Keep up-to-date with a selection of news articles about RecallDesk.
Presentation: Do you Recall? RecallDesk with ProductIP
On May 17 2022 RecallDesk will present “Do you Recall?” as part of ProductIP‘s Compliance Tuesday series.
A product recall can be extremely disruptive. What can you do to prevent them from happening, and what can you do to limit the impact if they do occur? Learn from RecallDesk, a product recall specialist. RecallDesk is unique in offering a combination of legal, risk management and operational services that can be tailored to the needs of the client facing a (potential) recall. Services include among others: mandatory risk assessment for Safety Gate/Rapex, drafting communication, legal and regulatory advice, notification to market surveillance authorities, damage and insurance claims, up to offering a recall IT infrastructure that can be customized to the client’s needs. RecallDesk also developed a QuickScan that will help companies to identify weaknesses in their product safety processes. Solving these weaknesses will mitigate the risk of having to recall your products.
For any serious company involved in manufacturing, retail and trade of non-food consumer goods, product compliance has become an integral part of their operation. To support you with this substantial challenge ProductIP organizes since 2012 Compliance Tuesday sessions where experts offer you insight in regulatory changes, a potential impact on your business, and how to deal with those.
Visitors to Compliance Tuesday confirmed that it brought them knowledge and a valuable extension of their professional network. Access to Compliance Tuesday is free, reservation is required. Compliance Tuesday sessions are also open for non-ProductIP-users.
Please join us
May 17, 2022 || English – Zoom | 11:00 – 12:00 || NL – Live | NL 13:45 – 15:30
Presenters: Rutger Oldenhuis || RecallDesk & Caspar ter Horst || ProductIP
RecallDesk partners with SGIA
RecallDesk is proud to announce its partnership with the Sporting Goods Industry Association of the UK (SGIA). The SGIA represents manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of sporting goods in the UK. Established over 100 years ago, the association brings together the power of the sports brands for the benefit of the industry as a whole and represents the UK market. We are looking forward to working together with the SGIA and its members!
RecallDesk was interviewed by Cycling Industry News
On March 21, 2022 RecallDesk founder Rutger Oldenhuis was interviewed by Cycling Industry News.of
What to do when your company needs to face a recall
Having spent 17 years in Shimano’s legal department, Rutger Oldenhuis has been around the block with all kinds of legislative dilemmas. Upon leaving, he spotted a gap and set up a business based around getting recalls right. Here he shares his experience…
Tell us what your business does to help in the recalls process:
First of all, we help companies to manage their (potential) product recall. Our services are unique in the sense that we offer legal and operational support. Our key focus is Europe, but we can help companies with managing their recall globally. Our tagline is “to lead or complete your recall team” and we can tailor our services to the needs of our clients.
For companies that never experienced a recall before, hiring an expert could make a huge difference. Also, for companies that do have recall experience, adding an expert to the recall team definitely adds value. A recall typically adds a lot of workload to your key staff. Hiring an expert will ease the burden on their shoulders, and by experience I can tell you it even works very well remotely via video.
Secondly, the best thing about a recall is not having one. We advise companies on how to mitigate the risk of having a recall. There are many things you can do in that respect. Specifically for that purpose, RecallDesk has developed a QuickScan. The QuickScan is partly based on two relevant (but mostly unknown) ISO standards in the field of product safety, supplemented with own experience. The outcome of the QuickScan is a heatmap identifying quick wins in the field of product safety relevant to the selected product. You may also see it as a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ helping your business to identify possible weaknesses in your product safety process. Even the biggest, listed companies have weaknesses, so there’s no shame.
Recalls can become large problem for businesses. What is the best course of action upon detecting a possibly recall?
In Europe you will have to make a risk assessment. The risk assessment helps you to determine the level of risk your product may pose; that is low, medium, high or serious. The corrective action strongly depends on the identified risk level. If is it high or serious, you can almost be sure that the affected product has to be recalled from the end-users. If the risk is medium or low, other corrective actions may be sufficient; for example, a withdrawal or a modification of your labelling or manual. A product recall really is a last resort remedy.
What should a company not do, should they suspect they need a recall?
First of all, ignoring a suspected product safety issue is the worst thing you can do. If there are signals within your company indicating a possible product safety issue, you should 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 had halved, because Philips allegedly ignored product complaints from the market since 2015 involving a medical device.
Another example is last year’s Peloton treadmill recall. Peloton in first instance publicly refuted the claim of the CPSC (Consumer Product safety Commission in the USA) that the affected treadmill posed a safety risk, while allegedly reports of adults, children and pets being pulled under the rear of the treadmill already had been received. Peloton later admitted they had made a mistake.
Secondly, although easier said than done, don’t panic. A (potential) recall definitely means crisis, but if carried out in the right way – and this is supported by research – it will likely have a positive impact on your brand’s reputation.
Talk us through the process, start to finish:
A recall can be triggered by different events, including internal quality controls, sample checks by market surveillance authorities, product tests done by media, or incident reports from the market. No recall is the same (even within the same company) and a ‘perfect’ recall does not exist. Mistakes will be made and improvising is often needed. Having said that, certain milestones are similar for each recall.
As mentioned before, typically the first important step is to make a risk assessment. Additional product testing may therefore often be necessary, ideally done by external test institutes. The outcome of the risk assessment will indicate if and to what extent a product is unsafe or dangerous and subsequently, which corrective actions need to be carried out. The risk assessment will have to be discussed with and approved by the responsible market surveillance authority. Based on the outcome of the risk assessment, the appropriate recall strategy will have to be determined in liaison with the responsible market surveillance authority.
Another key milestone is the setting up of a recall infrastructure. Ask yourself the question how (as a business) are you going to retrieve the affected product from your customers and compensate them. While doing so, really carefully think through the whole supply chain process. The recall infrastructure largely depends on the business model and sales channels of the affected business. For a ‘traditional’ brick and mortar sales model this may look different than e.g. a pure online or omni-channel environment. The ultimate goal is to make the recall process as smooth and easy for your customers as possible.
Typical examples of other milestones are making a communication and media plan, drafting a communication kit (that is press releases, dealer letters, consumer letters), translating all relevant communication, and notifying and liaising with relevant market surveillance authorities.
Before publicly announcing a recall, it is important that the full scope and scale is known. You really want to avoid a public recall announcement and then having to broaden the scope and scale of your recall, forcing you to publish a new recall announcement shortly after the first. Customers (and potential new customers) may get the impression your company is not in control of its quality and safety processes, which may harm your brand reputation.
The most successful recalls are the ones where 100% of the affected products have been returned. However, except perhaps in the car industry, in many cases this will be a Utopia. But with the growing online sales and D2C business, it becomes a lot easier to directly contact end-users. I strongly believe that in the near future e-labelling and IoT will play an important role too.
How does a company navigate a voluntary recall and what is the key difference when it becomes compulsory?
The term “voluntary” is globally under debate. Some countries (e.g. Australia) would not allow that term when announcing a recall. Consumers may misunderstand the term as if it was “voluntary” for them to stop using the product. In Europe however, product safety legislation still distinguishes between a voluntary and a compulsory recall. My advice is pretty straightforward; if you take your business seriously, at all cost try to avoid measures ordered by public authorities. While a voluntary recall may likely increase your customers’ trust, a compulsory recall will probably do the opposite.
What costs can a company expect to incur upon a recall?
It is really difficult to give any ballpark figure. There are direct and indirect costs to be considered and indeed, these can be high. Some cost items, like loss of turnover and profit, can be calculated fairly easy, but for ‘collateral damage’ this is difficult. For example, what if your recalled product gets replaced by retailers with a competing brand? Furthermore, the costs largely depend on the scale and scope of a recall, such as how many products are affected and in which countries?
Many companies outsource the production of their products to third-party producers. Of course, your brand name is printed on the product, so you are responsible to recall it in case it is unsafe. However, an aspect that is often neglected, is to make sure the burden of a recall is taken where it should: the supplier of the defective product. Many companies do not have (properly) written supplier agreements in place and therefore minimise the opportunity to claim recall damages upstream in the supply chain. “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.
But apart from all that, the costs of a recall may never be an argument not to carry out a recall. The ultimate goal of any potential product issue should be a safe customer that continues to trust your product and brand. Personally, I am happy to see a company voluntarily take responsibility to recall a product. Customers will likely remain loyal, since they know their safety is taken seriously.
Finally (and insurance companies will not be happy to read this) many companies do not seem to know that in quite a number of countries certain recall costs can be claimed under a standard product liability insurance. It can be a long process, but it’s definitely well worth it. It’s difficult to say if recall costs would mount in case there is a hesitancy in action. From experience, hesitancy leads to loss of control of the recall process, which will likely harm your customers’ trust and brand reputation.
In terms of marketing the recall notice, what is advised?
Although certain templates are recommended to be used, there is certainly some room to draft a recall notice in your corporate style. However, don’t downplay the issue. Stay factual, clear and to the point. Typically, the authorities will push back if they think your recall notice is too vague or ambiguous. Also, some authorities prefer to use their own recall notification text and may use pretty stark language. My advice would be to give some more context about the background of the recall on your corporate website.
You have a partnership with the WFSGI, tell us about this:
RecallDesk is proud partner of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFGSI). The bicycle industry has a large representation among its members. Members of the WFSGI will get an attractive discount on RecallDesk’s fees if they would use our services. Many of RecallDesk’s clients are active in the outdoor, sporting goods and bicycle industry. Next to the WFSGI, RecallDesk has partnered with a number of other industry associations with similar discount offers. We believe such partnerships are a win-win situation for both RecallDesk and the members.
RecallDesk gives presentation about product recalls at APPLiA
RecallDesk was hosted by APPLiA Nederland to give a presentation about product recalls. APPLiA Nederland is the Dutch trade association representing the household electrical appliances industry. Topics on the agenda were:
(1) how to avoid a recall,
(2) how to be prepared,
(3) how to manage a recall and
(4) how to ease the burden of a recall (costs and damages).
It was good to see how APPLiA Nederland members are taking safety seriously.
Interested to host a presentation, seminar or workshop about product recalls? Please feel free to contact RecallDesk.
RecallDesk contributes to WFSGI Magazine 2022
RecallDesk contributed to the newly released WFSGI Magazine 2022 The New Age of Disruption. The article by Rutger Oldenhuis is titled ‘Product recalls: better safe than sorry’.
The WFSGI (World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry) is the world authoritative body for the sporting goods industry, officially recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). RecallDesk is proud partner of the WFSGI.
The WFSGI partners with RecallDesk
RecallDesk is proud partner of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (the WFSGI). The new partnership between the WFSGI and RecallDesk aims to offer WFSGI members affordable access to a specialist in the field of product recall management.
The WFSGI and RecallDesk have published a joint press release:
TAKING SAFETY SERIOUSLY. TOGETHER.
The number of product recalls has been growing steadily over the past decade. Sports equipment, including bicycles and bicycle parts, is high on the list of most frequent product recalls. Either big or small, recalls are complex projects that need to be managed properly. A recall requires a lot of resources and may hit a company’s P&L badly. Whilst some companies may be perfectly equipped to manage a product recall by themselves, many others may not. But in any case, consulting a recall expert may add value, whether it is to lead or complete a recall team.
The new partnership between the WFSGI and RecallDesk aims to offer WFSGI members affordable access to a specialist in the field of product recall management. RecallDesk is unique in offering a combination of services that can be tailored to the needs of a company facing a recall. RecallDesk offers legal, risk management and operational support.
RecallDesk, located in the Netherlands, was founded by Rutger Oldenhuis, former Head of Legal at Shimano Europe. The WFSGI and Rutger go back a long way. Rutger has been an active member of the WFSGI Legal Committee for many years, including several years as Vice Chairman.
Robbert de Kock, President and CEO of the WFSGI:
“The philosophy and values of WFSGI and its members are reflected by numerous WFSGI projects and initiatives, like the Responsible Sports Initiative, Labelling Database, Communication on Action, CR position papers and many more. Product safety and standards are also high on the WFGSI agenda. And yet, despite all efforts to manufacture and sell only safe products, a company may be faced with a product recall. The new partnership with RecallDesk therefore fits very well with the philosophy and services of WFSGI. I can wholeheartedly recommend the services of RecallDesk to our members.”
Rutger Oldenhuis, Owner and Founder of RecallDesk:
“I am proud and grateful for the opportunity to partner with the WFSGI. With this partnership the WFSGI recognizes the importance of a well-managed product recall. I am very much looking forward to working closely together with the WFSGI and its members.”
More information about this partnership can be found here.
Founder RecallDesk interviewed by SGI Europe
On May 13, 2021 SGI Europe published an interview with Rutger Oldenhuis, founder of RecallDesk:
New RecallDesk eases burden of product recalls in Europe
The expensive product recall at Peloton Interactive, which is expected to lead to extraordinary charges of $125 million for this fast-growing American home fitness equipment company, is sending out a strong signal that the sporting goods industry must be bet- ter prepared to face similar issues, partly because the technology behind the products is becoming more and more sophisticated.
RecallDesk, a new company based in the Netherlands, claims to be the first specialized service provider in Europe that can help suppliers and importers in the broader consumer goods sector to prevent or minimize similar losses through its legal, risk management or operational support.
According to the OECD, which has its own recall portal, the sporting goods industry, including the now booming bike segment, is the fifth-largest issuer of product recalls issues on a list led by the toy and automotive industries.
Rutger Oldenhuis, the 46-year-old lawyer who is running the new company, has gathered a lot of experience in this area as the head of Shimano Europe’s legal department for more than 16 years. He has also been a vice chairman of the legal committee of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI).“Recalls always happen when it’s least expected,” says Oldenhuis, recommending prevention as the best possible methodology to avoid serious consequences. Besides taking product compliance seriously, he proposes that any consumer goods company should prepare in advance a “recall plan” that would include a detailed recall procedure in case it is required, with a checklist and a communication template, pointing out that even national importers must adhere to certain safety standards.
“A well-conducted recall may not harm your brand, but instead even increase your customers’ trust,” he adds. A recent survey conducted by the European Commission shows that 54.4 percent of consumers have raised their level of confidence in a brand or a retailer after learning about a product recall. In addition, 63.5 percent of them have started paying more attention to product recalls after such an experience.
Typically, a generalist law office takes care of product recalls, but its intervention may not have the best possible effects because of limited expertise in the area. As the Peloton case shows, a recall may hit a company’s P&L badly and yet not many companies seem to be aware of the possibilities to recover substantial recall costs. For example, in certain Euro- pean countries such as Germany and the Netherlands, they may be subject to recovery based on statutory insurance law. RecallDesk can advise on recovering recall costs and conduct an audit of a company to optimize its liability insurance. RecallDesk is building up a pan-European network of experts in this area.
RecallDesk can also jump in to advise a company on how to mitigate the effect of a product recall when it becomes inevitable or when it is hit by a consumer complaint on a safety issue, taking eventually the lead in managing the recall. In most instances, Oldenhuis says, a voluntary recall is better than a mandatory recall ordered by national consumer safety protection authorities, where the European Commission subsequently takes action on a wider scale. In Europe, voluntary recalls are generally done in nine out of ten cases, but they are not as widely publicized as in the U.S., where the Consumer Safety Protection Commission (CSPC) has a louder voice.
More information is available under www.recalldesk.com.
Former Shimano Europe Head of Legal starts RecallDesk
RecallDesk is in the news! On April 8, 2021 Bike Europe published an article about RecallDesk.
“A product recall means crisis,” says Rutger Oldenhuis who was manager Legal Affairs at Shimano Europe for more than 16 years. “Either big or small, recalls are complex and need to be managed properly. A recall requires a lot of resources and may hit a company’s P&L badly. We are specialised in managing recalls, from smaller to complex multi-jurisdictional recalls. Whatever the situation, we can offer the needed support, either to lead or complete a recall team.”
“Even though a recall is a major crisis, at Shimano I have always experienced a positive team spirit when working together towards a common goal: the safety of customers. With RecallDesk I would like to offer my recall experience to the consumer goods industry. Considering my professional background, RecallDesk may be particularly interesting for the bicycle industry.”