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Apr
03

5 Essentials of a Product Retrieval

Whether a product retrieval is to protect a brand or gather intelligence, the process doesn’t just have to be fast, it also has to be precise.

When complaints or product recalls warrant the removal or withdrawal of a product, having a proactive product retrieval plan in place can help ensure both consumers and brands stay protected. When evaluating the most effective method for product retrieval, whether picking up product from a customer’s home or at any other point along the supply chain, manufacturers should consider these five factors:

1.     Speed
In the event of a customer complaint, product recall, or a competitive situation, retrieving products as quickly as possible is imperative. Delayed responses have the potential to expose manufacturers and retailers to potential litigation, brand damage and regulatory scrutiny.  Without a professional global field force in place, many companies disrupt day-to-day operations and lose time and money trying to manage and coordinate retrieval logistics.

2.     Accuracy
With a company’s image and reputation on the line, accurately retrieving all affected products is vital for the integrity of the brand. If products remain on shelves, in back stock, or in homes a company’s liability increases along with the risk of regulatory action and brand damage. To prevent lost sales on non-affected product, companies should ensure only the affected lots are removed, and not all products with the same UPC. While navigating the complex regulatory environment it is imperative to account for all product and maintain the integrity of a product for additional testing and analysis.  This requires a strict chain of custody and a plan to properly document, execute, and close out a retrieval event.

3.     Efficiency and Effectiveness
Due to the nature of product retrievals, it’s difficult for companies to fully prepare for a retrieval scenario. Typically, when a product needs to be removed from the market, manufacturers have little warning and must act immediately. With a complex supply and distribution chain, it may not be financially feasible to hire full-time staff to manage retrieval possibilities, and many companies attempt to pull internal resources to manage the process. However, pulling staff from their normal work interrupts day-to-day business and can actually delay the retrieval process and result in higher costs. Third-party solution providers who focus on retrievals are more efficient and effective at executing a product retrieval.

4.     Scalability
During a retrieval event, the number of units that need to be retrieved from anywhere in the world and along the supply chain can vary from one extreme to the next. Companies can have events that require them to pick up anywhere from one product at a customer’s home to millions from retailers and distributors globally. Because retrievals are not always a part of an organizations day-to-day activity, it can be costly and prohibitive to hire and maintain a global field force or to require existing staff to assist. When a situation does occur, companies need the flexibility to handle any type of event anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice.

5.     Quality
In any product retrieval situation a brand’s reputation is already at risk. To protect the integrity of the brand, manufacturers and retailers must ensure that representatives picking up product act as an extension of their team. It’s important companies meet the highest quality standards and document every step of the process, from transporting and storing products with a secure chain of command, to handling subsequent product testing or product recalls in a regulatory compliant manner.

Many companies trust Stericycle ExpertSOLUTIONS to manage their retrieval process with speed and efficiency. With an experienced global field force reaching over 53 countries, and the ability to put a retrieval team into action within 24 hours, ExpertSOLUTIONS saves companies time and money, while also ensuring non-affected products remain in the marketplace. The experienced ExpertSOLUTIONS team has managed thousands of retrievals, quality audits, and recalls with precision and a focus on quality. The team stands ready to handle retrieval situations of any size or scope, and is prepared for the possibility of a product recall if the situation warrants, providing clients a seamless experience with brand protection.

Click here for additional information on product retrieval, quality audit, and product recall solutions.

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