Global recalls bring an added layer of complexity. There are numerous, sometimes conflicting, regulations to follow. Consumers and the media often have different expectations and reactions. Various stakeholders typically speak many languages.
Companies that directly operate exclusively in one country may assume they will avoid these complications. But that isn’t always the case. It is easier than ever to move products across borders, and it happens frequently for a number of reasons. For example, the purchaser may relocate to another country or give the product away as a gift to a friend or family member living abroad. In addition, distributors and online retailers may sell to countries the manufacturing company didn’t intend. It may sound like a minor blip, but for some companies, it means having to adjust their plans significantly.
In those cases, companies are often caught off-guard and find themselves scrambling to catch up with the regulatory and cultural nuances of various regions. It is important to incorporate the likelihood of a global issue into recall plans, even when products are primarily sold within the United States. That means filling some significant gaps:
It is also important to adapt to customs and cultures. For some, a dedicated website is most efficient. Others may be more likely to respond to the recall by phone. The media may also react differently.
Any company whose recalls could potentially go global should take these factors into account. And if their teams lack the experience and understanding of these regulatory and cultural variations, they should seek guidance to help them navigate the complexities to avoid the dual risk of regulatory missteps and lost loyalty.
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