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Product recalls are simply a fact of life in modern American business. Whether for safety concerns, incorrect assembly, or simply managing your inventory and spending, a growing number of industries have been affected by product recalls – and this means it might happen to you.


Whether you’re a manufacturer, a storage warehouse, or simply the middleman in a supply chain, you could find yourself involved in a product recall. While the terms and conditions of each recall will differ depending on the recall and your role in it, here’s a few steps you can take before the recall starts to be better prepared:


Assemble A Team: The order for a product recall could come down at any time – during business hours, over the weekend, even 3:00 PM on Christmas Day. You need to identify the key personnel who would need to be notified of a recall immediately and make sure the other concerned employees have their contact information. This way, as soon as a recall is put into place, the highest-priority staff is kept informed and aware right away.


Know Where Your Product Comes From: In many cases, even if your facility is involved in a product recall, you might not actually manufacture the affected part or product. Make sure to know the suppliers at every point in your product chain so you can contact the appropriate parties and do the research necessary to determine where the recalled parts come from and work with each part of your supply chain to make sure the problem can be identified and the affected parts can be replaced.


Equip Your Facility: Chances are, if you’re involved with a product recall, you may be responsible for receiving, storing, and/or inspecting the recalled items. Set aside a designated area of your warehouse, outfit it with extra wire shelving, pallet racks, and/or other industrial storage to make sure you have the room to hang onto the recalled products when they arrive.


Be Honest And Transparent: If you’re in a position to have to communicate with customers regarding your product recall, the worst thing you can do is obfuscate information and deny responsibility. This will change depending on the circumstances of the recall, of course, but make sure you’re as open as you can afford to be when it comes to customer-facing communication, and level with your customers as to why, when, and how the recall will be occurring. You’ll have a much better chance of retaining a positive mindshare with customers this way – just ask Audi or Toyota.

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