"I couldn’t stop feeling amazed that it was still in businessE querem os governos escolher por um empresário qual a estratégia a seguir?
That’s a familiar story for U. S. manufacturing. The strange thing here is that there are still more than 200 brush, broom and mop makers in the U.S. These companies have employed two strategies to stave off Chinese competition: 1) change everything all the time, or 2) don’t ever change a thing. Kirschner hasn’t changed a thing. He makes brushes the very same way, employing many of the same machines, that his father did 50 years ago.
At the other end of the business is Lance Cheney, 53, the fourth-generation president of Braun Brush, who told me that he would close his company rather than make the same kind of brush, the same way, for 50 years. He is constantly creating innovative brushes so that he never has any competition. Cheney makes a beaver-hair brush that’s solely for putting a sheen on chocolate. He sells an industrial croissant-buttering brush and a heat-resistant brush that can clean hot deep fryers. His clients, he said, now include General Mills (he made a brush for their cereal-manufacturing line) and the energy industry (a line of expensive brushes for cleaning pipes in nuclear reactors). He even developed Brush Tile, fuzzy panels used in artistic wall hangings. He said his proudest creation is a tiny brush that helped Mars rovers dust debris from drilling sites. When Cheney sees other firms making one of his brushes, he often drops the product rather than enter a price war. Braun Brush, he said, has grown at 15 to 20 percent annually for the past five years.
Our economy used to be built around Kirschners. Typical factories made money by reliably producing the same standard suite of products year in, year out. This provided stability to owners, workers, customers. Very quickly, though, America has become a nation of Brauns — one in which a product faces extinction, or a rebooting, shortly after it is unveiled. This flexible economy has many advantages. It brings a lot more wealth to those who do it right; over time, it should deliver more economic growth. But it also destroys much of the stability and predictability to which Americans had grown accustomed. These days, nearly every competitor in every field senses that one day, out of the blue, the entire logic of its economic value will be overturned by events it can’t foresee or control. In this world, there are winners, like Cheney. But it is nice to see that someone like Kirschner is still able, despite a fair bit of hand-wringing, to maintain an ancient niche in this new age."
segunda-feira, junho 24, 2013
Ao ler "What Paintbrush Makers Know About How to Beat China" recordei alguns exemplos, bons e maus, de PMEs portuguesas: