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Computer companies often
face penalties and business losses if any of their supply chain trading partner
doesn’t comply with regulatory or customer mandates. The cost in this cases
usually turns out to be more than recalls, warranty returns, rework, production
disruptions, reengineering, litigation, or fines. Poor compliance disrupts
customer and supply chain relationships and can lead to lawsuits and lost customers,
market share, and value.

Computer manufacturers
and distributors are subject to international, national, and, in the U.S.,
federal, state, and local environmental regulations. The swift pace of new
regulations, global regulatory adoption and adaptation, and customer demands
for compliance prior to regulatory deadlines make compliance challenging.
Nearly every electronics company uses some of the millions of parts and
components subject to laws in-use for discharge, and disposal of hazardous substances
or environmentally sensitive materials. The question is how best can an
organization comply with each country’s or state’s environmental regulations.
It is not uncommon, for material restrictions which apply in one region do not
apply in another.

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Lifetime of products
continues to shrink in the computer/technology sector as a result the race to
market has significantly intensified and failure to innovate or meet customer’s
needs pose as one of the significant risk to the industry.

A couple of examples of
innovation failures include: Firstly, failure of Samsung’s flagship product
‘Galaxy Note 7’ smart phone, where Samsung had to halt production of the device
following reports that ‘Galaxy Note 7′ phones spontaneously catches fire and or
explodes.  The phones were outright
banned on flights, and Samsung had to recall the entire product line. Second
example is the failure of consumer acceptance of HP’s flagship product
Touchpad. Touchpad looked very similar to Apple’s iPad, but with significantly less
features as it was using its own underlying operating system called WebOS. As
the device was running on WebOS, there were very less applications and features
that the WebOS could support unlike Android’s play-store or Apple’s app-store,
which are consumers’ favorite. Some would argue that HP’s decision to offer
both hardware and software, in order to be successful in the mobile market may
have simply backfired as result the product failed. Those pundits also
recommend that HP should have simply followed Google’s lead and either used
Android in the devices or licensed WebOS to other vendors, so vendors could
build customer friendly apps.

 

Less Addressed Risks

Although we mentioned
at a high level the critical risks which the industry is facing today, there
are some other risks which are not given the needed attention by the Computer
industry, but they do have significant business impacts when goes unaddressed.

Firstly, globalization has outpaced many organization’s ability to
manage the accompanying cultural shifts and computer industry is no different.
When companies go global and employ local staff in foreign country, human
resource policies need to be adapted to reflect the cultural profile of local
employees. It is increasingly common to find corporate offices and data centers
in countries halfway around the world. However with this transition comes a
number of challenges, like, travel, language, and time zone differences are all
issues that must be addressed. But by far the greatest challenge will likely be
overcoming the cultural differences and changing the ‘us versus them’ mindset.
Emotions run high for those who have been affected by outsourcing.

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