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笔译:福喜为何会在中国出事

2014-09-09    来源:fortune    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

笔译:福喜为何会在中国出事

食品安全:这家私有公司给了经理人很大自主权,这曾一度帮助它在中国实现了快速扩张。但语言障碍加上疏于监督,福喜的“放权”最终酿成了一场灾难。其中暴露出的管理问题也值得其他在华外企警示。

It’s been a wretched five weeks for American fast food in China.
过去五周,在华经营的美国快餐企业如坐针毡。

The humiliation reached a new pitch Friday when prosecutors in Shanghai arrested six employees of the Chinese subsidiary of McDonalds’s largest meat supplier, OSI Group, for selling expired meat to McDonald’s, KFC, and other chains in the country.
上周五,丑闻风波掀起了一个新高潮:上海检察机关批捕麦当劳(McDonalds’)最大的肉类食品供应商福喜集团(OSI Group)中国子公司的6位雇员,罪由是他们向麦当劳、肯德基(KFC)和其他在华连锁快餐企业销售过期肉。

The OSI subsidiary, Shanghai Husi Food, was caught by a Shanghai TV channel in late July re-labelling expired meat packages and using expired beef to make patties. McDonald’s was short on beef and chicken for three weeks in China following the ordeal. Sales in the region that includes China plummeted 7% in July. For a while, you couldn’t order a Big Mac in Beijing.
7月底,上海一家电视台曝光上海福喜食品有限公司(Shanghai Husi Food)给过期肉篡改包装生产日期,并使用过期牛肉生产肉饼。之后麦当劳在华餐厅连续3周面临牛肉和鸡肉产品短缺的窘境,中国所在地区的销售额在7月份下跌7%。一时之间,人们在北京都买不到巨无霸了。

Two and a half weeks after the news broke, in early August, I happened to meet employees from OSI who were in Beijing for emergency visits to the company’s plants around the country. One had come from the Chicago-area headquarters; the other worked at a plant in central China.
8月初,也就是过期肉事件曝光两周半后,我碰巧遇到了两位来北京出差的福喜集团员工,他们正在对集团旗下中国各地工厂展开紧急检查工作。其中一位员工来自福喜芝加哥地区总部;另一位曾在华中的一家工厂工作过。

I met one as a friend from college, so I won’t use their names. But we talked at length about the crises. Their explanation of what went wrong is the story of a U.S. company that didn’t know what local Chinese managers were doing—and in some cases, couldn’t figure out. Local plant documents and rules weren’t translated from Chinese into English, and even if they had been, OSI’s American managers didn’t often visit.
这里面有一位是我大学时期的同窗好友,我不会在此透露他们的姓名。但我们详细地探讨了此次危机。对于为什么会出此纰漏,他们的解释是,作为一家美国公司,福喜集团不知道中国本地经理人在做些什么,有时候也没法搞清楚。中国本地工厂的文件和条例不会从中文翻译成英文,即便翻译了,福喜的美国经理人也不会经常浏览。

OSI is working to fix the problems, but most recently its China business was at a standstill, losing millions of dollars a day in revenue.
这家公司正在努力解决这些问题,但最近它的中国业务陷入停滞,每天亏损达数百万美元。

Media reports followed two narratives in the latest China food safety scandal. The first was that McDonald’s, KFC, Starbucks, and the rest of the U.S. restaurants getting supplies from OSI were victims of China’s crackdown on foreign companies—a trend over the past year and a half starting when Starbucks was criticized by Chinese media for the price of its coffee. This was the argument favored by Westerners defending American brands.
在这起最新的中国食品安全丑闻中,媒体报道分为两派。一派认为,从福喜获得原料供应的麦当劳、肯德基、星巴克(Starbucks)和其他美国餐饮公司是中国掀起打击外资公司风潮下的牺牲品,而此类行动从1年半前中国媒体批评星巴克咖啡定价就开始了。这是为美国品牌辩护的西方人喜欢的论调。

The second, offered mostly by Chinese media, argued that foreign fast food had gotten sloppy in China, and that OSI was guilty of the same food quality and food safety issues plaguing China’s domestic food companies.
另一派以中国媒体为主,它们认为,洋快餐在中国大失水准,福喜存在与众多中国本土食品公司一样的食品质量和安全问题。

After a night with the two OSI executives, it was clear the Chinese media were right—OSI was sometimes clueless about its operations in China, probably guilty as charged, and pretty open about needing to change.
与福喜的两位高管谈了一晚之后,有一点很清楚了——中国媒体是对的。福喜有时对于其在中国的经营状况确实一无所知,可能确实存在被指控的问题,但他们对需要做出的改变持开放态度。

OSI was clueless because the private company gave managers a lot of autonomy. Sometimes that works, like on Wall Street, where investment companies allow individuals to independently wager on stocks to avoid groupthink. But in Big Food Processing, OSI’s business, global standards need to be exactly followed by everyone—and verified.
福喜对丑闻毫无头绪,因为这家私有公司给了经理人很大自主权。有时候这种做法很管用,比如在华尔街,投资公司允许个人独立决定股票投资,无需集体决策。但在福喜这样的大规模食品加工业务中,全球标准需要每个人严格遵守,并确保落实。

The private OSI’s decentralized business model allowed Chinese managers leeway to make their own decisions. The strategy that helped OSI expand quickly in China since the early 1990s. But it’s now clear there were problems. OSI didn’t audit enough to ensure Chinese plants followed standards coming from OSI’s Illinois headquarters and didn’t monitor its plants located 6,600 miles from headquarters in Aurora, Illinois.
私有企业福喜的这种权力分散型业务模式给中国经理人留出了自行决策的空间。这一策略曾帮助福喜于上世纪90年代初在中国实现了快速扩张。但如今看来,显然其中是有问题的。福喜没有进行足够的检查,无法确保公司伊利诺伊州总部制定的标准得以贯彻,也没有对距其6600英里之遥的中国工厂进行监控。

Even the language barrier was an issue: Chinese managers wrote documents in Chinese and didn’t translate them, so English-speaking employees often couldn’t understand operations or data.
语言障碍也成为一个问题:中国经理人用中文起草文件,不作翻译,因此,只会英文的员工往往不了解相关的具体经营情况或数据。

The OSI crisis teams flooding into China are engaged in pretty simple stuff. Namely, ensuring every plant is following global standards, and writing documents in both English and Chinese. They’re adding cameras in plants and spending $1.6 million on food safety seminars. “Before, it was an entrepreneurial company and you could sort of follow your own rules,” said one OSI employee. “Now, people are coming in and saying, `This is how we’re doing it now.’”
被派驻至中国的福喜危机管理团队所做的事情相当简单。那就是,确保每家工厂都遵循全球标准,同时用中文和英文起草文件。他们在工厂增架了摄像头,并投入160万美元开展食品安全研讨会。“过去这是一家创业型公司,在某种程度上可以按自己的规定办事,”福喜的一位员工表示,“如今,有人进来说,‘我们现在要这么做。’”

It’s the type of standard procedural stuff that you expected McDonald’s largest protein supplier to follow everywhere. But it didn’t.
这种标准流程是麦当劳最大肉类供应商在任何地方都应遵循的。但福喜过去显然没有做到。

OSI’s press statement last week, confirming the arrests of six employees in Shanghai, expressed some culpability. “OSI Group will continue to cooperate fully and in good faith with the authorities,” the company said. “We support the government’s consistent application of the country’s food quality and safety laws.”
上周福喜发表声明,证实有6位员工在上海被批捕,并承认过失。该公司表示:“福喜集团将继续全力配合政府有关部门的工作,同时支持政府一贯执行相关食品质量安全法律。”

Earlier, OSI’s owner Sheldon Lavin, an 82-year with a place in the Meat Industry Hall of Fame said, “It was terribly wrong, and I am appalled that it ever happened in the company that I own.”
早些时候,82岁的福喜集团所有人、肉类食品行业大佬谢尔顿•拉文表示:“如此可怕的错误竟然发生在了我拥有的公司,令我震惊无比。”

It’s not yet clear how badly OSI hurt itself. A McDonald’s spokeswoman told the Wall Street Journal last week the company couldn’t rule out the possibility of replacing OSI as a supplier over the long term. If McDonald’s cuts ties, it would be historic: OSI supplied beef patties to the first ever McDonald’s in Des Plaines, Illinois back in 1955.
尚不清楚这对福喜自身产生了多大的伤害。麦当劳的一位发言人上周告诉《华尔街日报》(The Wall Street Journal),该公司不排除引进其他长期供应商取代福喜的可能性。如果麦当劳割断双方的联系,这将是历史性的,因为从1955年麦当劳在伊利诺伊州德斯普兰斯开设首家麦当劳餐厅起,福喜就一直在为其供应牛肉饼。

The two employees from OSI I met with were proud that McDonald’s had stuck with them through the crisis. KFC had not. “Give us a second chance,” one said. “We deserve a second chance.”
我遇到的这两位福喜员工都为麦当劳在危机中一直与他们共进退感到自豪。而肯德基没有这么做。“给我们第二次机会,”其中一位说,“我们应该得到第二次机会。”

They might. No one died eating a Quarter Pounder, and expired frozen meat is really a food quality issue more than a food safety problem. But when you don’t have a clue what’s really happening at your Chinese business, you don’t deserve many chances.
或许吧。汉堡吃不死人,过期的冻肉实际上更多是食品质量问题,而不是食品安全问题。但如果对于自己中国业务的情况毫不了解,那就不配有多次机会了。

The problems at OSI, a key supplier to McDonald's, are a salutary lesson to companies doing business in China on the need for proper supervision.
麦当劳主要供应商福喜暴露出来的管理问题,对其他在华经商的外资企业是个有益的警示。(财富中文网)



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