It was a world gone wrong, one in which manufacturers thought little of manipulating product quality levels in order to save the smallest amounts, where savvy foreign business leaders were made to feel in control while they were taken for a ride by their partners, where entire manufacturing facilities sometimes vanished right into thin air... Welcome to Poorly Made in China!
At the height of the boom export manufacturing, Paul Midler returned to East Asia, a recently graduated Wharton MBA. In the right place at the right time, he was sought out by a number of foreign companies who wanted help in navigating the new economy. The adventures came fast, as did the business and cultural lessons.
Poorly Made in China is a dramatic romp through China's export manufacturing sector, one that reveals what really goes on behind the scenes. The story follows the author from one project to the next, taking the reader through a diverse set of industries and revealing a number of challenges. An engaging business narrative told with doses of humor and insight, this true story pulls back the curtain on the rising Chinese economy, providing a closer look at the rough-and-tumble environment in which so many of our consumer products are being made. For those trying to make sense of why so many quality failures could come out of China at once, this book is an especially interesting read.
Poorly Made in China is the tale of a modern-day gold rush and its consequences, the chronicling of a rising economic power and its path along a steep growth curve. Entertaining and eye-opening, the book highlights the extent to which culture affects business dealings, and the ultimate suggestion is that we may have more to be concerned about than product failures alone.
©2009 Paul Midler; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
I am listening to this a second time to pick up anything I might have missed. Paul Midler has done an amazing job of explaining the "Chinese perspective" in manufacturing as it relates to doing business with the West. As I am preparing to do business in China, I can't believe the wealth of information I have learned! This is not a "slam" piece on China but, rather, an insightful explanation of the way business is done. This should be required listening for anyone thinking of doing business in China.
Addicted to audiobooks & podcasts. 5 Stars=I Loved It, 4 Stars=Enjoyed it Thoroughly, 3=Kinda Good, 2=Bad/Boring, 1=Complete Waste of Credit
Unless you're looking to do business in China or you are super interested in manufacturing this book probably won't interest you. I will say that it rates #1 as the best book to fall asleep to because the narration is very calming and pleasant. I wasn't expecting much and this book delivered that and much less.
Do you read the book before you dislike my reviews?
Unlike reading a feature article from WSJ on manufacturing in China and reading a commentary from an economist, you get a first hand look from Paul Midler doing business. I was afraid that it would be all about bashing the Chinese, but it's interesting on the cultural differences and the insightful views on what is going on in the factories.
We cannot really blame the Chinese at cutting corners at making the products that we use. Just look at your bath towels and most likely it is made in China. Consumers wants lower cost in products and companies wants to maximize profit margins. Sadly, these objectives cannot be meet when it says, "Made in USA."
As commodity prices rise, the Chinese has to charge according to meet their margins. They only have the upper hand when it comes to labor. People are like robots over there. If the worker is working too slow, they can replace them within seconds with another Chinese to fill the line and keep producing products.
In the 80's South Korea was notorious of cheap goods and counterfeiting poorly made products, but look at them now. They are surpassing the Japanese in electronics and even in the automotive industry. "Made in China" will have a different stigma as the country progress. The Chinese can make good products, when companies are willing to pay for it, such as Apple. Like the old saying goes, "You get what you pay for." This is true in any business, not only in China.
As China becomes more industrialized, this reading material will be a history of accuracy what the country used to be.
Fantastic stories and gives you a good heads up if you plan to manufacture in China. Even if you're not, its a great read on the different cultures from a business perspective. highly recommended
Definitely gives you an insight to what goes on in China. Being new to the Chinese manufacturing sector it helps to know the tactics that go on. I would recommend this book to anyone who is in manufacturing whether you deal with China or not.
I have two young kids so audio books during my commute are my only option.
I like the opening story and what it foreshadows for the rest of the text.
I rarely enjoy author's reading thier own work. The author often sounded like he had a cold as he was reading, and it took away from the overall enjoyment.
Probably not quite, but it was enjoyable.
The anecdotes in Poorly Made In China are stories that have stuck with me months after listening to this book. The insight given into how things are made, the cultural differences, and how China has completely changed the face of manufacturing is easy to see in purchases I make every day. Even for someone like me who's worked with overseas contractors for years, this insight was illuminating.
One of the top 5 non-fiction books in the past 3 years
No - but he did a great job - I thought it was Dennis Boutsikaris who read Game Change
Made in China
I will look for addl books and articles by this author
I really enjoyed and learned quite a bit that I hadn't fully appreciated about outsourcing production from China. The book is very insightful about the different thought process and mindset that Chinese have in comparison to what is generally thought to be the norm in American or Western European business settings. Even if you don't work in China (I'm an American working in Russia, for example) -- you may find this an interesting book.
Paul does an excellent job reading the book. I suppose this was pragmatic given the occasional words in Chinese... however there is something genuine and authentic about hearing a person tell their story in their own voice. Paul speaks in an unpretentious and down to earth manner that is easy to follow.
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