All Hat and No Cattle

All Hat and No Cattle

There is an expression in Texas:  “All Hat and No Cattle”.  It refers to someone who may look the part but doesn’t live it.  The image is of a cowboy who doesn’t work on a ranch or own cattle.  By way of disclosure I have to admit that I do own cattle but would hardly consider myself a cowboy.  The real ones should be admired for their hard work and abilities.

In healthcare it isn’t uncommon to find a “manufacturer” who doesn’t actually make anything.  This is the healthcare version of All Hat and No Cattle.  Their name is on the box but not on the factory that makes it.  Because they don’t actually make a product, often we find that they don’t even understand it.

“All Hat and No Cattle Manufacturers” can be interesting if not confusing to listen to.  I’ve heard them complain about the quality, availability or some feature of their “product” and I wanted to ask them why they didn’t change whatever was concerning them.  After all, they are the ultimate determiner of their product.  They informed me that manufacturing decisions are made somewhere else.

One of the benefits of actually making our own product is that we get to constantly review it and make it better.  If we don’t like something, we change it.  If we see a better way to do it or a way to make it better we simply change what we are doing.  Our folks are always looking at ways to improve what we do and the products we make.

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