Opinion » Columnists
Author`s name Alex Naumov

The oxymoron of 'Russian quality'

By Bill Williams

Quality with Russia is an oxymoron. Developing a QUALITY composite fabrication facility there is one key factor, Training. It takes a detailed and well planed training program with a staff of dedicated masters, highly trained and experienced professionals in world class standards to do follow up training. The plan for this facility had a critical point, a short accelerated training program which would initiate workers in using only established procedures in production. The use of foreign resources would last 1-2 years all composite workers have gained the experience to be future foremen and managers of the company with the technology transfer complete.

While talking with a Russian Ship Yard interested in the proposal and investment, they only wanted us if they had 100% control. For 108 years they had built military vessels. They amassed 108 years of experience “undaunted by Progress, Innovation or Composite Technology.” We insisted, we would be Independent Affiliates They had envisioned business as done 108 years ago.

Experience with composites and light weight furniture used in “The Top Yachts” of the world could have entered them into the limelight of Major Yacht construction companies, if, they could build a steel hull, to acknowledged world class standards.

A request came from the Office of the President of the Russian Federation, for construction of a “Presidential Yacht.” The answer for the Presidential Yacht Committee, was: the yard could not do this. Go to another country. Quality, Graft, corruption and probable illumination of games played by this yard for 108 years were at stake.

Quality, a strange word for Russia. Recently in various articles, the Russian Federation will produce all military equipment for sale to other countries. Weapon systems for Russia would purchased by and made in foreign countries. As stated by Russian officials: Russia has been either purchasing foreign warships or building the ones of its own with the participation of foreign specialists for a very long time. “Russia is unable to build enough warships for its new navy. Part of this is the loss of ship yards in the Ukraine and ex-Soviet bloc. Ship yards are empty in the Ukraine. Cost of labor, less than in Germany. The real reason is lack of Quality, Innovation and Responsibility.

Russia is ready to export projects and work to other countries at a time of massive unemployment. Russia is unwilling to spend time and money in the training and motivation of its people to provide a sustained future for the workers and Russia with effective and up to date training. Perhaps the training is not up to par.

In the production or high tech, Hi Quality Products which could have been made in Saint Petersburg after a short training period. It is more beneficial to send the work to other countries. Russia does not even trust its own workers or leadership.

To make this organization work in Russia the use of a “Code of Conduct” for all including upper management. This “Code of Conduct” would address issues of Corruption, Commissions, and Quality. With dismissal; loss of benefits and legal action if there were problems. This is not a bad idea in business, for Russia. There is the business police, to enforce it. Stupid American, if forgot. Corruption.

Recently how many billions or trillions of rubles have been returned to clients of Russian military products, due to poor quality? Who’s responsibility is this. The worker? Russia now has a reputation around the world of cheap systems but the cost to maintain Russian equipment is much higher. Not to mention delays in waiting for replacement parts. Again, Quality, Innovation, and Responsibility the root cause.

The work force looses: jobs, exposure to new innovation and technologies. Students, enrolled in schools and universities, why are they going to school? Why are their parents paying professors for good grades? What future will they have? In what epoch of various disciplines are they really getting trained? In the future or decades in the past, with old ideas and old technology? Technology and Innovation slowly drain from Russian manufacturing, the people and the country. Eventually all products will be manufactured in another country, following the lead of the United States.

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