Summary: Based on recent quality testing on the toys manufactured for elementary school aged children, it has been noted that the metal whistles contain an amount of lead that is over the United States legally acceptable limit for children age 7 and under. A large shipment is packaged and scheduled to depart at the end of the week. The whistles were manufactured under our company name and at our own warehouse facility. Decision Alternatives: Alternate Process
In creating the following possible decision scenarios, the well-being of this company is a massive concern to everyone when a situation such as this arises. The outcome from any decisions made not only effect the consumer of the product, but also the Toy Company, it’s employees, stakeholders, and future customers based on the reputation of the company. In order to determine the best decision, without favoritism, a decision model (7 step decision making process) has been used to guide each deciding deliberation. Therefore, understand that all possible alternatives have been researched and only the best three possible solutions have been included for review.
Decision Alternatives: Alternate Advantages and Disadvantages
Explain Decision Model or Process Used for Each
Contact the South American Ministry of Education
7 step decision model, shown above.
Allow product receiver to make decision
Contamination of company reputation.
50/50 chance of increased reproduction cost.
Release of legal obligations once South American Ministry accepts product. The possible subjection of harm to innocent children is simply unethical. Reproduce Contaminated Toy
7 step decision model, shown above.
Maintain higher level of satisfaction.
Increased costs of reproduction, product delivery late.
Approximate cost of $100,000 will be incurred.
Maintained federal requirements even outside of geographical requirements. Providing safe products to all children.
Ship Product As Is
7 step decision model, shown above.
Potential harm to innocent children
Possible litigation cost if families choose to enact a class action. Possible litigation and class action suit
The subjection of harm to innocent children is simply unethical. Decision Alternatives: Alternate Considerations
1. Contact the South American Ministry of Education
This decision will allow for the receiver of the product to determine for themselves if in fact the shipment is not acceptable and needs replaced. Each government has developed their own criteria of quality control aspects, and should be respected in their own research and limitations of product quality. Within this decision the possibility of the cost of reproduction has a weighing chance of a 50/50 percentage based on the request of the South American Ministry of Education. Also, the informing of and accepting of the product as is will place no further legal obligations on the toy company.
2. Reproduce Contaminated Toy
Within the borders of the United States of America, this is the only acceptable decision to be made. The lead amounts found are above the legal limits and should by all considerations be destroyed and reproduced under the proper legal lead limit guidelines produced by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. The cost of this reproduction will fall solely on the shoulders of the company. The approximate cost to be incurred is $100,000. Also, in the making of this decision the Toy Company will be required to contact and inform the consumer of the production issue and the steps being taken to remedy the issue. The consumer may in turn be upset at the delay and remove their business from our company or may find our honesty in the situation to be respectable and assist in promoting our company due to highly ethical character display.
3. Ship Product As Is
The guidelines for lead contamination are much more detailed within the United States than that of most regions. The product could easily be shipped and arrive on time for the opening of school in the South American region expected to receive the whistles. The product information would be included in the packaging, leaving the decision for a return of the product to be determined on the chance someone will notice the lead limits information. This choice could possibly rid the company of any further expenses.
However, this leaves to chance the harming of many children, the legal allegations that can be brought up by the South American Ministry of Education, and the extreme tarnish of the company’s reputation within the United States and as a worldwide supplier of children’s products. During the narrowing of possible decisions to be established, a system of steps was utilized to enable a criterion for selecting the best possible outcomes. Each of the previous actions stated posse a decision between respect, ethical behavior, or financial consideration. As a whole each of these three actions must be carefully considered as a possible benefit to the company, as well as a possible strike against the reputation that has been so carefully created through producing top quality products for children all over the world. Alternative Recommendation: Recommendation Justification
Of the three best available choices the superior choice would be the Reproduction of the Product. The reasoning in this decision is: Legal Aspect: Although as a company legal retaliation could be avoided if the consumer accepted the product as is after being fully informed, the families of the children involved will still have the legal right to produce a class action claiming Product Liability on the part of the company for allowing the acceptance of the product by the South American Ministry of Education. Under Product Liability when individuals are harmed by an unsafe product, they may have a Cause of Action against the persons who designed, manufactured, sold, or furnished that product. West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. (2008)
Financial Aspect: The reproducing of the product will initially cost the company approximately $100,000. This by all considerations is a financial blow to any company; however, if you consider the alternative cost of ongoing litigation and a class action pay-out, $100,000 seems rather insufficient. Also consider the possible benefit from this loss of monies; not only will the children involved not be affected negatively by a product produce in the land of the free, but the word will quickly spread about the companies quick action plan to resolve an issue for the safety of their consumer, before being forced to do so by the courts. In addition to the consideration of time, effort, and the expense of recovery, an effective plan to recover from the loss incurred on the reproduction of the product there are a few majors concerns that will be on the front line of significance; Brand Protection: The importance of brand protection is only outweighed by the health and safety concerns of the consumer. Cost recovery is a secondary concern. (Belcastro & Alfonso, 2011)
Supplier relationships. Supplier issues that may make cost recovery difficult include difficulties in tracking supplier contracts or supplier insurance documentation and preservation of supplier business relationships. (Belcastro & Alfonso, 2011)
Ethical Aspect: For a moment let us look at this situation from the consumer’s side. Would we as parents want the toy company we trust to first consider our children before their personal gain? I would assume anyone would agree that a child should never be subjected to the cruelty of mass production oversight in the products that will be utilized to teach them, care for them, feed them, or protect them. As a company the media would portray any action less than replacement of the product as a grotesque display of unethical and malice behavior. All businesses, small and large, have an ethical obligation to their consumers, first of all to provide the product purchased and then to not harm anyone-including the consumer. (Gray, 2011) Product safety is an ethical obligation to the extent that companies have a duty to provide consumers with whatever it is they pay for and products are assumed to be safe for ordinary use. (Gray, 2011) Alternative Recommendation: Recommendation Analysis
Overall, the purpose behind any decision that focuses on an issue that requires action on the part of the company is the ethical obligation the company has, not only to the consumer of the product but also to the employee that we depend on to produce the product, the children for which the product is purchased, and the Board of decision makers for the company and the general public that will recommend our product or company to others based on previous experiences. By providing a less than optimal product, we as a company, say that it is acceptable to lessen our value when the product is for children outside of the United States; this is not an acceptable way of thinking, nor an acceptable reputation of the company and its stakeholders.
Moving forward on the remanufacturing of the whistle-even though it is a costly choice-will show for the value the company holds in their customers and the general population of consumers. Displaying a behavior of ethical decision practices will develop a stronger relationship between consumer and producer. This behavior can also produce a chain reaction of ethical revisions in other company actions. In current business the dollar comes before the consumer-making a move to be above the competition will place the company above others in their guarantee to produce only the best. Alternative Recommendation: Social Responsibility
The remanufacturing of the product will display this company as being of the utmost ethical level in protecting its consumers even though the consumer is not on the American soil. Placing consideration in the safety and well-being of children of all aspects of geographical location, financial status, and nationality shows American and foreign manufacturing companies that the dollars involved do not come before that of the safety of the people that depend on our moral stature as a producer of children’s toys. By maintaining the same standards internationally as we would within the American borders, with our products we can inevitably lessen the boundaries between product and consumer all over the world. The ground floor for a decision has been laid for all involved in the determination of an appropriate action in this case. Based on the information provided here, it is desired that a decision based on the good of all mankind-both producer and consumer will be in consideration in the deciding of the steps to follow. The American people base much of their perception of a company on its viewpoint to the greater good to humanity; this should what is seen in the products we supply.
Belcastro, Denny and Alfonso, Bert, October 2011, Capturing Recall Costs Measuring and Recovering the Losses Retrieved on December 27, 2013, http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/Capturing_Recall_Costs/$FILE/Capturing_recall_costs.pdf.
Gray, JW, May 16, 2011, Moral Issues Related to Consumers, retrieved from: http://ethicalrealism.wordpress.com/2011/05/16/moral-issues-related-to-consumers/
Product Liability. (n.d.) West’s Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. (2008). Retrieved December 27 2013 from http://legal-