Services to lead or complete your recall team
Some companies may be bigger than others. Depending on the size, resources and available people, RecallDesk could lead or complete a recall team with any of the services mentioned below, tailored to the organizational needs.
Shown in a simplified way, product safety management is organized around the following 4 actions:
The services of RecallDesk are mainly organized around these 4 actions as well as based on the following 4 assumptions:
- A recall can happen to any company;
- Companies can mitigate the risk of having to recall a product;
- You can be prepared for a recall;
- A well-conducted recall will likely increase your customers’ trust.
Against this backdrop, RecallDesk offers advice and services in a.o. the following areas:
Before placing them on the market, make sure your products are safe and comply with the relevant applicable laws and standards. RecallDesk can help you with that. In case RecallDesk does not have the required expertise, we work with a number of selected business partners who are specialized in the specific product industry. We can also work with the preferred business partners of our clients.
With our legal expertise RecallDesk can help you making sure that responsibilities and liabilities around product compliance and recalls are contractually well-stipulated, in the upstream as well as downstream supply chain.
Having a recall plan ready gives you immediate control in times of crisis, saving time and money. A recall plan typically includes a recall procedure, the names/functions of the recall team, a checklist, a contacts list, useful templates, and so on. A recall plan should be tailored to the organization using it.
Recall training & workshops
For companies having a higher risk of product recalls, it may be very helpful to organize recall training and workshops. A recall simulation may be very useful in order to train a recall team and prepare the organization, just in case.
Potential safety issues
Once you have placed products on the market, in many jurisdictions you are obliged to monitor whether there are any potential safety issues. In all cases it is recommended to have a reporting system or database in place that alerts you in case anything is potentially wrong. The sooner you are able to make a corrective action, the better.
Is a recall really necessary: risk assessment
A product recall is a corrective action, but a corrective action is not always a recall. A recall is typically regarded as a last resort remedy. In situations where the safety risk is not serious, other corrective actions may be considered that go less far than recalling a product from the end-user. Making a risk assessment is the basis for every (potential) corrective action. Provided it is done correctly and objectively, it will show whether the safety risk is either low, moderate or serious. A product recall is regarded as a last resort remedy and in principle ‘only’ necessary in case the product risk is serious. For situations of low or moderate risk, other corrective actions may be sufficient. An example is ‘market withdrawal’, which means that products need to be withdrawn from the market, but not recalled from end-users. If you are in doubt whether or not you need to recall a product from the market, RecallDesk can help you assessing the risk and advise you on the appropriate corrective actions, if any. If a specific case requires it, RecallDesk works with a number of reputable test institutes that can support with making a risk assessment.
Recall management (leading the recall team)
A recall can be a huge and complex project involving many different disciplines, including product design, QC, production, supply chain, warehousing, marketing & communication, sales, legal and finance. Having a recall expert leading the recall team will add value to the recall and the performance of the recall team. It will also lower the stress and burden on key employees. It is worthwhile noting that a well-conducted recall may not harm your brand, but instead even increase your customers’ trust.
Liaising with/representing towards safety authorities
Authorities want to be informed about a (potential) unsafe product. Decisions whether or not to recall a product, including ‘voluntary’ recalls, are typically (if not mandatorily) made in liaison with the responsible safety authorities.
Submission of notifications
Timely reporting of dangerous products to the authorities of the relevant countries worldwide is crucial. Some countries keep rather short and strict deadlines. Key challenge here is to work towards the same go-live date in all applicable countries. After notification the authorities may want to get regular updates on the progress of the recall and may require additional actions to be taken.
Many stakeholders need to be informed and updated about a (potential) recall, including for example distributors, retailers and consumers. Having communication templates ready, tailored to your organizational style, culture and needs, will help speeding-up the recall process. Ideally these templates are prepared in a Recall Plan. If not, it is recommended to have templates ready as early in the process as possible and finalize them once all details are available.
Retrieving the affected products
A recall obviously means that the affected products need to be retrieved from end-users. An effective recall means that as many of the affected products are retrieved from the market as possible. This largely depends on the traceability of the products. If the risks are serious and authorities not satisfied about the return rate, further recall actions may be imposed.
Reimbursing distributors, retailers, consumers
Next to loss of sales, reimbursing consumers and other stakeholders may have a huge financial impact and needs to be well-coordinated.
If applicable and (legally) possible, certain recall damages may be recovered from f.e. suppliers.
Destruction of affected products
Affected products, once retrieved, need to be destroyed professionally. This requires a well-coordinated action.
As regards insurance matters, RecallDesk has value adding knowledge on insurance law that may be unknown territory to many companies. A substantial portion of your recall costs may be subject to recovery. RecallDesk has quite a successful track record in this area.
No recall is the same. Although a recall plan and procedure will be very helpful, it should allow for improvisation and flexibility. It is worthwhile for the recall team to evaluate a recall, to learn from mistakes and develop best practices for (potential) recalls to come. If necessary, a recall plan can be adjusted accordingly.