MFG 2.0

Are There Quality Problems In Your Information Supply Chain?

There's an old computing principle that goes by the acronym GIGO -- garbage in, garbage out.

It's as true in business as it is in computing -- if you're making important decisions based upon incomplete or inaccurate information, you're much more likely to make bad decisions. And with all the information out there for us to process and put context around, finding the right information is getting harder by the day. And one of the drawbacks to ubiquitous Google search is that every user thinks that they're an expert searcher (similar to how the ease-of-use of Apple technology makes everyone think that they're an expert technologist).

A recent study by Dow Jones and the Special Libraries Association found that "41% of researchers believe that business decisions based on poor information from the internet are becoming a major problem. The survey concludes that this can lead to negative decisions and missed business opportunities."

It's simple, really -- if you're important enough to be making the decision, you probably don't have the time to go do the research yourself. And if you think of each decision as existing at the end of a supply chain of information -- where you are the consumer of the end product -- do you know where your researchers are sourcing their raw materials? Is there a quality problem in that informational supply chain, or inefficiencies that might be addressed through a continuous improvement initiative (research department kaizen, anyone?)

Point is, if it's a "decision-making process", then it could probably use some process improvement.

TAGS: Innovation
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