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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
把所有鸡蛋放在自己篮子里


翻译

Vivienne Yan

校对

Karen Che、李季

分析

李季


本文音频


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


另外,本公众号推送的第87期双语文章PDF精排版已整理完成,请点击导航栏“双语PDF下载”或者后台直接回复“TE”获取下载链接。点击文末“阅读原文”可查看纯英文版。



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.

在世界上最受关注的公司中,苹果和特斯拉位列其中。同时他们的垂直整合程度也首屈一指。苹果公司不仅自行编写自家的大多数软件,还设计自家的芯片并经营着自有的品牌店。特斯拉80%的电动汽车都是自家生产的,并直接面向顾客销售。该公司还在构建一个服务站网络,并在内华达沙漠建设着世界上最大的电池工厂。

第一段:直接给出两个最有代表性的公司--苹果公司和特斯拉公司,作为实例来奠定本文的基调,垂直整合的理念在目前得到了成功的验证。





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。

第二段:简单介绍垂直整合在过去应用的示例,其实垂直整合是一个传统的理念,严格扣住副标题的内容。





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.

现如今,这种整合模式已经很少见了:在过去的30年间,企业一直集中精力发展其核心业务,而将其他业务外包给专业公司。钢铁厂转卖出其采矿作业任务,而汽车制造商则将其零件供应商脱离出去。人们有理由认为,当市场处于初步阶段时,这时关键材料的供应商有限,或者承包商可能会坑人,因此自己控制着供产销是合情合理的。但是随着市场愈加复杂精细,这些理由就站不住脚了。借助于全球化,企业总是能够找到新资源和更好的供应商。

第三段:话锋一转,说明垂直整合理念在过去30多年来遭到了一定程度的摈弃,原因是因为科技进步的发展,很多公司将某些业务外包,因为效率的提高,理论上全球的资源都能在较短的时间内得到共享。






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.

然而,越来越多的企业开始重新考虑。这在信息技术产业最为明显。曾几何时,行业领军者处于外包革命的中心。过去像IBM这样的垂直整合企业会将其大多数业务外包出去以降低成本。而微软这种新贵的发家之路则是依靠重点钻营一个范围狭窄但极具价值的部分:个人电脑的操作系统。现在,硅谷很多初创公司都自诩其为全栈开发。但是从时尚业到制造业,再整合的现象也是俯拾即是。

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.

这种转变背后的原因也非常之多,但是只有五个原因最为突出。最重要的一点是简单。消费者愿意为整合优良的产品支付溢价,因为这样他们就不用跟各个不同的供应商打交道了,也不用被迫去面对互不联系的零部件厂商。他们只想能够简单地摁个按钮,机器就会自动运行下去。这就是为什么苹果选择整合的主要原因所在,这与无线恒温器的生产商Nest的做法如出一辙。

第五段:开始论述重新进行垂直整合的五个最主要原因,既然说了是五个原因,那么后面的段落一般会对这五个原因进行阐述,这段开始论述第一个最重要的原因:简单。消费者都怕麻烦,只要简单方便,多出点钱也无所谓。





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.

第二个原因是,那些走在技术前沿的公司经常会发现本公司包揽所有流程更有效率。未来开创型企业常常别无选择,他们只能把资金投在新项目上,而不是买现成的零部件。这就是为什么特斯拉会为电池创办一个超级电池厂的原因:电池的可利用情况是公司发展的最大制约因素。波音公司也试图降低生产成本,主要是通过将其787梦幻客机70%的生产外包给数百个不同的供应商,这比此前任何一架客机的承包商都多。最终结果惨不忍睹:大部件迟迟不到货;小部件不能组装在一起;交货期限频频延误。该公司最终改弦易辙,将制造权重新掌握在自己手中,还买下了一家工厂。

第六段:论述第二个原因效率,还是通过实例验证。




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。

第七段:论述第三个原因选择,还是通过实例验证。背景知识需要注意的是NetflixAmazon过去曾经经常使用别人的节目作为自己的内容,但是现在他们自己都制作视频内容,以获得用户的选择,这点有点象国内的爱奇艺和优酷等网站推出自己的节目。美国的那个Harry’s公司是个剃须刀新创公司,但是发展十分迅速,用户通常只需要一个刀头,公司会定期寄送刀片给客户,这种高度简单并整合了刀片等供应链的模式让吉列公司倍感压力。



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。

第八段:论述第四个原因速度,速度可以更好地维护好客户对自身产品的选择。以Zara为例,叙述有着完整结构的公司能够更快的适应市场。



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。

第九段:论述第五个原因新老担心的问题,并列举了大量的实例。





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.

垂直整合的复兴潮流并不会席卷整个市场。对于那些最普通的产品,外包依然是最佳选择。而且目前的整合比起亨利·福特时代来说并没有那么艰巨:比如,苹果就将其许多生产业务外包给了如富士康这样的合约制造商(虽然苹果依然严格把关着其生产线)。同样,要实现整合也绝非易事:411日,特斯拉因为汽车故障召回了2700辆运动型多用途车(SUV),这使其光辉名誉受损。话虽如此,在自产自销和外包之间要找到一个恰当的平衡点确实非常复杂,以前,汤姆·彼得斯和他的同僚大师们劝告企业要专注于他们的长项,而将剩余部分外包出去,比起那个时候,现在要找到这个平衡点变得复杂多了。

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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