Because Quality Is Job 2. Or maybe Job 3 or 4

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    It’s the early 1990s, the Cold War is ending, and at the big defense contractor where this pilot fish works, everyone understands what that means: cost cutting.

    “Management decided that there needed to be a consolidated Accounts Payable and purchasing system that would reduce the number of vendors and consolidate orders for better prices,” says fish.

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    “This was a major effort to create a new system that contained the appropriate parts from the existing disparate purchasing systems for each division — but without including the kitchen sink.”

    As usual, there are some political battles over which parts of the existing divisional systems are absolutely required. And, as usual, upper management has made savings commitments to the C-level executives — and that savings has to show up in time for a particular quarterly financial report.

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