Cost of Quality - The Case of Suzlon's Blade Recall

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : OPER101 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 +Shipping & Handling Charges extra


Quality Management

Case Length : 10 Pages
Period : 2007-2011
Organization : Suzlon Energy Limited
Pub Date : 2012
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India, USA, Global
Industry : Wind Power, Engineering


Suzlon Energy Limited (Suzlon), engaged in the manufacture and sale of wind turbine generators, grew from a start-up in 1995 to become the third largest global player in the global wind energy market at the end of 2009. The company exploited the opportunities in the market by filling the demand-supply gap in the global wind energy equipment market and by offering cost-effective solutions. It offered a wide range of products and developed a vertically integrated supply chain for components. From a strength of 22 people in 1995 the company expanded to 14,000 by 2011. Suzlon followed an aggressive acquisition strategy to expand its technology base and product range. In its quest for rapid growth, the company hit an obstacle in the form of defects in the wind turbine blades supplied to customers in the US.

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The issue received wide coverage in the industry circles and generated substantial negative publicity for the company. Though Suzlon was able to promptly address the issue and come out with a solution, the incident created a dent in its reputation and impacted the inflow of orders adversely.

The case discusses the happenings following the above incident and the implications to the company in terms of cost. It also discusses the steps the company took to address the problem. The case can be used in introductory as well as elective courses in Operations Management and Quality Management at the post graduate level to teach cost of quality, quality processes, quality management, root cause analysis, and related concepts.


Cost of Quality: External failure cost, components of cost of quality - tangible and intangible
Quality Processes: Process control and quality control in manufacturing, special processes, testing for quality
Quality Management: Quality management system, quality assurance, quality control in new product development, contract review
Root Cause Analysis: Identifying causes, fish bone diagram


  Page No.
Introduction 1
The Beginning and Growth of an Entrapreneurial Organization 1
Quality Problems - Cost of Aggressive Growth? 2
Suzlon's Response and the Impact 5
The Way Ahead 6
Exhibits 7


Quality Management, Cost of Quality, Root Cause Analysis, Fish Bone Diagram, Quality Assurance, External Failure Cost, Process Control, Wind Mill, Wind Turbine Generators, Suzlon, Product Recall, Product Failure, Customer Satisfaction, Customer Feedback, Market Share, Growth Strategy

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