Moving into the latter half of this Global BBA course, students now have a general understanding of the global business environment in which global learning, collaboration and cross-cultural communication are essential. With the understanding of culture differences, students also recognized the crucial need to adjust the management systems to local practices. Under the theme of today’s class, Global Production, Supply Chain and Risk Management, students examined further the complexity of multinational operations and associated risks by exploring how far supply chains are spread out around this globalized world.
In today’s class, students went through a case regarding the product recall by Mattel, the toy company in the U.S., because the surface paint on certain toy products contained lead in excess of U.S. federal regulations. It highlights the difficulties a multinational enterprise faces in managing global operations. To begin the discussion, students analyzed challenges which toy companies face in managing offshoring and shared their views on the cause of this issue. Students were then guided by Dr. Hakeem to study the industry structure through a roleplay and then explored the way on managing outsourcing effectively. In global operation management, especially for manufacturers, it is nearly impossible to avoid outsourcing and that has been the reality for some decades now. Some companies could handle it with good quality control and some companies could not. Recalling the products would be a common scenario when the process of outsourcing is not managed effectively, and Dr. Hakeem drew students’ attention to the recall strategy and the various decisions involved in a recall situation.
The class ended with a general discussion of knowledge management and organizational learning, especially on incorporating the standards of the headquarter in the offshore and outsourcing partners.