Traceability Eases Product Recalls
Manufacturers in many industries, including the AV industry, electronics, food, etc. are increasingly vulnerable to product recalls. Unfortunately, a product recall, either voluntary or involuntary, may have poor consequences, including a negative impact on your company’s brand and reputation, lost productivity, decreased customer loyalty, fines, or even a lawsuit. As a result, companies are taking steps to minimize damage in the event of a recall. A quick reaction time is critical in retaining in preserving a customer’s trust and preserving a brand’s image.
What is Traceability?
What is the best way to prepare for a product recall? It’s simple. Establish item-level traceability between the manufacturer and the end user. Traceability is defined as the ability to track the end-to-end movement of an individual item from its origin to the end of its useful life, including where the item’s parts and materials originated, who handled it along the way, and everywhere else it goes on the way to its final destination. This one-up, one-down visibility utilizes location services to track components through manufacturing to the product’s delivery to the customer.
How Does Traceability Help in a Product Recall?
Traceability allows you to act quickly in the event of a recall, since you will be able to easily pinpoint the issue causing the recall and locate item-level information needed to retrieve defective parts and easily investigate customer complaints to minimize the impact of a recall. According to Dave Turbide’s article, Traceability – Keeping Product Recalls Manageable, “Traceability allows you find out exactly which products and batches or lots contain the subject flawed material and where they ended up by following the chain through manufacturing and distribution. Successful track-and-trace identifies the exact end product (batches, lots, shipments, current locations) and perhaps even customers that bought them.”
There are many ways to ease recalls through track-and-trace technology, including using RFID tags, QR or LiveQR codes, and at a minimum, adding unique identification codes to identify products at the item level, rather than at the batch level. By assigning a unique identifier to an individual item, companies are able to connect product information exchanged between sellers to the physical products in their supply chains. This identifies the weak links and prevents defective products from ever entering the supply chain. Additionally, traceability helps pinpoint a specific defective product versus having to recall a larger quantity of products to isolate them to be certain that all defective products have been retrieved.
According to Turbide’s article, “If track-and-trace is not specific enough to isolate the product made during that specific shift, the company may have to recall all the products made on that machine (or by that operator) for a whole week or even a month or more. The impact and cost of the recall can multiplies rapidly with any uncertainty or missing detail in the track-and-trace records.”
One of TRXio’s key benefits is item-level traceability that offers one-up, one-down supply chain visibility. The system’s real-time reporting provides the ability to track a product every step along the way and view a full comprehensive item history for every item.
Common inventory modules, or add-ons used by traditional financial software and proposal management platforms, simply cannot deliver the necessary itemized inventory data or traceability analytics to ease product recalls. If you would like to discuss how TRXio can improve your tracing capabilities to ease product recalls, please contact us at 844-868-7225.
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