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How To Manage A Product Recall

EIC highlights three considerations in the aftermath of a recall and explains why having the right insurance to cover this situation is only part of being prepared.

From dangerous levels of bacteria in a well-known facial cleansing product to exploding smartphones, the reasons behind a product recall have almost no boundaries.

What’s more, because of constantly changing regulation both at home and abroad, manufacturers are having to pull back more products to the drawing board than ever.

Insurance that works to protect against losses associated with a protect recall is, for this reason, a sensible addition to any manufacturing policy, as Mark Hutton, head of product recall for the UK and Ireland at XL Catlin explains,

“The impact of a recall on brand reputation can be severe, and we know from experience that having the right help on hand is crucial to minimising the damage”.

So what’s the best way to manage such as scenario, beyond have in the right insurance?

Communicate to your consumers
As a professor of mass communication, Dirk Gibson has thoroughly researched product recall practices extensively.

‘Oftentimes manufacturers, retailers, and trade associations are reticent for fear of product liability issues,’ he says. ‘But research tells us the public likes the impression that they are being dealt with honestly.”

If you know that you’re going to have to recall a product, be prepared to handle the confusion and frustrations of customers through communication which puts their mind at ease, gives instructions on how to return the product, and makes them aware of the hazards and the reasons for the recall.

If you only have a couple of people on the customer service desk, you might want to consider hiring temporary staff to manage phone calls and social media messages.  A live web chat feature will also provide another channel of communication.

The more questions you can answer in an open and honest way, the quicker your customers will get over the inconvenience.

Take ownership of the situation
Timing is critical for two reasons:

  1. The longer the time elapses between discovering a problem and informing those affected allows more time for your customers to, at the very least, be inconvenienced and at worst, come into harm’s way.
  2. If the media get hold of your news before you have a chance to break it, you have no way to control how your business is portrayed.

Being ready to manage the situation also means ensure consistency by briefing all employees on the key messages to address any concerns.

Cooperate with regulators
If a mistake has been made, accept it, and do everything you can to help regulatory investigations go as smoothly as possible. Depending on the level of the problem and whether or not any harm has come to consumers, regulators may simply want reassurance that necessary steps are being taken to mitigate against consumer dissatisfaction, injury or illness.

If you’ve already conducted an internal investigation into the recall, and then reported it to the associated regulator, it shows professional responsibility which is reassuring both to the consumer and the agency.


Make sure you’re covered
There are many manufacturing policies and it’s wise to make sure that the one you have in place includes product recall cover. If you’re not sure, speak to our team at EIC to get more insight on how this can work for you and where it’s available, either as an add-on or as part of a complete package.

Get in touch with EIC to discuss your dedicated Manufacturer’s Insurance.

Britain’s Industrial Decline – Getting Britain back to the forefront of manufacturing

Throughout the Industrial Revolution, Britain’s manufacturing industry was world leading. Since then, Britain has gradually been falling behind in the industry and what was once a thriving empire is now fraught with uncertainty, underinvestment and a loss of credibility.

We take a look at how the industry can fight back amid fierce competition and a shaky economic climate as manufacturing drifts back to the forefront of our thoughts.

Underinvestment
Britain’s manufacturing industry now employs fewer than 3 million workers in the sector with a huge reduction of just under 600,000 in the past decade. It’s believed that the industry has never fully recovered from the repercussions of the 2008 recession. A much-needed surge of investment would enable growth and skill development and allow us to cultivate with the latest technologies.

Adopting new technologies
There’s a global race to fully adopt and utilise technologies stemming from virtual reality, 3D printing and artificial intelligence. Britain is lagging behind in the development of factory equipment, robotics and autonomous systems yet it is leading in others such as online retail. To climb back up as world leaders, time and money need to be spent on keeping up with and adopting the latest technologies.

Productivity
Whilst the number of workers in the industry is dropping, we’re also behind in the ratio of robots to workers. Britain currently has 33 robots per 10,000 workers. Germany has 170. To meet the same productivity as world leaders, Britain needs to implement similar structures to competitors, ensuring there’s sufficient technology to meet the demand for productivity.

Strong competition
Britain has taken a step back in manufacturing which has allowed others to lead the way. Industrial giants in the Far East have surpassed Britain both technologically and developmentally. In order to move to the forefront of the industry, Britain should initiate change as soon as possible.

Moving forward
Britain needs to ensure that workers in Britain have sufficient skill levels to push forward the manufacturing industry and this means investing in younger generations and changing perceptions of working in the industry. There’s particularly a shortfall of engineers both at present and in development for the future. Once talent is on board, an investment made and technologies adopted, hopefully, this will pave the way towards Britain’s future industrial prowess.

Are you looking to fund apprentices for future development? Or are you making other changes to catch up with the competition? At EIC we can help you get insured for now and for future growth. Contact us today on 01442 286910.