Recalls are always unexpected and often happen at lightning speed. Whether it is a positive contamination test in a food product, a faulty lithium-ion battery in a consumer product, or a mislabeled drug or medical device, companies must act swiftly. That’s why the best approach is to be recall ready at all times. But where do business leaders begin? Here are some steps to cultivate recall readiness every day.
For most companies, recall readiness should be ingrained in at least one job description. When going it alone, this may require many people to manage all the complexities. For those who work with a dedicated recall management company, someone within the organization needs to be accountable for working with that company to ensure it has all the information needed to handle each step of the recall life cycle. It is also wise to have backup staff on hand in case the primary contact is on vacation or otherwise unavailable.
There should be a clear, consistent plan for gathering information about potentially defective or unsafe products. In some cases, it may be necessary to initiate a stop and hold program to prevent potentially affected products from being distributed while the investigation is underway. By taking each and every potential concern seriously, companies can help demonstrate to their employees that safety is a top priority.
Have a system in place for determining the root cause, how many products may be affected, where those products have been distributed, and whether there are direct notification options available, should a recall become necessary. Ideally, companies should also have a clear understanding of their supply chain operations, including raw material and finished component suppliers. This has the added benefit of potentially reducing the size and scope of the recall.
While no company wants to consider the possibility of a recall, the fact is there are around nine new recalls every day in the U.S. Having recall coverage included in a policy along with many other potential crises may not be sufficient. Specialized recall insurance can provide reassurance to everyone from the leadership team to employees on the ground level that the company is ready to handle the inevitable.
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