SN has recognized PepsiCo with its Supplier Leadership Award for Food Safety for PepsiCo's support of the Rapid Recall Exchange, a web-based recall tool developed by GS1 US in partnership with the Food Marketing Institute and the National Grocers Association.
No supplier wants to have to issue a recall, but when one is needed, it’s best for the recall to be quick and effective. To help make the process as easy as possible for the supply chain, PepsiCo has long been a supporter of the Rapid Recall Exchange, a web-based recall tool developed by GS1 US in partnership with the Food Marketing Institute and the National Grocers Association.
“We’ve been working with [GS1] probably since the inception or the idea was created for the tool, and we’ve been working with them over the years on a number of revisions, so I’d say we were probably one of the principal early partners,” Greg Buckley, senior director, customer supply chain and logistics, PepsiCo, told SN.
PepsiCo has been giving feedback on the tool after using it in training exercises and simulated recalls, but employed the Rapid Recall Exchange for the first time in a “Class I” recall in 2011.
After PepsiCo had hands-on experience with the live tool, Jeff Brazell, senior manager of customer warehouse go-to-market programs at PepsiCo and a member of the Rapid Recall Exchange Industry Work Group, shared his experience with the other retailers and suppliers on the advisory group.
He also discussed PepsiCo’s experience at the GS1 Connect Conference last spring, where he noted the benefits of the Rapid Recall Exchange and gave practical tips to other suppliers who might use the tool.
“One of the things that we needed or a result to come out of that group was to gain more adoption, so my presentation was based on first-hand use of it and the fact that it did help us, but there were some lessons learned, and here’s how when we go forward in the future, here’s how we intend on using it,” Brazell told SN.
One benefit of using the exchange for PepsiCo is that it ensures that the recall notice is going to the right contact at the retailer, which can be difficult to keep track of manually, Brazell said.
Although Brazell’s presentation represented the manufacturer’s perspective, his talk did bring up retailers’ expectations on the use of the exchange.
“And one of the points I was making during that speech is that the retailers’ expectation — the ones that have signed up for the Rapid Recall Exchange and bought into the idea — their expectation is for us to use it for all recalls and withdrawals.”
Retailers don’t just want the exchange used for Class I recalls, but Class II, III and market withdrawals, Brazell told the audience.
Quick action with the exchange is also critical, according to Brazell. He suggested that suppliers start staging the information in the Rapid Recall Exchange as the information comes in to the company, so the recall notice is ready to go out quickly.
The person putting the information into the exchange should be an “insider,” someone involved in the internal recall process with access to information as it comes in, Brazell emphasized.
By reaching out at industry events, PepsiCo is helping build critical mass, which Brazell said is important for the Rapid Recall Exchange.
“In a perfect world, all manufacturers and retailers would be using this so you would just use it as just a one-stop shopping for recalls. But because not all manufacturers and retailers subscribe, we send out the blanket emails as well just to catch anyone that does not subscribe to the Rapid Recall Exchange,” Brazell said, noting that PepsiCo also reaches out to retailers through its customer service department and press releases.
Brazell said he was encouraged by the positive feedback he got after his presentation, and that PepsiCo plans to continue to advocate for the tool in additional industry forums.
“Obviously anytime there’s an unfortunate circumstance where we’ve got to do a product withdrawal we want to make sure our customers and ultimately consumers are informed as quickly and as completely as possible,” Buckley told SN.
“And this is like so many GS1 solutions where we try to find one way for the industry to communicate more efficiently, as opposed to individual companies all having separate and proprietary ways to communicate.”
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