“Year-end” is a term we are all surely familiar with. Financially speaking, it refers to the end of the 12-month performance cycle of a company. For some businesses, year-end lines up with the calendar year, so starting January and ending in December; other businesses try to avoid having the end coincide with the holiday season, so it ends up being a different, continuous 12-month cycle.
As a Quality professional for the past 25+ years, one thing I have commonly heard in the weeks leading up to the close of year-end in all the companies I have worked for is “We need to ship as much as possible before year-end”. I was reminded of this a few weeks back in September, as my current employer’s fiscal reporting period is October to September.
At times in my career being closer to action, I had been made to feel like if I did not “do my part to get the parts shipped, it would not look good on me”. In other words, play along and look the other way if/when quality issues arise. Of course, doing so would mean you are merely delivering non-compliant product to your customer, but at least it will count towards the company year-end, right? Does this sound familiar? If not, give it some time (don’t worry, it won’t take long).
A new expression I also heard not long ago came from a supplier where I had conducted a virtual audit. The initial corrective action responses were supposed to be provided by September 29th, 2023. I received an e-mail from the Quality Manager 2 days before to ask for a one week extension to October 6th with no reason(s) given. When I asked why, his response back was (word-for-word) “Oh, you know, year-end”. I smiled on the outside as I read it, but not on the inside.
Money makes the world go around. Not sure who first said that, but I am sure they were a quality individual.
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