The silent minority

The silent minority

There’s never a dull moment in our office and I mean literally never, because of the constant regularity of electronic noises puncturing the deep-in-concentration minds of its sedentary workers.

I’m talking about the ubiquitous smartphone and the way it invades our working lives. Whilst hunkered over my PC, writing an article and trying to fathom what some aerospace scientist with a brain the size of a planet is talking about, various bleeps, squeaks and whistles disrupt my concentration causing me to pause aghast, and wonder: was that really a passenger aircraft seat belt sign noise? Why would you choose that sound anyway?

Whilst these ‘always on’ noises alert us that information is available to act upon, similar demand signals are emitted by the primes informing their supply chains that new ideas are needed. Reinforcing the ‘joined up’ thinking between the primes and tiers, the hope is that both can prosper within a more consolidated and united industry.

But is it really united? In an increasingly competitive global environment, now more than ever, the ‘big boys’ have the whip hand while the ‘little boys’ sign up to Government-led business improvement schemes to gain the prime’s approval. The prime and tier relationship remains as adversarial as ever – don’t do as I do, do as I say. Sure, these schemes improve the way your business operates (probably better than your prime mentor), but the likelihood is that you won’t be allowed to talk about the relationship.

Like our smartphones, it’s as if any notifications enabling the tier supplier to gain some well-earned plaudits have been put in ‘flight’ mode. Sharing this kind of success with the media is good news for all concerned. And as long as it isn’t accompanied by an electronic bleep, squeak or whistle, then I’m just fine with that!

Mike Richardson, editor

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