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Increasing pressure on businesses to meet customer demands

Discuss about the Impact of Brand Image and Service Quality.

The past decade has experienced a huge increase in the number of businesses set up across each economy. This has resulted in intensifying businesses operations across each of the economies which have placed immense pressure on current business operations.  With more brands to choose from, customers are growing more chooser making it important for the businesses to deliver the very best working conditions to retain customer confidence.  As the number of businesses being set up increasing, the consumer has been identified as being the main beneficiary as they are able to select from a wide verity of businesses and services providers (Davies, 2016).  This has made it important for businesses to adopt modern business approaches and address ethical business management approaches so as to retain their reputation among customers. The report shall analyse Mattel’s’ decision to recall toys from customers and distributed to stores for different reasons and determine the implementations of the decision both positive and negative. In today’s business world business have been forced to adopt unconventional approaches in businesses with the intention of retail customer confidence and the brand's image among the public (Arslan & Zaman, 2015).

Safety remains as the primary and most important aspect any business to provide to each of its stakeholders. It is ethically right for businesses to immediately sound the alert if a health and safety risk has been identified so as to safeguard all people coming in to contact with the product or service. The corporate and industrial sector also has a well-defined health and safety code and policy which must be followed by the business so as to be legally recognized by the health and safety department. In many countries, a business’s license can only be approved after the health and safety inspection and formalities have been performed and approved (Griseri & Seppala, 2010).  The health and safety inspection is also classified as being the most important license for every business as it ensures the produces and services produced by the businesses are safe for use and consumption.

In addition to safe product and service delivery, the businesses must also provide a healthy working environment for its employees, customer and all stakeholders visiting the business premises. All safety equipment and warning must be clearly displayed and a clear emergency evacuation plan and routs in place.  For businesses like Mattel which depends on importing than distributing products from international markets, it’s the businesses responsibility to ensure customer and staff safety. The products must be properly tested and their safety ascertained before distribution (Pine, 2012).  While Mattel and other companies may perform initial tests to determine product or toy safety, many suppliers from developing nations will gradually begin using substandard products which do not meet the set safety guidelines

Safety as the primary aspect of any business

This makes it the responsibility of the Mattel to conduct spot checks related to product safety so as to ensure the suppliers are maintaining the set levels of product quality and safety. Mattel does conduct this spot check on random product supplies and due to this have been able to determine serious breaches with regard to product safety levels (Pilot, 2014). On discovering the health and safety code breaches Mattel immediately announced a recall of all toys which can be defined as the ethical and right decision. While the decision may attract criticism towards the businesses performance and safety regulations, it does demonstrate the businesses acted in favour of its customer’s interest and safety.

Mattel immediately announced a recall of the toys imported from China to help prevent any further casualties which were the right decision. This may result in many parents pointing a finger at Mattel for failing to monitor safety standards, but it’s important to understand the business cannot monitor every product imported. Many suppliers also know this thus begin defaulting on products safety guidelines with the intention of reducing production costs and increasing profits (Jackall & Hirota, 2003).

In any situation, suppliers plan and organized the safety breaches by mixing small quantities of up to 25% low quality not safe products into their supplies which also reduces the chances of the products being identified. Due to the severity of the safety breach, Mattel has taken the right decision by requesting for the recall of all products which are likely to be destroyed and no payment made to the supplier. The suppliers are also likely to lose his supply license but these are only reactions which have been taken after the safety breach.

Mattel could have reduced the risk of safety breaches by placing a health safety office in charge of presently testing the different products randomly (Tittle, 2000). These safety testing should not be limited to only the importation time but should continue the process which the health and safety officer performs continually to ensure each imported produce batch meets the set safety guidelines.

Mattel made the right decision by announcing the danger children were exposed to which is classified as being a highly ethical move but at the same time, it’s important to keep in mind that the business must hold someone responsible for the health and safety breach. With health and safety guidelines already set by Mattel is obvious the business was aware regarding the risks involved with children handling the toys. It is also likely the Mattel does have a health and safety officer reasonable for verifying each product meets the set safety standards (Marotz, 2014).

Responsibility of importing businesses to ensure product safety

This makes it important for Mattel to highlight and follow up on this concern so as to demonstrate the business's commitment towards addressing this health and safety breach. With the business already having suffered serious customer confidence loss due to the breach in safety standards, it’s essential for the business to continue one to highlight and take legal action against the people who have failed to meet their obligations and placed Mattel’s’ customers are a risk.

The businesses have demonstrated a clear stance related to action taken against the companies and suppliers of the products falling below quality standards but it has not highlighted any names of officers within the company who have failed to meet the business quality guidelines and placed children at danger. It is essential for the businesses to highlight these individuals and officers and take strict action against them to prevent the health and safety breach or negligence occurring in the future.

Explain the best way to ensure the safety of children’s toys and consider how the following groups would respond: government regulators (in the United States and China); consumer advocates, the toy industry, children’s product retailers, and standard-setting organizations. Explain the differences in their point of view.


Quality, health and safety standards can only be maintained if businesses and its staff follow high ethical standards. Ethics is a rare trait which business employees must possess thus also making it the primary requirement for any business to secure so as to maintain health, safety, and quality standards. Sadly the majority of businesses and their staff are easily influenced by profits and cost-cutting which results in many failing to maintain high standards over long-term periods (McClary, 2004).

Quality, safety and health regulations and standards cannot be satisfied by finances since the individual is likely to regain their greed to acquire more money which will result in the individual gradually be in influenced and opting for substandard quality so as to save money and maximize profits. The United States is a developed economy whereas China is developing an economy where businesses are struggling to establish themselves and secure the highest possible profit.  The businesses in China turn to US brand suppliers to sell their products and will commit to delivering the highest quality even surpassing US standards before order confirmation. This is a standard order acquisition strategy all chines businesses adopt but once the orders have been confirmed and supplies being made the quality gradually begin reducing.

Spot checks to ensure safety standards are maintained

Certain suppliers have also been known to influence the gradual quality reduction by instructing the manufacturer to reduce quality as the number of customers stabilizes. Customers are also being noted to be negligent and do not monitor quality for each product trusting the businesses to maintain the quality resulting in the businesses and suppliers taking advantage of this trust which gradually leads to serious health and safety standard breaches (Bartlette & Lawson, 2008). Why health and safety may be of utmost priority for businesses in the USA, it is not a major concern for manufacturers in from China as they are getting very low-profit margins thus pushing many of the companies to adopt unethical business approaches which disregard health, safety and quality guidelines.

Describe what you think is the best way for society to protect children from harmful toys and discuss the appropriate roles for various stakeholders in this process.

Health and safety is a concern every business must uphold but it’s important to keep in mind businesses can only identic the risk but parents must also focus on monitoring safety. Today many people are avoiding taking the responsibility and only looking for ways they can transfer the responsibility and blame to other teams. This is resulting, in the end, user failing to maintain their own health and safety code with the intention of blaming the manufacturer without considering the losses this can have on the individual. Children are usually exposed to serious dangers but while toddlers they tend to eat higher risk since they tend to put anything they find in their mouth. This can easily result in choking or poisoning which could lead to death (Singer & Baer, 2008).

With the risk extremely high for the toddlers and children, parents are gradually forgetting their own health and safety contribution towards the children and community as a whole as many turn a blind eye towards the risks and how the risks can be avoided. Adhering to health and safety is the responsibility of every citizen and you must not wait until the last moment or after an accident has occurred (Congress, 2008). The public’s reaction to the Mattel product recalls can also be classified as unethical from the public’s point of view since the public and customers did not consider Mattel’s decision and rather than consider the risks the businesses have identifying and acted against in favour of public safety the customers and public has simply turned on and blamed the Mattel for malpractice.

Legal implications of health and safety breaches

Conclusion

The decision taken by Mattel was ethically right since the business only acted in the best interest and safety of its customers. It is Mattel obligation to highlight the health and safety concerns identified on any product immediately on indentation and confirmation to ensure customer safety is maintained.  Faithful and committed customers who value the businesses decision will remain faithful towards the brand and businesses and likely to see them return to dealing with the business in future. A similar situation was experienced by a major food product brands Maggi by Nestle which has sighted to have breached food safety standard resulting in national wide ban in India in the year 2017 which resulted in many people considering the brand would not be revived in the Indian market in future but the product rebounded in the Indian market and continues to register huge success among customers in the region despite the scandal. Mattel is also likely to register the same rebound from customers who will gradually understand the businesses objective by highlighting the concern which was aimed at protecting the customer and not Mattel.

References:

Arslan, M., & Zaman, R. (2015). Impact of Brand Image and Service Quality on Consumer Purchase Intentions. A Study of Retail Stores in Pakistan. GRIN Verlag.

Bartlette, L. A., & Lawson, I. F. (2008). Health Care Policies. New York: Nova Publishers.

Congress. (2008). rotecting Children from Lead-tainted Imports: Hearings Before the Subcommittee on Commerce, Trade, and Consumer Protection of the Committee on Energy and Commerce. U.S. Government Printing Office.

Davies, P. W. (2016). Current Issues in Business Ethics. Oxon: Routledge.

Griseri, P., & Seppala, N. (2010). Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. South-Western Cengage Learning.

Jackall, R., & Hirota, J. M. (2003). Image Makers: Advertising, Public Relations, and the Ethos of Advocacy. University of Chicago Press,.

Marotz, L. R. (2014). Health, Safety, and Nutrition for the Young Child. Stamford: Cengage Learning.

McClary, A. (2004). Good Toys, Bad Toys: How Safety, Society, Politics and Fashion Have Reshaped Children’s Playthings. London: McFarland.

Pilot, M. J. (2014). Driving Sustainability to Business Success: The DS Factor -- Management System Integration and Automation. John Wiley & Sons.

Pine, T. A. (2012). Product Safety Excellence: The Seven Elements Essential for Product Liability Prevention. Milwaukee: ASQ Quality Press.

Singer, M., & Baer, H. (2008). Killer commodities: public health and the corporate production of harm. Rowman Altamira.

Tittle, P. (2000). Ethical Issues in Business: Inquiries, Cases, and Readings. Broadview Press.

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[Accessed 21 July 2024].

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