While reading the Mattel and Toy Safety case it showed to us how much we need an organization that is one of honesty. Mattel Inc., was thought to have been a role model when it came to safety and quality. However it failed to that high quality and the safety of its toys. In 2007, the company ended up recalling many of their toys several times. The toys were recalled because there was a presence of lead in the paint and also had magnet issues. While Mattel Inc. was responsible for distributing the toys Chinese manufactures were responsible for the issues with the toys. Because of this issues I will investigate in this paper why the safety issue occurred, exactly who was responsible for the mistake and finally how this problem could have been prevented. To go along with this issue I will also talk about what stakeholders had to say on this issue and exactly what role the stakeholders had when it came to in ensuring the toys safety.
Before I start to talk about a lot of the issues that occurred during the reading of this case I want to give a little background on Mattel Inc. The Mattel business started in 1945. Not until 1960 though did it become a publicly held company. By the mid 2000’s Mattel was worth a net profit of $592 million dollars. As most people know Mattel is the leading company when it comes to design, manufacturing and marketing of most children’s toys. Mattel employs around 30,000 employees while the company sells many different products in more than 150 countries. Mattel has many different toys which include some of the bestselling and most popular toys over the years such as Barbie, Hot Wheels, Matchbox and American Girl. Even with the problems that occurred with the toy recall Mattel was always considered a responsible company. They earned a high reputation with most of the consumers of their products. Mattel was even recognized by Forbes magazine in one of their issues as a top 100 most trustworthy U.S. companies and also was a recognized company for being one of the 100 Best Corporate Citizens by CRO magazine. This shows what kind of company Mattel has been and the respect that they receive from their consumers.
As many companies did Mattel decided to outsource a major portion of its manufacturing. This had become a popular decision for so many big companies. In the late 2000’s around 65% of Mattel’s toys had become manufactured in China. To go along with the factories in China they also had factories in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Singapore. More than half of the revenue for Mattel had come from the toys that were manufactured outside USA. While they were producing toys in other countries, Mattel also contracted the production of their products to about 50 Chinese companies. In return many of these companies then subcontracted the production to other subcontractors. This made the business for Mattel Inc. much easier to handle while not hurting their sales goals in the long run.
In 1997, Mattel ended up developing a detailed code of conduct. They called this code of conduct “Global Manufacturing Principles”. The code that they created was applicable not only to Mattel factories but as well its subcontractors and suppliers. It mainly focused on improving the working conditions at their factories. Mattel also tried to find a way to ensure their product quality and safety. This would be a way to keep safety with not only their consumers but also their own employees. They wanted to be able to maintain a high quality safety of its products. They did everything that they could to make sure each product was a safe toy. They tested all of its products that were manufactured in China at its facilities. Almost all of their products were given a special test in their labs. (Lawrence & Weber, 2011) They tried to make sure that every toy that went out of their factories was safe and had been well…