When boxing legend Mike Tyson said, “Everybody has a plan until they get hit,” he meant it literally. But he could have just as easily been talking about product recalls.
When a company “gets hit” with word of a serious issue that requires a recall, they will hopefully have a detailed plan to turn to. But if they haven’t experienced a recall before – or haven’t dealt with the specific issue they are now facing – they are essentially getting hit for the first time and have no way of knowing how they will really react in the moment. So what’s a smart business leader to do? Essentially, the same thing Tyson himself did: practice and train. In this case, that means holding mock recalls.
Plans can have gaps that are only discovered when a recall occurs. Some common ones include:
Unlike Mike Tyson, no company deliberately enters the recall “ring.” But product recalls happen to everyone, and eventually they will be forced to fight. Having a robust plan is a good first step – but practicing the plan is the key to being truly prepared.
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