From time to time, back in the distant past when I had to work for a living, new phrases or acronyms would enjoy a brief period of usage before vanishing from whence they came, never again to see the light of day.
I remember when J.I.T. (Just in Time) was all the rage. And if I remember correctly it was supposedly imported from Japan … and as anyone will know who follows the shenanigans in Westminster of late, it is still trotted out when it serves a purpose for some, most of whom who don’t properly understand what it means.
Ostensibly it is supposed to make the manufacture of finished items more efficient (and more profitable) for the big firms at the top of the food chain. And it does.
But in practice it screws their smaller suppliers to the deck by transferring all the expense of making and storing the smaller items that make up the whole, onto the supplier’s costs.
Example … the big firm places an order for, say, 200 parts, and expects to get the benefit of a good price because of the quantity involved. Nothing wrong with that, you may think, larger quantities mean efficiencies during manufacture for the small guy.
But the sting is in the tail when the order is placed and the delivery requirements are “10 each month over the next 20 month period”. So either the supplier has to make the whole batch in one go, store them at his own expense, then not get paid for the last item until 20 months later (which is excellent for the banks because typically the small supplier has to borrow on overdraft to finance the order), or the supplier is forced to make the 200 items in smaller batches and therefor lose all the cost advantages of quantity production. Result? Big Boys 2. little boys -2.
So what has any of that have to do with last month’s competition other than allowing me to get yet another moan off my chest, and more importantly, where does ‘wash up’ come into the equation?
Well, ‘wash up’ was another of those ‘in and out of fashion’ phrases from around the same era as JIT.
‘Wash up meetings’ took place after a project was completed so that if there were any lessons to be learned from the event they could be thrashed out and filed away for future reference … and nowadays it results in statements in public such as ‘Lessons have been learned’ after an inquiry into some calamity or another. And as we all know, they rarely are learned, at least not until the next time.
And did you notice that I slipped in another moan, right there under your nose? 🙂
But our group is not like that, is it.
And this is our ‘Wash up’ time, or if you prefer, our Review time.
So kindly post any of your reviews, comments, or suggestions concerning the March tcwg Competition in the reply box below.