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Traceability and its role in product recall



Today’s consumer has become more informed and enlightened regarding the products they purchase, where they come from, what they are made of, and, most importantly, if they are safe. Product recalls when not handled properly can erode customer trust and result in costly litigation, a tarnished reputation and ultimately lost revenue.

Traceability plays two very key roles within a supply chain.  The first is being able to effectively identify a product’s source and destination in case a recall is necessary.  It must be able to precisely locate affected product and to quickly inform customers.  Effective traceability can limit the costs of a recall by identifying the affected lots or serial numbers and avoid the costs associated with recalling unaffected products.  Quickly tracing the recalled product back to its source also facilitates the identification and elimination of manufacturing problems or other issues and will keep high quality product available to customers.

The second key role of a solid traceability foundation is the verification of authentic goods not only within a company’s distribution channels but also from its vendors.  Distribution of products may need to cross international borders and may encounter higher restrictions and compliance standards.  Certain countries have restrictions on the origin of the product and proper labeling helps identify the location and establish its authenticity.

The importance of knowing where goods are coming from and going to within your supply chain is vital in assuring you are providing a safe and effective product and to maintain business efficiency.

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