(Not a) Total Recall

June 4, 2021

(Not a) Total Recall

Cut time and save money with proactive recall prevention

By Joe Sheeran

Recalls are one of the most damaging threats a company can face. A single recall can have widespread implications for customer safety and consumer trust, and can cost millions to resolve if impacted products cannot be isolated and removed.

Take, for instance, the 2008 Peanut Corporation of America (PCA) recall—one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history. Although PCA handled only 2% of the U.S. peanut supply, its peanuts were used in approximately 4,000 products produced by over 200 different companies. When a salmonella outbreak was detected, a recall was initiated that is estimated to have cost the food industry around $1 billion after an industry-wide reduction in peanut sales. Even leading brands that were not implicated directly in the recall saw sales drop nearly by half.

Although few recalls are as wide-sweeping as the PCA salmonella outbreak, any recall incidence has an impact on brand perception and bottom line. In fact, the cost of product recalls can be, on average, close to $10 million and reach up to over $100 million.

Needless to say, preventing recalls should be one of the most important initiatives for a company. Fortunately, advanced product traceability solutions like ProLinc® can mitigate the risk of a potential recall by detecting points of compromise in real time for proactive resolution—before a product ever makes it to store shelves.

Below are three concrete ways the right traceability solution enables proactive recall prevention, and details on how doing so can help companies save time and enhance ROI.

Any recall incidence has an impact on brand perception and bottom line. The cost of product recalls on average can be

close to $10 million and reach up to over $100 million,

so preventing recalls should be an important initiative for a company.

1 | Utilize Comprehensive Data to Identify Potential Product Compromises in Real Time

Preventing compromises that can lead to recalls is a top priority; yet, identifying potential points of compromise and targeting specific batches for removal can be nearly impossible when data is tracked manually or in disparate systems. Even when it is possible to identify faulty batches, the process can be time consuming—risking subpar products leaving a facility before they are removed or remaining in circulation for a longer period of time before lot numbers can be released to the public.

With the use of ProLinc® forensic traceability software, however, organizations can glean comprehensive data across all areas of the supply chain for every component, product, and batch in production. In the event that approved parameters are not met during manufacturing, compromises can be identified in real time to enable proactive recall prevention. Further, a forensic traceability solution with built-in advanced data capabilities and reporting allows organizations to easily adhere to compliance requirements and instantly gather any data needed to respond to government inquiries and requests.

2 | Enable Component-Level Serialization for Supply Chain-Wide Visibility and Insight

Proactive recall prevention can be made easier through better labeling that ensures every product and component can be tracked and traced—from the supplier to the factory floor to the shelf, and everywhere in between.

Through the use of tamper-evident labeling, ProLinc® enables organizations to assign a unique, serialized identity to every subcomponent, product, and batch. By leveraging advanced serialization, manufacturers can create digital identities for every component, storing granular-level data with regards to material, point of origin, and equipment usage into a secure database, scalable to billions of records. This digital identity is the foundation of a product’s lineage, and establishes the first stage of a product’s genealogy. At a single scan of the label, a wealth of product-specific data can be unlocked, providing greater insight and control over the global supply chain.

3 | Ensure Backward & Forward Traceability Throughout the Entire Production Process

With an advanced forensic traceability solution in place, organizations can gain granular insight and control throughout the entire production process—from manufacturing to distribution, retail sales, and all the way to the customer. Manufacturers that can recall detailed records and oversee the supply chain are able to more easily uncover anomalies in production processes, isolate affected goods, and match those records to each item’s location in the supply chain.

By maintaining records from component to end of life, ProLinc® allows the manufacturer to trace back the entire genealogy of the product no matter when it was first produced. This forward and backward traceability empowers companies to more effectively and efficiently oversee and manage their supply chain in possible recall situations.

Bonus: If a Recall Does Happen, Enable Effective Recall Resolution Tactics

In the unlikely event that a recall does take place after implementing a forensic traceability solution, time is of the essence. Companies must be able to identify—with exacting detail—any batch that has been compromised and notify distributors and customers. ProLinc® enables companies to pull these records with ease, allowing recalls to be handled more quickly and accurately than ever before. Further still, it minimizes the cost of a recall as only the specific batches in question, rather than all products, must be removed from shelves.

Proactive Recall Management with the Right Traceability Solution: Delivering More Positive Business Outcomes

Having an effective forensic traceability solution—like Ashton Potter’s ProLinc®—empowers businesses to streamline their data collection processes, simplify compliance management, and minimize risk. The key is applying serialized identities to products at every level to create a centralized, real-time record of product genealogy. This empowers businesses to track products across the global supply chain with ease, and intervene instantly in the event of a compromise.

Contact us to learn more about preventing product recalls through forensic traceability.