When you're faced with a claim against one of your products, it not only means a consumer was negatively affected—it can also mean immeasurable damage to your brand name. When the claim is supported by an illness epidemic—such as the E.coli outbreak that affected Chipotle locations in 2015—it can translate to major loss in revenue, companywide re-education and a public relations nightmare.
Closer to home, in the cosmetics industry, a class action lawsuit in January filed against EOS alleged that the lip balm caused cracked skin, rashes and bleeding to the plaintiff and "potentially hundreds of thousands of similarly situated customers." The suit called for damages and corrective advertising by EOS.
While that lawsuit was quickly settled for an undisclosed amount, the lessons taught by Chipotle, EOS and other brands in the news can be heard loud and clear: Claims, lawsuits and investigations against a trusted product can happen to any company, and it is naïve to believe otherwise.
As the best offense is often a good defense, it benefits any cosmetics or personal care brand to put a solid plan into place for crisis management. And, to counter against claims made against your products, it is essential to have functions integrated into your companywide software and system processes that can protect your brand, help you retrace your steps, and allow you to weather any storm that comes your way.
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software system must contain key attributes to ensure effective crisis management for your company. It is vital to proactively ensure that your system includes the following six functionalities:
As the best offense is often a good defense, it benefits any cosmetics or personal care brand to put a solid plan into place for crisis management.
Crisis Management Software Requirements for Beauty Products Manufacturers
1. Backward Traceability
This allows the user to review by lot number which raw materials were used in the finished product, where all the ingredients were stored, and link to the sublots to determine which batches of ingredients need testing. This also creates an audit trail for a specific ingredient in any product—a requirement for any recall.
2. Cross-team Capability
The ERP system should include a role-based platform, and the dashboards for each user should be customizable depending on their role and responsibilities at your company. As such, each action taken by each user should be visibly recorded and traced for accountability purposes.
3. Mobile Functionality
In times of crisis management, time is of the essence. The ERP system must be readily accessible via smartphone and tablet, so it can be used by a QC supervisor on the production floor as easily as by an account manager on the go.
4. Alerts to Action
Your ERP system must be able to alert different users in the system as to the next steps which need to be taken. Whether it's a raw material QC test assigned to a lab tech, or assigning a task to a purchasing agent who needs to notify a supplier of an issue, the ERP system must facilitate these communications and provide proof of all actions taken.
5. Forward Traceability
Users should be able to track the recipients of the deliveries for each lot. The benefits of this are twofold; not only can you ascertain which specific shipments of a product in question need to be recalled from each retailer, you can also determine which other products containing a potentially offending ingredient are in need of recall as well.
6. Complete Supply Chain Visibility
The contact information for all parties involved, from suppliers through production, distributors and retailers, must be linked and easily attainable through the ERP system, which will facilitate notification and crisis management in case of a recall. Internally, the ERP system must feature integrated management across purchasing, inventory management, manufacturing, sales, customer service, accounting and finance to ensure all members of a crisis management team can take appropriate actions accordingly.
To mitigate any negative effects on your brand resulting from a recall or claim against your company, you need to show that you are responsive and have taken all actions necessary. An effective ERP system can streamline the entire process—starting with the alert of a problem with the product, through your issuing a recall—in as little as one business day. This proves that you put your customer's safety first, and are still worthy of their confidence. No brand can afford to lose the trust of their consumers, and your ERP system should help you avoid this by successfully guiding you through the management of a crisis.
Serving small and mid-sized businesses for more than 35 years, Blytheco is a full-service consulting firm offering a wide variety of business software solutions, including Sage X3. The professionals at Blytheco work proactively to help each client create a customized technology solution, and optimize the software to its fullest potential. Let us help you find the software solution that can strengthen and protect your brand, and e-mail us at [email protected].
Protect Your Beauty Products Company from Recalls
Sage X3 - A Software Solution that Truly Meets the Requirements of Beauty Products Manufacturers
Beauty products manufacturers have unique needs in terms of software, because they often need a solution that can effectively provide a wide variety of features:
- Process manufacturing that can manage formulas;
- Discrete manufacturing for filling product in a base container and assembly of packaging;
- Recall management to prevent and manage product recalls;
- Business intelligence for mining customer insights from the database;
- Financial management for enhancing profit margins;
- And more.
Learn more about how Sage X3 can help you prevent and manage recalls now in an interactive video demo.
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