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Manufacturers Undecided Over Best Way to Reach Customers During Recalls
We know recalls happen. They’re unfortunate, but they happen.
In fact, they happen to such a degree (more than 50 in products and food alone last month) that the federal government adopted the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) in 2008, which addresses recalls in various sections.
But even with an emphasis on compliance and safety standards, recalls and how companies manage them are as varied as the industries they belong to.
No law directly addresses how a company must communicate their recall, so long as they make a good-faith effort to remedy the situation and contact their customers.
The law only says, in part, for infant and toddler products, the CPSC will “regularly review recall notification technology and assess the effectiveness of such technology in facilitating recalls.”
Although more than 75 percent of the U.S. population used the Internet last year, many manufacturers mail letters to reach their customers or use other “traditional” methods of contacting them.
Companies that boost their online presence and that are able to handle their recalls on the Web, either in house or through third-party organizations, show an increased ability to spread information about their recall and also to recover those products.
John Deere, during their recall of three tractors in one week, mailed out letters to their customers. To be fair, John Deere’s products and purchasing process make it so they can contact their customers and handle their recalls in ways that many other companies can’t. See how here.
Kraft Foods relied on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) press release and an announcement on their websites to get in touch with consumers. Lynne Galia, a spokesperson for Kraft, said the company wasn’t mailing letters or emails at the time to connect with customers.
And Phil and Teds, a company that makes strollers and other products for infants, used an arsenal of CPSC press releases, emails to consumers, emails to retailers, posters and digital media to contact their customers.
Jason Crowe, U.S. and Canada country manager for Phil and Teds, said having a standardized protocol for handling recalls and contacting customers is important.“If you’re in manufacturing these days, you have to have one. We expect to have more, and we want to be prepared for those,” he said.Some companies capitalize on that preparedness as well as their Internet status and take it a step further to leverage social media to spread their message.
When B. Toys had to recall over a million toy keys, the company reached out to mom bloggers that followed their personal blog to help get the message out.
Sarajane Sparks, representing B. Toys, said their blog network is something they take pride in after building relationships with parents and also toy review sites.
“Mom-to-mom is a very important bond in sharing news and spreading opinions,” said Sparks. “We told a lot of the mom bloggers immediately and they were helpful in spreading the word.”
Considering their online presence, Phil and Teds tries to be as transparent as possible with their recalls, no matter how they contact their customers.
“We just try to be honest.” Crowe added. “You have to be open and upfront and get it done. being quiet is not the way to go.”
Have you been contacted about a recalled product recently? Tell us about that in the comments.
The Advantages of Automation
Automation has improved the way we live our lives. One of the biggest advantages that automation has had is in the workplace. Think back to a factory of the days gone by. In the days before automation was a part of our daily life, factories were filled with people rushing to get the job done. Often times these workers were overworked and underpaid and were just not able to keep up with the task at hand. However, today things are much different and it is very rare not to see a large factory without some form of automation. Maybe the process of sealing the boxes are now automated or sealing the bottle caps on soda bottles no longer needs to be done by hand. Automation saves time and can generally get products out to the consumers much faster. Which is good news for both the business as well as the consumer. It is always all about supply and demand.
Not only has automation made production of merchandise a much faster process it has also made the work place a much safer place. Since much of the assembly process can now be automated this means that there is less people doing the job. Often part of the assembly line requires the use of tools and sharp objects. Accidents are bound to happen when people are overworked and factories were notorious for being a place where injuries occurred. All of the changed with the invention of automation. Robotic machines can now take over doing the dangerous jobs that often lead to injuries. As it does not really matter to much if the robot becomes injured although it may slow down the production but at least no one was hurt. Injuries in the work place cost employers a large sum of money and many employers welcome the use of automation in the workplace.
Automation and Jobs
However, some people may insist that due to automation, many jobs were lost and people were left to without a way to support their families. While in some cases this may be true in many cases it is not. A person who was once stuck on an assembly line dealing with a variety of hazards may no longer be needed to perform that job but automation also created new jobs such as machine supervisors. After all someone has to keep on eye on the machines and ensure that the production goes well. Automation has changed the world and has made the work place a much safer environment.
M&Ms: No One Even Likes Brown
Do you ever feel like the worst flavors or colors of your favorite snack/candy seem to be the most abundant?
Today, I found myself wondering about the manufacturing process of M&Ms and my reading led me to discover this:
A special packaging machine weighs the candies, pours the proper amount into individual bags, and heat-seals the package. Plain M&Ms’ are proportioned (approximately) as follows: 30% brown; 20% yellow; 20% red; 10% green; 10% orange; 10% blue. Peanut M&Ms’ are 20% brown; 20% yellow; 20% red; 20% blue; 10% green; and 10% orange. Peanut Butter Chocolate M&Ms® and Almond M&Ms® have even proportions (20% each) of yellow, red, green, blue, and brown.
Everyone knows brown sucks.
Read more: How m & m® candy is made - manufacture, making, history, used, components, product, machine, History, Raw Materials, The Manufacturing Process, Quality Control http://www.madehow.com/Volume-3/M-M-Candy.html#ixzz1hrL6fBI5