The Consumer is the ultimate target of any production process. The welfare of the consumer is as important as the satisfaction they need to derive from goods and services. All companies are not viewed as equal by the consumer for many reasons. First, companies produce different products and the products have different uses for the consumers. Secondly, the products that different companies produce have different effects on the environment and the health of consumers (Trienekens&Zuurbier, 2008). Consequently, companies face different expectations from the public. Enterprises that produce healthy foods and other products that have not adverse effects on the environment and the health of consumers such as water also have responsibilities to fulfill, as they deliver their products and services to the public. However, some companies have a greater responsibility to fulfill regulations that aim to balance between production and consumer welfare.
Capitalism plays a very significant role in all the decisions that corporations make. In corporations, capitalism is the ownership of a company’s stock by individuals that expect to earn returns on their investments in the company (Porter & Kramer, 2011). Managers, as agents of shareholders, make decisions that seek to maximize profitability and those that aim to increase the shareholder’s value of an investment. All investment decisions made by the management of a corporation take into consideration the investment wishes of stockholders. The agency responsibility that managers have in corporations pressurizes managers to pay more attention to profit maximization than other concerns, including pollution, consumer welfare, and safety of goods and services.
The fact that managers of corporations have the responsibility of protecting the interest of shareholders does not nullify their responsibility to also protect the interests of consumers. The consumer is as important as the stockholder. In fact, stockholders, especially those holding ordinary shares, are usually derived from the general public and are also part of the consumers’ fraternity. The consumer is the reason a company exists and any decisions that do not consider their interests should be tamed by law. Some goods are harmful to the health of consumers, yet they are addictive. An example is the tobacco industry that has a huge market across the world regardless of the harmful effects of tobacco. The consumer has a right to know about the health effects they are likely to suffer from smoking cigarette. Furthermore, such cigarettes should not be advertised like other commodities. Children must not be exposed to commercial advertisements of cigarettes. Even customers should buy cigarettes by their own volition rather than be attracted by intensive promotional campaigns.
It is possible for companies to balance between product safety, environmental safety, and their interests. Every the industries have laws that regulate them. The laws, as passed by legislation, are usually not punitive to companies, but a balancing issue between production and the safety of consumers. Companies have the primary responsibility to ensure that the goods and services produced for customers are safe and of high quality. By adhering to laws that regulate production processes, companies fulfill their responsibility. The safety of products and their high quality is part of the ways a company can enhance consumer satisfaction. If tobacco companies ensure that their products are as safe to the consumer as possible, customers will be attracted to their products. In fact, company value increases when a company has a reputation of safe and high-quality products. The industry must be involved in setting safety standards, and companies need to communicate to consumers about the safety and quality of their products without exaggerating.
In conclusion, the consumer should the producer’s greatest concern in terms of availing quality and safe products. All companies have the responsibility to balance between their interests and the interests of consumers. However, the level of responsibility varies with the industry of operation. Some companies have a greater responsibility than others in fulfilling their mandate in ensuring high product safety and quality. Thus, all companies are not viewed as equal.
Porter, M. E., & Kramer, M. R. (2011).Creating shared value.Harvard business review, 89(1/2), 62-77.
Trienekens, J., &Zuurbier, P. (2008).Quality and safety standards in the food industry, developments and challenges.International Journal of Production Economics, 113(1), 107-122.