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Help with Product Recall

The food and FMCG industries face many problems. Margins are tight, but there are constant pressures from customers, regulators and consumers. Expectations for product quality and safety are higher than ever before. Incidents and problems can arise in many ways: sometimes not through the fault of the company itself. 

There are several hundred product recalls or withdrawals each year in the UK alone. Most of these are not made public; many are for 'trivial' reasons - et each one costs money. A serious product quality problem can be disastrous to a company if it is not properly handled. The direct costs are high; the indirect damage to brand values, and relationships with major customers, can be even higher. 

Yet this is still a 'grey area' for most companies. Few have regular experience of handling major recalls. (Those who do tend to go out of business....) Management may never have handled these problems before: it can be difficult to assess a situation, or to realise when action is advisable and when not.

Even companies who are well prepared are often operating in the dark. Companies (understandably) do not publicise their problems or the costs they have incurred. But it is difficult to assess the risks, or to plan ahead, without any reliable industry-wide data. How do you resource a risk that cannot be reliably quantified? How do you know when to stop a recall? How do you estimate the costs? 

Consultancy advice can give you a third party view on your own vulnerability levels. Each year a small number of companies are bankrupted by major recalls, or driven to 'fire sale' disposals. We can help to reassure you and your stakeholders that you have considered the full implications of product quality responsibility. We can also help you to prepare, or audit, product recall and incident management plans.We are currently conducting our third annual statistical survey of UK companies, to help quantify risk managers' judgements about this secretive area.