternberg是《華爾街日報》“Business Asia”專欄的編輯。)

The Milk of Chinese Blindness

Joseph Sternberg

At about this time six years ago, thousands of Chinese babies were falling ill and several were dying after consuming milk powder tainted with an industrial chemical. Recent weeks have seen further advances in Beijing's ongoing effort to clean up a dairy industry whose faults were laid bare by that 2008 scandal. Don't expect those governmental exertions to work as advertised.

Those infants were sickened, and in six cases killed, by melamine, a component in plastics that had been added to milk powder to trick quality tests into showing higher protein levels than the powder contained. The conventional wisdom holds that this happened because China's dairy industry was highly fragmented. Financially strapped small farmers and middlemen supposedly conspired to cheat dairies with watered-down, chemical-laden milk, and the dairies weren't able to discover the fraud because their quality controls were too easily fooled.

Beijing has responded to this scandal the way it responds to most economic challenges: by going big. The State Council recently released a new roadmap for the industry that focuses on consolidation, with a goal of forming 10 large milk-powder companies by the end of this year, and shrinking that further down to five by 2018. The theory is that massive scale, combined with vertical integration, will make quality and safety control easier to enforce.

Some of China's new wave of big dairy firms are starting to list shares, including China Shengmu Organic Milk as early as this week in Hong Kong, saying they will use the proceeds to beef up their networks of dairy farms in China. Others are accepting private-equity investment for much the same reason; Jack Ma of Alibaba fame became one such investor when his PE firm Yunfeng Capital poured around 2 billion yuan ($322 million) into a unit of Inner Mongolia Yili last month.

In another classic China Inc. move, these newly enlarged dairy companies are going on overseas sprees. China's Bright Food in May bought a 56% stake in Tnuva, one of Israel's best-known dairy companies. Analysts hype the technology-transfer aspect of this deal. The Israelis will enlighten their Chinese bosses about safety best practices. Chinese baby-formula manufacturer Synutra, meanwhile, is investing EUR 90 million ($122 million) in building a new dairy factory in Brittany in France from which it will export back to China.

This all sounds great, if you believe that a fragmented production system alone was responsible for the 2008 disaster and others. But plenty of other countries have fragmented dairy industries. None of those markets has experienced in living memory a safety scandal of the type and degree that afflicts China so frequently.

China's failure lies not in the structure of its dairy industry but in the structure of its economy. Remember that Sanlu, the company at the heart of the 2008 scandal, was not a small family farm. It was one of the largest dairy companies in China, part-owned by New Zealand's Fonterra, and its milk-powder brand was among the most popular.

That contamination incident happened partly because China's safety regulatory apparatus remains weak and its unfree press can't serve as a watchdog. Rule of law is too erratic-to put it kindly-to function as an effective check on bad behavior.

Contra the conventional wisdom about the ills of small farms, Sanlu's size arguably exacerbated the problem. The company was owned by its local government, and had acquired a Communist Party secretary, as Chinese companies generally do. Whereas at other times this allowed the party to control politically sensitive price increases and the like, in the melamine case it allowed the party to conceal the contamination and avoid a general recall until after the 2008 Olympics.

If Beijing were serious about cleaning up its dairy industry it would hasten China's transition to a market economy. Instead, Beijing is creating more Sanlus. Large firms fostered, if not outright owned, by the government may in theory make the companies easier for regulators to monitor, but Sanlu was such a company and turned out to be easier to manipulate for other ends, too.

Meanwhile, Beijing continues to evince ambivalence when it comes to the quickest and easiest way to import foreign safety know-how-importing foreign milk products. In recent years, the authorities have by turns hounded foreign milk-powder producers on spurious price-fixing charges and subjected them to burdensome registration requirements. Many have been deterred from further investing in Chinese dairies by a prohibition on majority ownership and the resulting lack of control.

A modern Chinese dairy industry might feature more large companies than have previously existed, or it might not. China has made some progress in allowing the market to decide. Witness a major cull of the cattle herd last year as economic factors such as falling milk prices and rising beef prices induced many marginal farmers to slaughter their cattle and exit the business. China's food-safety regulators slowly but surely grow more astute.

But Beijing's attempt to stage-manage the dairy industry's development will short-circuit market responses. It is an old-style solution to a problem that was caused by the old style. Whatever other grand economic reforms President Xi Jinping promises, don't expect consumers to trust Chinese milk any time soon.

Mr. Sternberg edits the Business Asia column.

2014年7月23日星期三

中國“洋 快餐” 面臨 “肉荒” The Politics Behind China's Latest Food Scandal






2014年07月23日 06:44 AM
中國“洋快餐”面臨“肉荒”


英國《金融時報》 韓碧如 北京報道

中國的“洋快餐”連鎖店可能面臨供應鏈中斷。有關部門正對一家被指用過期產品冒充新鮮產品的肉類供應商加大檢查力度。


國家食品藥品監督管理總局昨日下令,對美國OSI集團旗下所有在華食品生產企業展開徹查。此前一家電視台發現,過了保質期的肉類產品在上海一家加工廠被貼上新標簽。


國家食藥監總局還下令對使用上海福喜食品有限公司(Shanghai Husi Food)產品的餐飲服務單位進行全面突擊檢查。該公司目前已被查封。

迄今徹查僅限於OSI的子公司,尚未影響到中國肉類加工產業整體。

總部位於伊利諾伊州的OSI集團,表示對這起食品安全問題感到“震驚”,並對所有受到影響的客戶和消費者致以“誠摯的道歉”。它說:“本公司管理層認為這是一起孤立事件。”

昨日星巴克(Starbucks)也加入百勝(Yum Brands)和麥當勞(McDonald’s)的行列,報廢上海福喜供應的產品,不過這家美國咖啡連鎖店表示,僅有“雞肉蘋果醬帕尼尼”一款產品受到影響。

宜家(Ikea)發布微博聲明稱,“自2013年9月起,上海福喜就不再為宜家提供任何食品原料。”

雖然福喜主要為上海地區國際快餐連鎖店供貨,但日本麥當勞五分之一的雞塊都由它提供。

快餐連鎖店往往依賴於可以大批量提供標準化產品的食品加工企業,因此短期內難以更換供應商。

DX咨詢(Daxue Consulting)的馬蒂厄•達維德(Matthieu David)說:“大公司通常有多家供應商,絕不會只有一家。”

“但問題在於,替補供應商能頂上所取代者的供應量嗎?”

國際快餐連鎖店在中國消費者間的聲譽通常比國內同業要高。但隨著食品供應鏈規模迅速擴大,食品安全是一個持續令人擔憂的問題。

許多外國企業依賴於外資加工廠,希望藉此控制質量。

譯者/曲雯雯

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The Factory in the China Food Scandal Is Foreign-Owned. That Could Have Made It a Target
Michael Schuman/Beijing @MichaelSchuman  4:50 AM ET     

A 24-hour McDonalds restaurant in a shopping mall. KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut and other Western brands are suffering food safety crises in the Chinese market.
Zhang Peng—LightRocket via Getty Images
No company should be allowed to get away with unsafe products, but the harsh spotlight shone on multinational enterprises in China could be part of an effort to undermine them in favor of local businesses
Another day in China, another food scandal. This time the accused is a meat supplier to KFC and McDonald’s in China. An undercover investigation by a Chinese TV station, which aired on Sunday, claimed that a factory in Shanghai owned by Illinois-based OSI Group was shipping the fast-food giants expired meat. Later, coffee-shop chain Starbucks in China and McDonald’s outlets in Japan got dragged into the mess, as they, too, had meat from the suspect factory in their products.


Beyonce And Jay Z Divorce Rumor Has Everyone Freaking Out Huffington Post
The report sent the U.S. companies into full crisis management. Yum! Brands, which operates KFC, garners more than 40% of its total operating profit from China, while McDonald’s considers the country one of its most important growth markets, so neither can afford tainting their brands with tainted food. KFC and McDonald’s issued apologies to their customers, while suspending shipments from the Shanghai factory. Starbucks said it removed all products with meat from the supplier from its stores. OSI, meanwhile, is undertaking an investigation into the practices at the factory. On Wednesday, Chinese police detained five people in connection with the scandal.

The allegations, if proved true, reveal just how rotten China’s food supply really is. If such shenanigans are taking place at OSI, a supplier with a long history and good reputation, one can only shudder to imagine what’s happening elsewhere in the industry. Yet that raises another question almost as uncomfortable. In a country where companies routinely flout the law and officials — by the government’s own admission — are grossly corrupt, we’re forced to ask why some corporations and people find themselves in Chinese newspaper headlines or investigated by regulators, and not others. In other words, why was OSI the target of a time-consuming TV exposé and not another company?

TIME attempted repeatedly to pose that question to Dragon TV, which aired the investigation, but did not receive a return phone call. The focus on a foreign-owned factory, however, is part of a trend. Foreign companies do seem to figure prominently in state-media critiques and government investigations. The revelations about KFC and McDonald’s are just the latest in a series of attacks on popular foreign brands and established foreign companies in the country.

Since June, Chinese state media have claimed U.S. technology companies such as Microsoft and Yahoo can be used by Washington to spy on China. Earlier this month, Chinese state TV claimed that the Apple iPhone was a threat to national security. Alleged bribery by drugmaker GSK in China has been paraded in national headlines for months. American restaurant brands have been targeted before. Last year, Chinese media accused Starbucks of overcharging Chinese customers, while in 2012, state TV conducted another undercover investigation into McDonald’s, which it claimed exposed unsavory practices at a Beijing outlet.

Obviously, if foreign companies are engaged in illegal or improper practices in China, they must be held accountable. Yet the spotlight shone on the activities of foreign firms is so bright that it can be seen as part of another, more disturbing trend: an effort by the government to undermine foreign brands and business in China.

We can speculate why that might be happening. The government could be trying to reel in a few “big fish” to try to scare smaller fry into better behavior. Officials might be attempting to win points with the public by appearing to address issues of great public concern like food safety without roiling any Chinese interests. And in the process, the Chinese government might believe it can aid Chinese companies in their competition with foreign firms by undercutting the reputation of international brands. The latest exposé on KFC and McDonald’s could have serious repercussions for the American fast-food chains. In 2012, KFC’s business in China suffered badly when news broke that some of its chicken suppliers were pumping excessive antibiotics into their birds.

The Chinese government has a long history of attempting to tilt the local playing field in favor of its own firms. Foreign carmakers, though very successful in China, are still forced to manufacture in the country only through joint ventures with Chinese firms — a restriction most other emerging economies don’t impose. Reports from chambers of commerce accuse Chinese bureaucrats of routinely hampering the expansion of foreign business by taking a “go-slow” approach when issuing mandatory permits and licenses. There is a feeling among foreign businessmen in China that the government regularly discriminates against them. The latest survey conducted by the European Union Chamber of Commerce in China revealed that 55% of the respondents believed that they are treated unfavorably compared with Chinese companies.

The process of opening the China market wider to foreign business has also stalled. More than half of the respondents in the E.U. survey said there had been no opening of the market in their industries over the past one or two years, while 9% believed that the market had become more closed. Such restricted access and other regulatory hurdles cost European companies nearly $29 billion in lost business in 2013, according to the survey. Generally, foreign businessmen feel that China has become a more hostile environment. A similar survey by the American Chamber of Commerce in China found that 41% of its respondents felt less welcome in the country than they had been before.

Such an attitude by China’s government runs counter to the oft-repeated pledges by the most senior Chinese officials that they remain committed to their long-standing policy of opening up to the world. But it is also representative of a more assertive Chinese attitude toward the West in many aspects. Beijing is standing up for what it sees as its rights in various territorial disputes with its neighbors, as it tries to re-establish its traditional political and military dominance in East Asia. After decades of reliance on foreign investment to drive growth and introduce technology, China, now the world’s second largest economy, wants to rely more on its own companies and innovation.

That’s only natural. But at the same time, China, as a developing nation still in need of jobs and technology, can’t afford to chase off foreign investment, either. The fact is that China is becoming a less desirable place to invest, for reasons ranging from the slowing economy to rising costs to ambiguous government regulation. Only one-fifth of the companies queried in the E.U. Chamber survey said China was their top investment destination in 2013, down from one-third just two years ago. Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who said they intend to expand their current operations in China, dropped sharply to 57% from 86% just last year. Beijing may see benefits in targeting foreign firms, but it should also be aware of the costs.

— With reporting by Chengcheng Jiang / Beijing

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