BUMGT5920 Managing In a Global Business Environment
Scenario: Multi-national circuit board request
Your consultancy team has been contracted by a multi-national manufacturer of small electric kitchen appliances to identify a suitable international manufacturer to supply a range of electronic circuit boards for their appliances. This company has a strong reputation for quality and reliability, but a recent change in ownership of their current circuit board supplier (and a sharp increase in the unit price), has prompted your client to explore other options for the supply of their circuit boards.
Your team has conducted a global search of suitable manufacturers and quickly shortlisted several factories (located in China, South Korea, Germany and Indonesia) with capability to supply the circuit boards. Your client is happy with the shortlisted companies, appears to be encouraged by the competitive quotes received and is keen select a preferred supplier and begin contract negotiations. However, with the emergence of customer concerns in some countries relating to ‘ethical electronics’ and the social and environmental impacts of the life cycle of electronic goods, your team recommends further research is required into the social and environmental performance of the short-listed suppliers.
You and your team have scheduled a progress meeting with your client, in which you intend to present this recommendation and seek your client’s approval to undertake this additional research. To prepare for this meeting, you are required to draft a document for discussion.
That is, you must prepare a document (to send to your client prior to your meeting) outlining your recommendation and the key points you would like to discuss at your meeting — this document must:
• Outline why ‘ethical electronics’ has become an issue for manufacturers and retailers of electrical appliances;
• Explain your rationale (i.e. reasons) for why you think this additional research is required and discuss the risks associated with not undertaking this work;
• Identify the types of evidence you would require from each of the shortlisted factories to provide assurance that these circuit boards were being produced ethically;
• Present a research plan detailing the steps you would take in conducting this research; what you propose to research, what you would actually do and how you intend to research these issues.