No Excuses – You’ve Got To Minimize The Impact Of A Recall

safetyBoy, what a black eye for GM. A major recall. Bad headlines. I saw breaking news come across last week to say it has increased the scope of its recall even more to ensure it catches any potential problems. This is quite a blow to GM’s reputation that will likely impact its top line as customers worry about quality as well as its bottom line as it needs to pay for the recall and the necessary fixes. Big dollars for sure that could have been used in so many other ways - new product launches, advertising, dividends etc.

Traceability and genealogy allow manufacturers to have a detailed birth certificate that comes off the line. It allows you to see each part, process variable, test, etc. of that product so you can go back and use that data when needed.

For example, let's say we manufacture peanut butter, and we find out that a batch of peanuts from a supplier was tainted and we need a recall. Rather than pull our entire product off of the shelves, we can run a report on the containers that have peanuts from that supplier and just remove that product. This allows you to keep customers safe as well as limit the scope of the recall. These actions can help with the top line as well as the costs.

A benchmark report from LNS Research points to "providing faster customer service and support” as a goal companies are driving to get to with the data they collect. And getting resolution to customers after a recall can be a trying time for a company. How can you balance the need to ensure the recall is complete while keeping costs associated with a recall to a minimum? It’s times like these that test a company's brand and customer responsiveness. Your resolution can go a long way to determine if a customer will stay with the company for the long term. All eyes are watching.

With powerful traceability and genealogy software solutions available today, many companies take advantage of them. The truth is, companies that don't implement these capabilities are taking risks with their customer loyalty, their brands, and the additional costs that come with a recall. If you don’t have visibility into what needs to be recalled, you have to recall much more in order to ensure that the recall is complete.

In this day and age, where the insurance policy of traceability and genealogy is readily available, there is really no excuse for companies not to take advantage of them in order to better serve their customers and protect their reputations. Of course prevention is key, yet traceability and genealogy could have been a way to reduce the impact of the recent GM recall...reducing the scope and enabling the company to quickly move forward.

Are you taking advantage of the latest technologies to minimize the impact of a recall?

Paul Adams

Paul has spent more than 20 years in manufacturing with GE’s Intelligent Platforms business, focusing on product development. His deep industry experience comes from countless calls, meetings and visits to manufacturers around the globe to help solve their business challenges. Today, he works in Global Professional Services, which allows him to continue working with GE’s manufacturing customers at a more downstream function. Wonder what challenges he’s helping manufacturers solve today? Connect with Paul on LinkedIn.

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