Monday, July 5, 2010
How Industry Has To Work Together
But whether I personally know what's happening or not, I do know what I read in the residential newspapers, that the residential industrial movement is sweeping the nation. I know there's at least a dozen tire factories in my little town alone! And that's just one sector of the overall industrial world. There's so much everything else being churned out by men in their garages and yards that it can't even be calculated. You really notice it when you go to buy something from a neighbor and it's a buyer's market. I can get all the tires I want straight from the factory wholesale, with so much competition that the price is kept very low. And remember, I've got a proposal on the table for my own tire factory!
Making tires, though, is the easy part. They come in about 40 standard sizes, although that could change at any time if the residential car manufacturers come up with new sizes. And that's what I wanted to address today, to sketch out ever so briefly ... standards and making things fit together.
At some point the residential industrial powers are going to have to work together just like the oppressive major industrial powers have over the years. Their advantage has come from over a hundred years of entrenched development, whereas we're jumping in fresh in already established markets with all kinds of standards that have had plenty of time to evolve.
I was thinking of this yesterday. I was out nosing around the local hospital as kind of a spy, looking for things that might be manufactured cheaper to undercut the big boys. Some of the designs appeared very specialized, like the fixtures they have dangling from the ceiling in the emergency rooms and other wards. Then some of them are quite predictable, like the circular design of the wheels on various carts and beds. I could be stamping out wheels everyday, but they need to fit!
I was able to take one picture on the sly (see above). I feel this one picture illustrates the conundrum that's occupied me for the last day. That bed clearly has numerous pieces that have to fit together. And I believe the manufacturer probably got pieces from other manufacturers, meaning they all had to work together to get it done. You don't just have one manufacturer out there saying, "I feel like making pieces for the bottoms of hospital beds" without knowing precisely how it's supposed to fit in the overall design.
In the residential industrial movement, it's my belief that to this point we've been "catching as catch can" on some of these issues. But before long, it's going to be very necessary to work together, if we want everything to fit together. Disposable diapers have been easy. It's nothing but plastic, tape, and some kind of smushy soft stuff in the middle. No one cares how it looks put together. It's even cute if the baby has a baggy diaper hanging practically to the floor. But hospitals aren't so easy to please!
If we're going to be making hospital beds, as well as everything else the major industrial powers have been making for them, we're going to have to work together. That is clear. So let's do it! Let's work together. Starting ... right now.