Drawstrings that cause choking. Ingesting baby rattle contents. Fire-sparking cellphone batteries. Electric-shocking power adapters. Consumers beware! According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), recalls that should put consumers on high alert occur daily. It seems product recalls are now the norm on a wide range of products from cellphones to ATVs, high heels, children’s clothing, and more.
In one week, the CPSC reported several recalls on its website: incorrect venting Nutrilife® hydrogen peroxide bottles cause fires or burns; melting hoses in Academy Sports + Outdoors pet crawfish kits; cracking rings on BRIO baby rattles cause choking; and tires blowing out on Polaris’ recreational off-highway vehicles cause crashes.
Recalls are a nuisance for consumers but have serious repercussions for a brand or manufacturer. They can cause brand blemish, unexpected operational burdens, and costly remediation. I recently met with a senior executive from Samsung and we discussed the impact on the organization’s transportation side from the Galaxy Note7 recall. He urged me to think about the return shipping process for over 2.5 million units. The published estimated cost for the entire product recall: $17 billion.
The complexity of today’s global supply chains only means an increasing vulnerability to unexpected supply disruptions, with more suppliers and contract manufacturers added into the supply chain.