TE双语传统的垂直整合重新取代外包 2016.04.16总第88期

外刊时文双语精析 2019-07-22 14:21:25
From The Economist | Apr 16th 2016

Schumpeter 熊彼特

Keeping it under your hat


Vivienne Yan


Karen Che、李季




An old management idea gets a new lease of life.传统管理思路重获新生。


1. APPLE and Tesla are two of the world’s most talked-about companies. They are also two of the most vertically integrated. Apple not only writes much of its own software, but designs its own chips and runs its own shops. Tesla makes 80% of its electric cars and sells them directly to its customers. It is also constructing a network of service stations and building the world’s biggest battery factory, in the Nevada desert.



2. A century ago this sort of vertical integration was the rule: companies integrated “backwards”, by buying sources for raw materials and suppliers, and “forwards”, by buying distributors. Standard Oil owned delivery wagons and refineries in addition to oil wells. Carnegie owned iron-ore deposits and rail carriages as well as blast furnaces. In his 1926 book “Today and Tomorrow” Henry Ford wrote that vertical integration was the key to his success: “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” He claimed he could extract ore in Minnesota from his own mines, ship it to his River Rouge facility in Detroit and have it sitting as a Model T in a Chicago driveway—in no more than 84 hours.

垂直整合的方式一个世纪以前很为普遍:企业会通过收购原材料和供应商源头以向后整合,或通过收购经销商来向前整合。美孚石油公司(Standard Oil)不仅拥有油井,还有自己的运输车和炼油厂。卡内基钢铁公司掌握着铁矿石储备资源,配备有自家的运输车厢和高炉。亨利·福特在其1926年出版的《今天与明天》一书中写道,垂直整合是成功的关键,如果你想要事事顺心,那就自己做。他声称能够从他位于明尼苏达州的矿山中挖掘矿石,运到他在底特律的胭脂河工厂,再使这些钢材摇身一变成为芝加哥私人车道上的T型车,而整个过程用不了84小时。


3. Today this sort of bundling is rare: for the past 30 years firms have been focusing on their core business and contracting out everything else to specialists. Steelmakers sold their mining operations and carmakers spun off their parts suppliers. Controlling it all made sense, the argument went, when markets were rudimentary: when supplies of vital materials were limited or contractors could cheat you. As markets became more sophisticated these justifications fell away. Thanks to globalisation, companies could always find new resources and better suppliers.



4. Yet a growing number of companies are having second thoughts. This is most visible in information technology. The industry’s leaders were at the heart of the contracting-out revolution. Vertically integrated companies such as IBM outsourced as much as possible in order to lower costs. Upstarts such as Microsoft prospered by focusing on a narrow—but exceptionally valuable—slice of the pie: the operating system of personal computers. Now many startups in Silicon Valley pride themselves for being “full stack”. But re-bundling can be found everywhere, from fashion to manufacturing.


第四段:这段看似非常简单,但是极易理解错误,首先要注意段落主旨句的YET a growing number of companies are having second thoughts,文章的思路开始转折。但是后面作者却又似乎没有强调主旨句的内容。这可能会让很多读者纳闷,其实只要认真注意一下,在本段第三句起,作者使用的是过去时态,说明IBM和微软在过去都是专注自己的核心,而将其它业务外包,这些陈述都是过去的现象。但是本段结尾的倒数两句Now many startups in Silicon Valley pride themselves for being “full stack”. But re-bundling can be found everywhere, from fashion to manufacturing.在这里句,开始迎合主旨句的内容,Now与过去时形成对比,倒数第一句的but中的转折是针对前一句而言,意思是除了硅谷的科技产业之外,其它产业的垂直整合现象也很普遍。最后一句为后面几段的叙述起了引入的作用。

注:全栈工程师,也叫全端工程师,英文Full Stack developer。是指掌握多种技能,并能利用多种技能独立完成产品的人。

5. Reasons for the reversal abound, but five stand out. The most important is simplicity. Consumers are willing to pay a premium for well-integrated products that do not force them to deal with different suppliers or land them with components that do not talk to each other. They want to be able simply to press a button and let the machine do the rest. This is largely why Apple opted for integration, as did Nest, a maker of wireless thermostats.



6. A second reason is that firms operating on the technological frontier often find it more efficient to do things in-house. Companies that are inventing the future frequently have no choice but to pour money into new ventures rather than buy components off the shelf. This explains Tesla’s “gigafactory” for batteries: their availability is the biggest constraint on the firm’s growth. Boeing tried to cut its production costs by outsourcing 70% of the production of its 787 Dreamliner to hundreds of different suppliers—more than any airliner before. The result was a disaster: parts came in late; bits didn’t fit together; deadlines were missed. The firm reversed course, bringing manufacturing back in house and buying a factory.



7. A third reason is choice: the more the market has to offer, the more important it is to build a relationship with customers.Netflix and Amazon now create their own television shows in order to keep their viewers from buying more generic content elsewhere. Harry’s, an American company that sends its subscribers a regular supply of razors and shaving cream, spent $100m to buy a German razor-blade factory.

第三个原因是选择:市场需要提供的越多,与客户建立良好的关系就愈发重要。网飞公司和亚马逊现已制作出了自己的电视节目,以防止其观众在其他地方购买更多的大众化节目。美国公司Harry’s 会定期给其用户寄送剃须刀和剃须膏。该公司斥资1亿美元收购了一家德国刀片厂。


8. Choice is reinforced by speed: fashion brands such as Spain’s Zara have resisted contracting out everything. Instead, they operate their own clothes factories, employ their own designers and run their own shops. This gives them a big advantage: they can turn the latest trend into new product, often in small batches, and have it in stores in a couple of weeks. Less vertically integrated brands such as Gap and American Apparel find they are stuck with yesterday’s creations because they cannot get supply chains to produce new wares quickly.

速度可以为选择因素锦上添花:西班牙时尚快销品牌Zara一直非常抵制外包任何业务。相反,他们运行着自己的制衣厂,雇佣着自己的设计师,经营着自己家的店铺。这就给他们创造出一种巨大优势:他们将新潮趋势转化为当季产品,这些产品通常都是小批量的生产,并在短短几个星期之内就展示在门店里。而诸如GapAmerican Apparel这些垂直整合化较弱的品牌则会面临款式过旧的困境,因为他们缺少快速推出新品的供应链。


9. And then there is a combination of old worries about geopolitical uncertainty and new worries about the environment. In 2014 Ferrero, an Italian confectionary-maker, bought Oltan Gida, which produces one-third of Turkey’s hazelnuts, the vital ingredient in Nutella. In 2015 IKEA, a Swedish furniture company, bought nearly 100,000 acres of forests in Romania and the Baltic region. Earlier this year ChemChina, a state-owned company, purchased Syngenta, a Swiss seeds and pesticides group, for $43 billion, driven by the government’s quest for food security. Cruise companies such as Costa Cruises and Disney have bought islands in the Caribbean and the Bahamas so that they can guarantee that their passengers will have somewhere empty and unspoiled to visit when they sail past.

并且,一些新老担忧问题也是原因之一,之前,地缘政治的不稳定性令企业忧心忡忡,现在环境问题又令企业如鲠在喉。2014年,意大利糖果制造商费列罗收购了Oltan Gida公司,该公司的榛果产量占到了整个土耳其的1/3,而榛果是能多益(巧克力酱品牌)的主要成分。2015年,瑞典家具商家宜家购买了位于罗马尼亚和波罗的海区域近10万英亩的森林。今年早些时候,出于政府对食品安全的诉求,中国国企中国化工集团出价430亿美元收购了瑞士的种子和杀虫剂巨头企业先正达。歌诗达邮轮公司和迪士尼在加勒比海和巴哈马购买了岛屿,这样他们就能保证乘客们在乘船驶过时可以探索一些未经开发的处女地。


10. Core complexities关键困难

The renewed fashion for vertical integration will not sweep all before it. For the most mundane products the logic of contracting out still reigns supreme. And today’s bundling is less ambitious than Henry Ford’s: Apple, for instance, contracts out a lot of production to contract manufacturers such as Foxconn (though it keeps them on a tight leash). Integration is also hard to pull off: Tesla lost some of its shine on April 11th when it recalled 2,700 of its sport-utility vehicles because of a glitch. That said, striking the right balance between doing things in-house and contracting things out is clearly much more complicated than it was in the days when Tom Peters and his fellow gurus told companies to focus on what they do best and outsource the rest.


第十段:整合还是不整合,视情况而定,最后一段的最后一句中的that said,并不是也就是说的意思,而是“having said that(话虽如此)的意思。并且翻译起来也不大好处理,如果先翻译从句,that said就不好处理,如果先翻译主句,新知信息或者总结性信息又在旧知信息之前,不是很符合中文的表达,所以启用了一个概括句,并在后面详细展开。



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