Avoiding the recall article

Over the last couple of years there has been a number of very high profile food and product safety issues highlighted in the media due to a rise in product recalls throughout the world from a range of industry sectors. Product recalls increased by 26% to 310 in 2014/15 from 245 the previous year.

The number of food products being recalled alone rose by 50%, originally at 56 to an astonishing 84 in 2014/15 in the UK according to RPC, the City law firm.

With manufacturing industry systems being upgraded, processes becoming more rigorous and safety rules being tightened, why are product recalls still on the increase?

Could it be because manufacturing is much more competitive, meaning that in order to get products distributed on time, quality is falling by the wayside, or could it be because procedures are in place, safety issues are getting spotted and so products are getting recalled or possibly organisations are more cautious and recall when perhaps the risk is minimal?

With the emergence of 24 hour media and social media platforms, getting the message out about dangerous or unsafe consumables is easier, but it is still an expensive exercise, and for the same reasons, possibly a reputation damaging one. Manufacturers need to avoid recalls, and identify issues (ideally avoid issues altogether) before they are shipped into the public domain.

If it does all go wrong there are many strategies and procedures that manufacturers could consider, however trialling solutions can become a task in themselves and hold production back.

Traceability Software solutions capture and manage critical data and quality-related events, providing the capacity to involve and engage personnel in quality initiatives and improve product safety and recall responsiveness.

This captured traceability data from across operations, prevents quality events such as product recalls from happening, and gives manufacturers the ability to contain and take control of a recall if one should occur, enabling optimum product and safety recall responsiveness, whilst protecting the brand.

Improving the recall process and containing the quality problem before it continues through the distribution supply chain can mean escaping costly and damaging recalls. At least having accurate genealogy and traceability software ensures that recalls can be targeted quickly and efficiently to reduce the impact of the recall.

Having improvement plans in place in order to create a change strategy and move the production line forwards is important, making KPIs visible to employees can have an immediate effect, then they know what is required and they know what quality looks like.

There are solutions to the problem of product quality and safety, quality improvement can be achieved through the adoption of a Manufacturing Operations Management System and through a culture of Continuous Improvement. Traceability gives you the peace of mind and assurance that if it does go wrong, it can be controlled.

At Cimlogic we implement these changes within businesses and on production lines on a daily basis, we offer Manufacturing Solutions to suit you and your business to ensure there is continuous improvement in the quality of your products which will reduce the risk factor of a product recall.