Originally Posted by Minnewaska
The most common cause of a change of quality is the sale of the company to a new owner. The old owner may have long since recovered their R&D, plant investment, startup cost, etc. The new owner now has hundreds of millions invested that they need a return on, where the previous owner didnt. I think this is the cause of Sperry's decline in quality.
Surely, excessive debt brings down quality. That can be seen frequently with small local companies that try to expand too quickly. Many small business owners have not taken business economics 101. It does seem like few business owners have a long-term plan nowadays. They either plan to sell out once a business is established as you describe or go public and become swept up in the quarterly report nightmare. Few remain as individually owned, forward looking companies with a passion for a good product, happy employees and an emphasis on QC.
My Furuno Radar is a perfect example of needless scrimping on quality. The connectors for the dome and power lines are extremely CHEAP. Instead of using a strong .05 cent piece of plastic to make the connectors, they use the cheaper .02 cent version, resulting in brittle, broken connections. Why in hell would any company choose to compromise their rep. to save a few cents? Answer: bean counters, not engineers making the decisions.