Nokia India: Battery Recall Logistics
(9 pages of text)
This case presents the challenge faced by Nokia India in 2007. Nokia had built a strong brand reputation over a ten-year period and was a market leader in Indian mobile devices. India, incidentally, was also Nokia’s second-largest market, next only to China. Suddenly, what corporate headquarters considered a routine product advisory for a defective battery resulted in panic in customers after the Indian media widely publicized the potential dangers that defective batteries could pose. Over a three-month period, Nokia India had to recall a few million batteries and replace them with new ones.
The case provides an opportunity for students to develop practical knowledge of the role of operations management in a product recall situation, particularly in an emerging market context. Product recalls are an integral part of supply chain management (SCM). Companies inevitably face a question of when, not if, a recall will be necessary. These recall situations combine the complexity of operations with the time-urgency of a mission-critical task. The case also provides a rich context to learn about the interaction of SCM, information systems and reverse logistics, and to understand the marketing, logistics, and communication challenges faced by a multinational company operating in an emerging market such as India.
The objectives of the case include:
- Developing an effective product recall/reverse logistics plan that would ensure preparedness for the challenges and urgent circumstances that might surface in a recall situation.
- Understanding the key criteria for the success of product recall systems.
- Understanding the interface of management action and the logistics system under a crisis situation.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
India, Large, 2007
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