A product recall situation is something all businesses hope to never find themselves in, however, unfortunately, it happens from time to time to the best of companies.
Popular dog food brand, Black Hawk Dog Food has announced a voluntary recall. Managing a situation like that is made easier if every batch can be tracked. This helps with recall, or at the very least, opens a communication line so that public safety can be prioritised.
Here are some tips on how you can prepare and mitigate a potential product recall.
1. Track and trace raw materials
Often, the reason for a faulty product is faulty parts of which there could be thousands, if not millions located at different points in the manufacturing chain or over different sites.
Inventory management software allows for accurate tracing of even the smallest of parts if they are indeed faulty in order to prevent their use in the product. This could be done manually, however the process becomes a lot easier and more efficient with the help of inventory software. This is particularly true if the company operates over many sites with supplies from all sites originating from the same place. Inventory software also allows for the electronic ‘marking’ or ‘tagging’ of these faulty parts for investigation or destruction and thereby prevents their use in any other product.
2. Track and trace shipped product for recall
As soon as issues with shipped or distributed product becomes apparent, the consumers must be informed (in the name of best practice) to ensure public safety is maintained. This becomes an impossible task if there is no record of which products have been shipped and bought or consumed in which countries. Inventory management software allows this process to happen relatively easily as it is possible to track item numbers of products and ascertain where they have been shipped to and bought from. Consumers can then be quickly contacted to warn them of the faulty products and subsequent danger to themselves and their families.
3. Identify impacted products
Inventory management software such as Unleashed is designed to make inventory management more streamlined. This has a vital part to play in a product recall when stress is high, jobs are in jeopardy and the task of actually recalling seems too daunting. The software is there to aid the management team in identifying and where the product is and reclaiming it. It is imperative these processes are followed, as failure to do so is pure negligence and can result in serious harm to the public as well as irreparable damage to the company’s reputation.
4. Subsequent investigation and prevention
Inventory software could prevent a product recall from happening again. It is inevitable to climb the paperwork mountain after a faulty product is identified, however this task is made all the more manageable with the ability to identify all raw materials in the product, where they originated from, their expiry dates and any other known issues. Once a clear picture is drawn of why the faults happened in the first place, the company is in the best position to respond to customer concerns and prevent future recalls from happening.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.