As mentioned in the article, one of the contributing reasons to the recalls of Mattel’s toys was due to insufficient quality controls.
Product quality starts from the product development and design stages of an industry. Mattel has research and development centre where the designs and developments of its products is done in its headquarters in California, USA. Most of the recalls of Mattel products in 2007 were due to the design fault, excessive lead in the products surface paint and loose magnets on some of its products.
One particular study has shown that around 76% of Mattel’s product recalls is due to its design faults (Mary Jane Credeur and Heather Burke, September 2007). So it is of paramount importance to address this issue as it lays the fundamentals of a product’s design and development. Therefore, to counter the quality issues at the research and development stage, Mattel could hire professionals who are better equipped with the technical expertise needed and pursue enhanced technologies in its design facility to minimise the flaw in the initial layout of its products.
Foremost, Mattel would need to trace each of its production lots back to its initial supplier so that it can guarantee the production of its individual parts complies with regulation and standards of safety. This is essential because by tracing the materials and components, Mattel would be able to identify which supplier is at fault and try to find for possible improvements. This is especially true in complicated supply chains when Chinese factories try to find an advantage by outsourcing parts of their production process to other Chinese manufacturers.
In addition, Mattel would need to carry out rigorous batch inspections to check for design faults before production starts. They can do thus by preparing samples of its product complete with the packaging and carry out thorough independent evaluation to ensure that their suppliers