How technology can help you manage product recalls
In the modern world where technology has permeated almost every aspect of life, product recalls are becoming a regular topic of conversation. We are now exposed more than ever to advanced equipment and technology that has a risk of failure.
Technology breaking is nothing new, but recalling potentially dangerous items is something that is occurring more frequently. Figures from Reynolds Porter Chamberlain shows that the number of recalls is at a record high with new recalls emerging daily. This is believed to be due in part to a greater focus on public safety and modern technologies that have made it easier to find products that might cause consumers.
Recalls can be hugely costly for a business. Not only is there the cost of the recall itself, but also the reputational damage they can cause. Customers are much less likely to purchase from a company following a recall, even if the products are now demonstrably safe. Responding quickly to a recall is crucial in minimising the impact and instantly putting a stop on faulty stock being shipped will show customers you are in control of the situation.
The problem with recalls however, is that the faults tend to be varied and it is not always obvious what stock is defective. The whole product line might not need to be recalled, just the stock with a specific part in it or from a specific batch. The stock itself could have no visual indication that there is a fault so recalled stock can continue to be picked by accident.
Thankfully, modern warehouse management software can be an invaluable tool to help with product recalls. Warehouse management software will have a “quarantine” function that can prevent any faulty stock from being picked. This works at SKU or serial number level so it is possible to quarantine whole product lines or just the items that are faulty. This process also works instantly, so instead of trying to brief your pickers on what items to avoid (which can take weeks or even months to do accurately), you can be sure that no faulty stock will be shipped.
Warehouse management software can also help greatly with finding defective stock in the field. The average success rate of an electrical product recall in the UK is just 10% to 20%. This means that 80% or more faulty electrical items are never removed from homes or businesses; largely because they are not reported by their owners. If these items cause damage, the manufacturer will still be liable so it shouldn’t be left to the customer to report their fault.
By requiring items to be scanned at each step of the supply chain, modern warehouse management software makes it easier to track items and identify which customers may have faulty equipment. These customers can then be contacted and the faulty item removed before it can cause any damage.
Sometimes recalls are unavoidable, but with the right software, their impact can be greatly reduced. By responding quickly to a recall you can limit your reputational damage and prevent it from becoming an on-going issue.
ByBox’ best in class Thinventory™ warehouse management software offers total inventory tracking of stock in the field as well as quarantining at SKU or serial number level. For more information, please contact us.
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