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Saturday, September 22, 2007

Mattel- We Are Sorry China?

There is nothing worse sorry about the recent chain of recalls than the sorry companies that fail to manage their products, build and manage their product designs, feel to manage their licenses, and failed to manage their subcontractors in China.

Mattel is truly a sorry company.  To Mattel's credit, they have been apologizing left right and sideways.  Many people were awestruck by the fact that they even apologize to China for damaging China's good reputation at manufacturing.  I'm sure you're surprised that China had a good reputation as a manufacturing country.  Yes they do have a reputation but it has not been a good reputation so it's a little ironic that Mattel is apologizing to China.

The reality is however, that Mattel's gigantic number of recalls were largely Mattel's fault in designing bad and dangerous products.  Regardless China was definitely complicit.  It was Chinese subcontractors that replaced paint with lead-based paint it was given to children all over the US and possibly elsewhere where there is less oversight.

If China wants to develop a good reputation, they should help to identify dangerous products and not react to dangerous products reported to them after the fact.  If China was truly a good or even a great manufacturing country, their own engineers would have done due diligence on the products that they were manufacturing to ensure a small magnets were safe and that Mattel having given them a bad design that could harm the Chinese manufacturing reputation.


China is so far away from being able to accomplish that level of due diligence and demonstrate that level of competency that the suggestion almost seems ridiculous.  However, if China wants to be seen as a great manufacturing country, a country that manufactures excellent products, safe products, products that make the world better, and that is what they have to do and that is the level of competency that they had to achieve.

If they want to have a reputation that doesn't include operating manufacturing systems like there in the wild West and they could care less if their customers are killed or maimed were supplied with products provided by slave labor, and China needs to step in up and show that it can truly be a great country.  China may have been a great country wants, but they are definitely not a great country right now.  The choices they make now will determine if they ever become a great country again.

The massive number of recalls coming from Chinese related products this year only serve to demonstrate the potential that China could have if they do something to realize that potential.  Far too often they engage in common thuggery, theft of intellectual property, financial Ponzi schemes, and outright fraud (I've personally witnessed at all), that shows the country and its true aims and ambitions for what it is.  They are slightly better than criminals at this point in time and they have a long way to go if they're ever going to be a valuable partner to the world.

Mattel can apologize to China all they like, however I haven't heard any Chinese official come out and make a major statement apologizing to the world for supplying dangerous products.  Mattel is shown that they are actually a better company in China is a country.  I'm not saying Mattel is great, but they're definitely a level above China. 

Behind Mattel’s Apology to China