Samsung Recall Sheds Light on Issues in Large-Scale Supply Chains

Industry considers whether current technology and tools can effectively maintain quality control in large-scale supply chains.

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Samsung permanently stopped production on its Galaxy Note 7 smartphone after issuing a recall upon reports of the device overheating and catching on fire. The recall, made last month, places a spotlight on supply chain regulation, leaving the industry to consider whether current technology and management tools can effectively maintain quality control in large-scale supply chain webs, reported “The Wall Street Journal.”

While Samsung initially blamed the phone issues on bad batteries from a single supplier, similar issues arose even after the company removed the supplier from the production process.

"A design flaw should have been caught during review and testing, and this is much harder to do at global scale with multiple suppliers and factories for the same part," said Frank Gillett, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research.

Industry experts said issues in the supply chain can be magnified when there is poor communication between different departments within a corporation and their suppliers, according to Fangruo Chen, a professor at the Columbia Business School in New York City who focuses on supply chain management.

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