Mattel Case Study

In: Business and Management

Submitted By SueJaeger
Words 984
Pages 4
Summary This case is about the recalls of 2007 by Mattel Toys produced in China due to lead found in paint used to produce the toys and due to loose magnets that could cause serious injury to children if ingested. Mattel blamed the lead paint problem on its Chinese suppliers who had subcontracted with other suppliers. The media storm around the recalls caused a loss of consumer confidence in the “Made in China” brand. Chinese officials felt that Mattel unfairly blamed Chinese suppliers for all the recall problems when in fact, the lead issue was relatively small and the remainder of the recalls was due to design problems over which the Chinese suppliers had no control. They were merely producing the products Mattel had designed in the U.S. and had no control over the design process.

Evaluate Alternatives Mattel seems to have lost touch with some of the links in its supply chain for the lead paint related toys and there was a lack of enforcement if the suppliers didn’t follow Mattel’s rules. Some Chinese suppliers also subcontracted to other suppliers who also did not comply with Mattel requirements and Mattel wasn’t aware of the subcontracting. For example, Lee Der was a high quality, trusted manufacturing company which had worked exclusively for Mattel since its founding. Lee Der’s paint supplier was Dongxing New Energy, owned by a best friend of Lee Der’s deputy chair, Chueng. Dongxing was not on the approved supplier list for Mattel and Mattel had not noticed this fact or overlooked it because there had not been any quality problems. However, Dongxing ran out of yellow pigment so they bought some over the internet with a fake lead free certificate which was not detected by Dongxing. Lee Der didn’t test the paint for lead even though they had equipment in the factory to do so. The paint was supposed to be tested five times from the supplier to…...

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