Case 7: Mattel: Overcoming Marketing and Manufacturing Challenges

3283 words 14 pages
Case 7: Mattel: Overcoming Marketing and Manufacturing Challenges
The Problem:
The problem surrounding Mattel Inc., one of the world’s largest toy companies, is their mismanagement of international subcontractors and vendors and the production of certain toys (the manufacturing process), as well as their inability to adapt their marketing strategy or product to the constantly changing “demographic and socioeconomic trends” (Ferrell, et. all 466). This is supported by Mattel’s legal battle with Carter Bryant and MGA, their forced recall of certain toys that were manufactured overseas, and the increasing rate at which traditional toys are becoming less appealing to today’s young audience. Essentially, Mattel’s mismanagement and oversight
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all 462). In order to save money and cut corners, this unauthorized supplier used paint that contained impermissible levels of lead. As outsourcing and subcontracting increased, Mattel’s ability to monitor the manufacturing process and the material used to produce toys became harder. With the mounting number of subcontractors and suppliers in the supply chain, Mattel was found to be in use of illegal and harmful products, forced to recall some of its toys in the international market, and faced with a damaged reputation.
Even though this incident occurred in China, and it was the Chinese government’s “failure to properly protect the public,” Mattel was still held liable for all the products produced under its name (Ferrell, et. all 463). Essentially, ineffective “enforcement and market surveillance” on the part of Mattel led to the huge toy recalls. Through the mismanagement of overseas manufacturers, contractors, and the international supply chain, harmful raw materials were used in the production of Mattel toys. Codes, safety standards, and business ethics were ignored to begin with, and Mattel ended up neglecting its social and ethical responsibility to produce toys that are safe and fun for young children.
Technological and Socioeconomic Issues:
Over the past decade, advances in technology and changes in