Toy Recall Exposes Challenges of Outsourcing
Outsourcing can be fraught with challenges as the maker of the recalled Thomas the Train recently found out. — As More Toys Are Recalled, the Trail Ends in China.
From the NYT article: “Many companies have gone to China lured there by low-cost labor and in many ways what happens there is that they end up not only outsourcing production but outsourcing a lot of the design of the products,” said M. Eric Johnson, a professor of management at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.
And who better to talk about the complexities of outsourcing than an engineer who has been-there-and-done that? In an article in Design News Design Engineer Al Mudrow pens a highly compelling, from-the-trenches account of two harried weeks he spent in China ironing out issues with a subcontractor, scouring electronics market for components, dealing with schedule slips and language snafus, and realizing that making the decision to outsource involves a multitude of trade-offs. A cautionary tale for everyone contemplating outsourcing.