Asian countries in a state of rapid economic growth

Beginning with Japan, many Asian countries have been in a state of rapid economic growth over last 30 years. Although this growth has recently slowed the long term outlook for these countries remains excellent. Japan has become the most advanced industrialized country in the region, while South Korea Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan (the four Tigers) have successfully moved from being cheap labor sources to becoming industrialized nations. The Southeast Asian countries of Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines are exporters of manufactured products to Japan and the United states now, and now that they have overcome most of their 1990s financial problems they are continuing to gear up for greater industrialization. Countries at each of the first three levels of industrial development demand technologically advanced products for further industrialization which will enable them to compete in global markets,

As a market economy develops in the Commonwealth of independent States (CIS, former republics of the USSR) and other eastern European countries, new privately owned businesses with create a demand for the latest technology to revitalize and expand manufacturing facilities. The BEMs (big emerging markets) discussed are expected to account fro more than $1.5 trillion of trade by 2010. These countries will demand the latest technology to expand their industrial bases and build modern infrastructures.

Concurrent with the fall of communism which fueled the rush to privatization in Eastern Europe, Latin Americans began to dismantle their state run industries in hopes of reviving their economies. Mexico, Argentine, and Venezuela are leading the rest of Latin America in privatizing state owned business. The move to privatization will create enormous demand for industrial goods as new owners invest heavily in the latest technology. Telmex, a $4 billion joint venture between Southwestern Bell, France Telecom, and Telefonos de Mexico is investing hundreds of millions of dollars to bring the Mexican telephone system up to the mist advanced standards. Telmex is only one of new privatized companies from Poland to Paraguay that are creating a mass market for the most advanced technology.

The return to economic in Asia the creation of market economies in eastern Europe and the republics of the former Soviet Union, and the privatization of state owned enterprises in Latin America and elsewhere will crate an expanding demand, particularly for industrial goods and business services, well into the 21st century. The competition to meet this global demand will be stiff; the companies with the competitive edge will be those whose products are technologically advanced of the highest quality, and accompanied by world class service.

Quality and Global standards

The concept of quality encompasses many factors, and the perception of quality rests solely with the customer. The level of technology reflected in the product, compliance with standards hat reflect customer needs, support services and follow through and the price relative to competitive products are all part of a customer’s evaluation and perception of quality. As noted, these requirements are different for consumers versus industrial customers because of differing end users. The factors themselves also differ among industrial goods customers because their needs are varied.

Business to business marketers frequently misinterpret the concept of quality Good quality as interpreted by a highly industrialized market is not the same as that interpreted by standards of a less industrialized nation. For example, an African government had been buying hand operated dusters for farmers to distribute pesticides in cotton fields. The duster supplied was a finely machined device requiring regular oiling and good care. But the fact that this duster turned more easily than any other on the market was relatively unimportant to the farmers. Furthermore the requirement for careful oiling and care simply meant that in relatively short time of inadequate care the machines froze up and broke. The local government went back to an older type of French duster that was heavy, turned with difficulty and gave a poorer distribution of dust, but which lasted longer because it required less care and lubrication. In this situation the French machine possessed more relevant quality features and therefore in marketing terms possessed the higher quality.