Next month at PPAI’s Product Safety Summit in Chicago, Illinois, Katherine Ann Cahill, founder and CEO of Cahill Consultants, will speak on how to respond when a product recall is issued. Cahill’s presentation is one of a number of in-depth sessions on the range of product safety issues impacting promotional products businesses, delivered by experts from both within and outside the industry.
PPB Newslink recently spoke with Cahill about her session at the Summit, and its lessons for the industry.
PPB Newslink: What characteristics/attributes of the promotional products industry have the most significant effect on how its member companies approach product recalls?
Katherine Ann Cahill: There are three areas that the promotional products industry must focus on when approaching product recall management. Those three areas are: supply chain management, product recall deployment procedures and insurance. Many of the products that are sourced for the promotional products industry are sourced from vendors that reside outside of the United States. This is particularly problematic as it pertains to the regulatory requirements in the United States for product safety. This is evident in products that are manufactured with lead substrate. Having a vendor management program in place that protects a supply chain and includes strict vendor management protocols, regulatory compliance and strong contractual obligations; as well as a way of.getting reimbursed (insurance), is key to managing supply chains. As it pertains to product recall deployment procedures, it is important to have strong protocols in place for issue identification and escalation, investigating a potential product safety issue and having the infrastructure in place when product recall deployment becomes necessary. Finally, product recall insurance for promotional products (consumer goods) is readily available in the market and can be priced to meet a company’s individual needs. Most insurance companies that place product recall coverage also provide free pre-incident consulting services that can assist the promotional products industry in placing vendor programs and product recall deployment procedures in place as part of insurance premiums.
PPB Newslink: If your audience takes home only one lesson from your presentation, What would you want it to be?
Katherine Ann Cahill: Preparation is the key to success when managing a product safety issue, which can result in a product recall. Those companies who conduct “mock” product recalls, which are much more extensive than an exercise in product traceability, are always more prepared to manage hits to their reputation when a product safety issue arises.
Cahill’s presentation is one of nine sessions on the PSS agenda, along with networking events and opportunities for small-group discussions. Register now to reserve a seat for this valuable, once-a-year education event.