Safety incidences and recalls can be overwhelming whether voluntary or mandatory, requiring a repair or exchange, and sometimes even special storage and removal services. Companies by design are made to build and sell great things so when a recall instance arrives there often isn’t a full team to handle the situation and that is okay. There are many companies and vendors out there that specialize in recalls, can help with multiple types of situations and needs, but the whole process can be confusing. Do you only need an 800#? Are there shipping costs involved? What type of social engagement if any will need to take place? Is your product heavily regulated that even content or notices will require extra scrutiny? Which recall vendor is the right one for your need?

We asked several customers and non-customers how they chose the right solution for their company’s needs and realized there isn’t an exact central place for getting bids, picking bids and knowing all the right steps so we thought we would make one.

Here are 5 steps to picking the right recall vendor:

1) Check Regulator Websites

Often the regulatory agency which your product in question falls under (CPSC, NHSTA, FDA, USDA, FSIS, et all) has a resource part to their website listing preferred vendors and Third Party contacts. The FDA lists its offices but the CPSC gives detailed information on potential consultants and contractors. Regulators themselves are familiar with recommendations and contacts if you are struggling to find all the information online.

CPSC http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Business–Manufacturing/Recall-Guidance/Recall-Assistance-from-Non-CPSC-Sources/

2) Research Publications

Another way to find experts in the recall space or who to chose from is by checking various publication sites for information. Slideshare, Facebook pages, and company blogs can tell you a lot about what a company focuses on and where there expertise is. Especially if a recall is consumer-facing you might want a more socially savvier company. If the safety incidence is highly complex or around a product used my manufacturers or hospitals you might want the leader in the pharmaceutical space. What is the vendor blogging about? What press and publications are covering them?

3) Search The Internet for Exact Tasks

Do you know what kind of safety incident or recall you are facing? Search the web find the experts on your vertical but common phrases or tasks you believe you are faced with.  Often there are experts in call centers, removals, or returns but to find them you need to search those phrases. Until there is a central site for all recalls, all the time this the best way to find experts in the areas needed most.

 (Note: a one stop recall site also might not work because different agencies have different task requirements for safety incidences)

4) Google Managers and Executives

Gain insight into a company’s culture and its managers. Look at the potential vendor and google their top managers. While this may seem a bit “overkill” the recommendations and additional review information gained will be priceless. You can automatically decide if the company is organized to keep its information up to date, they can be trusted with keeping accurate information while running business for your company.  Also, personal sites and other listings will tell a lot about company culture. No google results typically are a bad indication of someone afraid to have transparent reviews and information and generally a “no go.”

5) Ask Two Attorneys; or Two Companies

While recall and safety incidences can seem few and far between, asking around never hurts. Since so much information has to be acquired in a short amount of time, other companies are often quick to share who they worked with, what worked well and what didn’t work well for their recall situation. Generally getting two outside opinions from your company can help save time and prioritize in which businesses to continue discussions with.

For more information and tips on how to manage a recall see [For Companies] 7 Steps to Running a Successful recall or contact us at 212-389-2029 or info@consumerbell.com

@consumerbell is on twitter!

Curious if you need e-notifications? Read Here