Forward-thinking companies understand the benefits of investing in recall management, or post-recall damage control, to mitigate the injuries to consumers and the company in case of product failure. In fact, if done correctly (as was the case with Saturn’s recall experience), a strong recall management plan can present unexpected advantages.
Obviously, Saturn’s recall didn’t affect a large number of customers, but, as a relatively new company, they would not have been able to deliver such a favorable outcome for both consumers and company reputation, if they didn’t have a strong recall management plan in place. It should come as no surprise to learn that Saturn had decided how they would respond to a recall situation more than a year before the launch of their first cars. Managers understood that anything that could threaten the long-term relationships they wanted to build with customers needed to be dealt with swiftly and efficiently.
While having these fail-safe strategies is crucial in the event of a crisis, implementing quality control improvements is a more sustainable, long-term solution for reducing recall risk and impact.
Enforcing a Reliable Quality Control Checklist
The quest for safer products begins at the design and development stage, with a comprehensive design risk assessment. This study will take into consideration the industrialization constraints of the product. Goods should then be evaluated through testing, inspection and certification. Determining product specifications and requirements prior to production, and providing a detailed quality control checklist, guides suppliers and lowers the possibility of manufacturing defects. Checklists can eradicate uncertainty by establishing clear parameters such as testing criteria to evaluate product quality. The key here is communication – it’s crucial that businesses ensure inspectors, testing staff and suppliers understand the requirements of each product.
Imagine you import tablet computers from China. Your staff knows that inspectors should check that the tablets are running the latest Android O operating system. However, your personnel assume inspectors are already aware of this. Your company also requires that the tablets contain 10 pre-installed apps such as Facebook, etc., but this information isn’t explicitly stated in your checklist or product specification. – In this particular case, because inspectors and your supplier were not made fully aware of your requirements, the tablets you receive could be running older versions of Android and not have the appropriate pre-installed apps.
Certain basic elements that should be checked on all goods include weight and dimensions, labeling, and color specifications. Companies should also ensure that both packaging and products are examined, and that all information presented to the consumer aligns with the items produced.