Voormalig hoofd juridische zaken van Shimano Europe start RecallDesk

Sports equipment, including bicycles and bicycle parts, is high on the list of most frequent product recalls. “Recently, when looking for a company that could support us by taking over the entire recall management, I could not find a suitable nor affordable company. Therefore, I decided to start my own company offering this service,” explains Rutger Oldenhuis, former head of Legal Affairs at Shimano Europe.

Former Shimano Europe Head of Legal starts RecallDesk

The company is called RecallDesk, offering a ‘one-stop shop’ service for companies having a (potential) product recall. During his career at Shimano Europe he has been involved in many international and complex product recalls. “Our HQ in Japan by default asked Europe to take the lead,” says Rutger Oldenhuis who is a graduate in both Civil Law at the Erasmus University in Rotterdam and International and European Tax Law at the University of Amsterdam, both in the Netherlands.

Smaller to complex multi-jurisdictional recalls

“A product recall means crisis,” says 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.”

Product compliance is key

Like in many cases, but even more for recalls, prevention is preferred. The good news is that a lot can be done to mitigate the risk of a recall. Rutger: “Obviously, product compliance is key. Make sure the products you sell comply with relevant laws and standards. That also applies if you are ‘just’ the importer. Regularly test your products and audit your manufacturing process. Also make sure this is contractually covered with your suppliers. With my legal background I can advise companies with regards to product compliance.”

Rising number of recalls

Why are the number of recalls increasing in the bicycle industry? According to Rutger Oldenhuis there are some reason:

  1. Worldwide, more and more products are available to consumers more easily, partly due to the rise of e-commerce.
  2. It is becoming easier for companies to approach consumers, and for consumers to approach companies and complain about unsafe products. Think of social media.
  3. A more complex global supply chain that is more difficult for manufacturers to control.
  4. Stricter laws and regulations and higher consumer safety expectations.

Just in case a recall cannot be avoided, it is good to know that a well-conducted recall may not harm your brand, but instead even increase your customers’ trust. To do so, good preparation is key. Rutger: “Make sure you have a recall plan or guideline ready in a drawer, tailored to your organisation. A recall plan typically includes a recall procedure, the names/ functions of the recall team, an internal and external contact list, communication templates, a checklist, etc. Having a recall plan readily available avoids stress and double jobs and saves time and money. We can help companies drafting a recall plan.”

Expertise and a proven track record

“Last but not least, depending on which insurance law applies, a substantial portion of recall costs could be subject to recovery. We have valuable expertise and a proven track record with regards to the recovery of recall costs. This will certainly be another added value to our clients.”

RecallDesk is located in Deventer, the Netherlands. For more information, please contact RecallDesk.


Dit artikel is gepubliceerd op 8 april 2021 in Bike Europe.