Coping With The Nightmare Of Consumer Product Recalls
Author: Anthony Joh

The massive number of product recalls suggests that companies are doing an imperfect job of keeping pace with quality requirements. Most recently, we’ve seen the recall of bicycles, baby coveralls, flashlights and hooded jackets. They are far from atypical in their number and variety. According to an index published by Stericycle, Inc., 21.3 million units of product were recalled in the U.S. in the fourth quarter of 2013 – an increase of 292 percent over the previous quarter.

The reasons are usually safety related, but they don’t have to be. A company might pull back a product for quality issues or relatively minor effects such as skin rashes. Recalls can be both mandatory and voluntary, in the latter case because the incident threatens to undermine the integrity of a brand.

It’s not so much a matter of product quality getting worse. The problem lies in the growing volume and complexity of regulations, says Keri Dawson, vice president of industry solutions and advisory services with MetricStream. Her company specializes in services for governance, risk and compliance.


As companies become more global, their operations move across national boundaries and jurisdictions. So, too, do the opportunities for violating local standards increase.

Dawson says the overall health and safety of consumer products have improved “dramatically” over the last few decades. Yet the need to ensure product quality worldwide, and handle the inevitable flood of recalls, is as strong as ever.


The following article has been published by Supply Chain Brain on May 12, 2014
    Author - Robert J. Bowman

For the full article, please click on this link

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