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Time Critical Quality Audit & Product Retrieval

Following the launch of an investigation by regulatory authorities into one of our client’s food products, we deployed a team of store auditors within 24 hours to assess the situation and retrieve defective products.

Business Challenge

Our European client was in crisis mode due to the launch of an investigation by their national regulatory authorities into one of their food products. Unbeknowst to our client, foreign bodies had contaminated a children’s food product at a point in the supply chain. This subsequently led to signficant consumer complaints and negative media coverage.

Project Challenge

The situation was time critical, this was a reactive response to an issue that had been exposed by consumers and therefore needed to be understood immediately. The event faced further external challenges as it took place during a Covid-19 lockdown, thus creating further challenges with in-store conditions.

How did we help? Following the initial call with our client, we mobilised and briefed our internal team and external team of store auditors. Our app development team, designed a bespoke app to allow our auditors to capture all of the necessary data whilst working under time pressure and store restrictions. Within 24 hours fieldwork began and our auditors covered over 100 stores, identifying and purchasing defective products so that they were immediately removed from the marketplace.

Using this bespoke app, our Project manager was able to track the progress of the store auditors which enabled us to deliver daily updates to our client or as needed. The final report was delivered just 5 days after receiving the initial call from our client.

What was the impact on the business? Our client was able to take control of the situation, removing defective samples from shelf to reduce any futher potential risk to young consumers and to work with the national regulatory body by sharing the real time data. The defective samples were taken in-house to a laboratory for testing so as to better understand the issue. Following this rapid sweep, our client realised that they needed to take a proactive approach to product quality by putting in place a risk management strategy. We worked with them to implement a programme involving routine store checks of their product portfolio.

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