One of the world’s leading smartphone manufacturers recently got themselves in a tricky situation that is very hard to manage at the moment, both logistically and PR-wise.
Two weeks ago, Samsung had no other choice but to create one of the biggest global handset recalls in the world. This was caused by 35 registered cases of exploding phones, or phones catching fire during charging. Galaxy Note 7 was launched on August 19th, and as of today, nearly 2.5 million phones are to be returned to the manufacturer – a major drawback for the Korean technological giant, that severely undermines its effort to push its phone up the value chain.
It wouldn’t be such a big deal, but we all know about the so-called “dominoes effect”.
Other Samsung products, such as recently released Galaxy S7 Edge, and soon to be presented Galaxy Tab S3, are facing problems as well. Since all of them are assembled on the same factories as Note 7, consumers will no longer associate them with terms “trendy” or “reliable” (most likely, these terms will be substituted with “exploding batteries” and “poor quality” deep inside the consumers’ minds).
The US Federal Aviation Administration has already started discussions on the topic of whether to prohibit the in-flight usage of mobile devices. Samsung gets questioned every single day on whether the Note 8 model will be safe, there is always the chance that the Note 7 case will push FAA to prohibit the usage of mobile devices during flights.
It is truly regrettable what happened to Samsung; in the long run this failure can result in a major brand image decline with a further global sales drop, a mistake that will cost Korean giant a lot. This case brings us back to the production stage, one of the purposes of which is to avoid such negative outcomes via quality control and quality assurance.
Quality control emphasizes testing of products to uncover defects and reporting to management who make the decision to allow or deny a product release, whereas quality assurance attempts to improve and stabilize production (and associated processes) to avoid, or at least minimize, issues which may potentially lead to the defects in future.
Samsung’s battery failure is a good lesson to learn for everyone in the technology and consumer electronics market – it always better to spend more time and focus on quality control, rather then lose the track of things driven by the blind efforts to catch up with your competitors.
DISCLAIMER: The above article is about Samsung case study which is used as an example of the importance of QC/QA procedures. It was published to stress out the importance of these processes. One of the core values of FTI is Quality and Reliability and we have used the Samsung Case to emphasize once again that FTI learns lessons from the other’s mistakes and it is one more argument in favour of proper QC and QA procedures which should be always on the top of any production company’s priority list.