The Client: A Large Fortune 500 Retailer

Overview

In the highly competitive, tightly regulated, and heavily scrutinized retail industry, compliance is extremely important. Organizations need to manage and comply with multiple regulations including the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA), the Fair Packaging and Labeling Act (FPLA), the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), and other local and regional regulations.

Apart from compliance, quality plays a critical role in an organization's success and even its survival. Retailers who sell products that contain potentially hazardous ingredients or defects not only invite regulatory penalties, but also negative publicity and possibly permanent reputational damage. Many have to recall their products from the market, incurring substantial losses.

Some recalls are often due to false or misleading product labeling. To prevent such incidents, regulators have issued several labeling mandates. FPLA, for instance, has very specific requirements around stating the identity of the product, the name and place of business of the manufacturer, packer, or distributor, and the net quantity of contents. FDA too, has strict requirements around labeling to ensure that products are free of contaminants and defects. Non-compliance with these labeling requirements can result in serious regulatory fines and lawsuits.

The MetricStream solution is enabling the client to efficiently manage these various legal and regulatory compliance requirements and issues. For product recalls and labeling compliance, the solution facilitates a streamlined and efficient approach to identifying, investigating, and resolving each issue before it gets out of control. Automated notifications keep the relevant personnel informed about compliance tasks, while powerful dashboards provide complete transparency into the end-to-end compliance and recall process.

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Challenges

The client faced a number of difficulties with their existing product recall and labeling compliance processes and systems, including:

  • Multiple different federal and state labeling regulations across thousands of products and hundreds of stores
  • Management of various recall and labeling issues through siloed and isolated processes that only resulted in costly redundancies
  • Lack of collaboration and information-sharing that led to the same recall or labeling compliance issue recurring elsewhere in the enterprise
  • Limited top-level visibility into recall or labeling issues and the status of regulatory compliance
  • Time-consuming manual processes e.g. sending out numerous and repeated notifications to various store personnel to manage various aspects of the product recall process

Benefits

  • Eliminate duplicate activities:
    The MetricStream solution provides a single point of reference to manage and monitor product recalls and labeling compliance management processes. It simplifies these processes, and improves enterprise-wide collaboration, thereby allowing redundancies to be quickly identified and eliminated.
  • Enhance information sharing:
    The solution's centralized approach to issue management enables information to be seamlessly shared across business and functional silos. This helps the organization collectively learn from past issues and mistakes, thereby ensuring that the same issues don't recur.
  • Minimize cumbersome manual activities:
    The MetricStream solution automates a variety of processes such as notifying managers and staff about labeling compliance activities and issue management tasks. It also automatically gathers data from across the enterprise, and fills in reporting templates. This helps in saving valuable time, and diverts resources to more value-added business areas.
  • Make more informed compliance decisions:
    Through an integrated approach and real-time dashboards and reports, the solution provides complete and on-demand visibility into product labeling compliance and recall issues and remediation activities. Thus top management is able to proactively identify areas of concern, and address them before they morph into bigger and more uncontrollable issues.

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