Blog in Bike Europe: That’s a Bingo!

By Rutger Oldenhuis LLM

There are two types of people: those who have seen the movie Inglorious Basterds and those who have seen it more than once. If you have not yet seen the movie, please look the other way or close your eyes. I will let you know when you can continue reading again.

I first saw Inglorious Basterds in a cinema in Amsterdam. I will never forget the opening scene. It seemed to last forever, and you could have heard a pin drop. Fear, disgust, sadness and humour intertwined. This was acting on the highest level; a piece of art. And if that wasn’t all, let me tell you about the movie’s climax. Well, you know what happened in that small theatre in Paris. And really, as the climax unfolded, literally everyone in the cinema in Amsterdam stood up and started to yell and clap their hands. Goosebumps! That is how realistic fantasy can become. Tarantino is a master in rewriting history.

Fantasy becomes reality

For most companies, a product recall is like fantasy – it happens to others, not them. Some companies may ignore a suspected recall, hoping it continues to be a fantasy. But that fantasy can become your worst nightmare. If there are signals within your company indicating a possible product safety issue, you better take the appropriate action. I am not sure if media outside the Netherlands paid any attention to the Philips recall lately, but their stock market value at some point dropped 50% because Philips allegedly ignored product complaints from the market involving a medical device since 2015.

Another example is last year’s Peloton treadmill recall. Publicly arguing with the CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) in the USA and denying a potential safety issue while reports of adults, children and pets being pulled under the rear of the treadmill have been received is definitely not the way a suspected recall should be handled.

Batch testing

Many of my clients had never experienced a recall before. And yet, it happened. Fantasy became reality, and if they could only rewrite history, just like Tarantino, they would. And there are many things they could have done to mitigate the risk of having a recall. One example of a quick win is to continue to test your products after market launch, for example, through batch testing. And if you don’t manufacture your products yourself, make sure to involve your supplier(s) in your test protocol.

If you really want to bring your product safety process to the next level, let me bring 2 ISO standards to your attention that seem to be unknown to most companies: ISO 10377 and ISO 10393. These standards help businesses, both big and small, assess and improve safety processes in the design, in production and in the marketplace. The key message of these standards is that design and production defects are highly preventable.

QuickScan identifies weaknesses

If you prefer the quick wins, for your convenience, RecallDesk has developed a QuickScan based on the ISO standards mentioned above, supplemented with our own experience. You may also see this QuickScan as a fresh pair of eyes helping your business identify possible weaknesses in your product safety process. And don’t worry, even the biggest stock-listed companies have weaknesses. To give you an idea, here is just one example of a question taken from the QuickScan: “Do you have (properly) written agreements in place with your suppliers, covering recall damages?”

Ooooh, that’s a bingo!!

“We don’t need a contract. Our relationship is based on trust!” I often hear. Yes, but it’s just like a marriage: everything is fine until something goes terribly wrong. So, to celebrate the start of a new year, I am offering 5 QuickScans for free. Just drop me an email. First come, first serve. And for those who haven’t seen Inglorious Bastards yet, you may now continue reading.